“But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs.” Daniel 1:8-9
When Israel fell to Babylon, the Israelites were taken hostage and those who were learned were singled out to serve in the king’s palace. These people were taught the Babylonian customs, culture and language, and most importantly, they had to change names. Daniel was one of the knowledgeable ones and he was selected to serve in the palace during the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar.
Although Daniel had his name changed and had to work in a changed environment, one thing he would not change is his faith in the Lord and his belief in the one and only God. Apart from his steadfast faith in the Lord, he was determined that he should not defile himself. It is very unusual for a young man like Daniel to have such kind of determination.
Indeed, we wish to see today’s teenagers having such determination not to indulge and engross in worldly desires, make sure that they are not at the wrong side of the law and involved in drugs but to keep themselves pure and holy. “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.” (Psalms 119:9)
Because Daniel was firm and resolute, God made a way for Daniel to be successful in what he intended to do and blessed him tremendously while serving the Lord in a foreign land. We have a lot to learn from Daniel about righteous living. In conducting our daily living or embarking on any task, we therefore have to do it right. Without being morally right, we may not have a happy ending. Let us therefore take the example of Daniel in “not defiling himself” and be firm in our faith. Continue to trust Him and let Him lead the way.