Daniel 1:8 (NIV) But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.
I couldn’t help but think about the reality of what’s going on in our world today as I read over the first few chapters of Daniel. Believe it or not, there are similarities between what was going on in Daniel’s day and the world we live in today. As I continued my read through the book of Daniel, I couldn’t help but reflect on the following questions:
- Am I allowing our current culture to influence or change me?
- Do I hold fast to the teaching of the Lord and abide by biblical standards?
- Have I compromised who I am and what I believe to look like the world?
Daniel was a young Israelite when he was taken captive by the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar. To help the Jews assimilate into their new culture, the Babylonians tried to change their thinking by educating them, change their loyalty by renaming them and change their life-style by the food they were given to eat.
Daniel drew the line when it came to food. People in the Jewish culture were forbidden to eat certain foods and Daniel refused to defile himself by eating what he was given. Although Daniel was in a culture that didn’t follow God’s laws, he didn’t compromise what he knew to be true. He remained faithful to God, and God honored him for it.
I see so many things we, as a nation and as individuals, have compromised. This great nation, founded on biblical truth, has grown “tolerant” of worldly things. I use Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary quite a bit in my research, so it was there I found the definition of the word “tolerant”.
Tolerant (TOL’ERANT, a.) Enduring; indulgent; favoring toleration.
Wait… as a nation (and as individuals) we have become enduring and indulgent?
I had to look up the meaning of the words Enduring and Indulgent:
Enduring (ENDU’RING, ppr.) Lasting; continuing without perishing; bearing; sustaining; supporting with patience, or without opposition or yielding.
Indulgent (INDUL’GENT, a.) Yielding to the wishes, desires, humor or appetites of those under one’s care; compliant; not opposing or restraining
What have we allowed ourselves to become?
What have we allowed this nation to become?
We have permitted ourselves to “yield to the wishes and desires” of this sin cursed world. Instead of standing out, we have “blended in” to the culture around us. As Christians, we are suppose to live by the standards of the Bible….without compromise.
The story of Daniel provides a great example of how to stand strong and remain faithful in the midst of an ungodly culture. I encourage you to spend some time reading through the book of Daniel. There you will see how Daniel had every opportunity to “bow” to culture around him, but he didn’t. He was a man of unswerving faith and unimpeachable integrity. He dedicated himself to keeping the commands of the Lord and not giving in to the pressures around him.
I would like to be known for that kind of unswerving faith and unimpeachable integrity, wouldn’t you?