Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 179/260: Daniel

Read Daniel 1

What Do You Purpose In Your Heart?

The Babylonian captivity was predicted by Jeremiah, and Daniel was one of the young men who was carried away at the beginning of the captivity. He was among the youths “in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans” (Daniel 1:4).

There was something different about Daniel, though. The Scriptures state that this young man “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” (Daniel 1:8). He requested an exemption from the customary diet of the eunuchs.

The chief of the eunuchs was leery about the request, as it could endanger his own life if the young men who ate differently became unhealthy because of their diet. Daniel issued a ten-day challenge and told the chief of the eunuchs that if their appearance was worse than the others, “as you see fit, so deal with your servants” (Daniel 1:13).

Daniel was not just trying to be difficult. He was well-liked by the man in charge, as the Scriptures say, “Now God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs” (Daniel 1:9). The young man likely did as he was told without complaint, and thus the chief of the eunuchs was more willing to listen to his request.

As children of God, should we not try to get along with those around us, and with those over us? If we behave in a reasonable manner as employees, would our employers not deal more reasonably with us? If a situation arises at work that might cause us to compromise our Christian walk, and we have behaved properly in the past, our employers are more likely to listen to our concerns than if we were always difficult and always complaining.

Daniel was well-liked because his heart was in the right place. He “purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.” Do we do the same? Are we so committed to the Lord that we make a conscious decision that no matter what, we will not stray from His command?

Consider your goals, your dreams, and your desires. What do you purpose in your heart?

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