“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.” (Daniel 1:8)
When Jerusalem was conquered by Babylon (See 2 Kings 25), King Nebuchadnezzar ordered his chief of staff, to bring to the palace some of the young men of Judah’s royal family and other noble families. They were to be trained for three years, and then enter the royal service. Daniel was one of these captives, he was willing to be trained in the ways of Babylon, but he decided he would always do right and obey His God. So, he purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself. And God honored his action.
Like Nebuchadnezzar wanted to do to Daniel, our world wants to conform us to its standards, but God tells us not to do this, “Do not be conformed to this world” (Romans 12:1). We need to decide now that we will obey God and do right. When we do, God will help us just like He helped Daniel throughout his time in captivity. One of the best-known stories is Daniel in the Lion’s Den (Daniel 6).
Daniel is now a distinguished official in the court of King Darius. And some of the other officials are jealous of him and want to find a way to discredit him, “but they couldn’t find anything to criticize or condemn. He was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy. So they concluded, “Our only chance of finding grounds for accusing Daniel will be in connection with the rules of his religion” (Daniel 6:4-7). His decision was still to not comfort and obey God. Read Daniel 6 to see how God protects him
When we decide to do right and keep obeying the Lord, He will always be there for us. It may not be easy, we might have to face lions, but God will be there.
Question: Have you decide to follow Jesus? Have you purposed in your heart to always do right?
Challenge: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2).
Prayer: Lord, help me today to decide to do right and obey you.
Jack Hughes, Chapel Leader -- Clearwater Threshers