Sunday, March 10, 2024

As Daniel Purposed in His Heart

By Dale Babinsky

    Do you remember what it was like to be a teenager, and to have to face the constant peer pressure of those who were around you? Just imagine what it would be like to have to spend those years in a foreign country, where you might have very little say over what you could or could not do. Imagine how difficult that would be in our youthful years.
    This was the case with Daniel and his friends, who were taken captive by the Babylonians in
606 – 605 BC, when they were likely only about 14 or 15 years old. Yet, even in a foreign land as a captive, Daniel had a resolve to not defile himself. Notice what is recorded about him, “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself” (Daniel 1:8). In this verse, Daniel resolves not to defile himself with the king’s food or wine.
    Daniel’s decision to abstain from the king’s food and wine was not just a matter of personal preference. It was a matter of faith. Daniel was committed to following the Mosaic Law, which prohibited the eating of certain food (Leviticus 11). This could not have been an easy decision, but Daniel purposed in his heart ahead of time, before the temptations would have come, to do the Lord’s will. Daniel was in a foreign land surrounded by others who did not share his beliefs. The peer pressure would have been great to go along to get along. However, Daniel remained faithful, and God rewarded him for it.
    Daniel’s resolve is a great example for us to remember to stand up for what God wants even when it may be difficult – even when surrounded by non-believers. When we purpose in our hearts to do what is right, we will be less likely to compromise godly values and beliefs. Remember, it is more important to be Christlike than to be popular.

- Dale J. Babinsky preaches for the Great Smoky Mountains Church of Christ in Pigeon Forge, TN. He may be contacted through the congregation's website -

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