â€œBut Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the kingâ€™s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.â€ (Daniel 1:8)
There inevitably come those times in the life of a Christian when he, for conscience sake in the light of the Word of God, must take a stand against some worldly practice. Daniel has given us a striking example of how to do this, not only courageously, but graciously and effectively.
As one of â€œthe princesâ€ of Israel, â€œof the kingâ€™s seedâ€ (Daniel 1:3), he realized that he had the responsibility of maintaining a godly standard as a testimony for the true God when he was asked â€œto stand in the kingâ€™s palaceâ€ (Daniel 1:4) after he and his friends had been carried into captivity. Daniel knew that the kingâ€™s wine would surely be harmful were he to partake of it. Also, the kingâ€™s meat would certainly include pork and would be cooked with blood, which would be unlawful for him, as a good Jew, to eat (Leviticus 11:7-8; 17:10-14). He determined in his heart to take a stand against it.
Note, however, his stand was not belligerent or self-righteous, but courteous and reasonable. â€œHe requested. . . . Prove thy servants, I beseech theeâ€ (Daniel 1:8-12). The Babylonians thought they were doing him and his friends a great favor, and Daniel appreciated this. He suggested a scientific test: Let them try a vegetarian diet and water for just ten days to see if this wouldnâ€™t produce better results than the gourmet fare of the palace.
God honored Danielâ€™s graciousness, as well as his courageous faithfulness, and so will He do for us as well. Both are essential ingredients of a fruitful Christian testimony in a non-Christian world. We must â€œbe ready always to give an answer,â€ but this should be done, not in arrogance, but â€œwith meeknessâ€ (1 Peter 3:15). HMM