“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… Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm” (Daniel 1)
Read Daniel chapter 1. Here we see a great lesson and a spiritual principle: God expects us to be faithful in all things, even in ‘little things’. God sees what we do in the secret of our hearts. God rewards the faithful! Ignore what people say of do! You do what is right and God will reward you! Even if you live among the ungodly, obedience to God’s Word is the path to success and reward!
Daniel and his friends see a problem. They say that the royal food will “defile” them. They are concerned about eating unclean meat, improperly prepared meat and food and drink offered to pagan gods (Lev 11, 17:10-14; Ex 34:15). Should this have been a big issue? Doesn’t Jesus say (Mat 15:11) that what comes out of a person’s mouth defiles him, not what goes in? God predicted that part of His judgment against His people would be that as exiles they would eat defiled food. Daniel believed this was a test of his loyalty to God (Ezekiel 4:13).
What is the concern of the official who is in charge of providing Daniel and his friends with food? (He is not concerned about the religious issue that troubles Daniel, he is concerned about losing his head if Daniel and his friends seem to be in ill health.)
Consider how Daniel meets this concern. He does not argue the conscience issue: that eating the meat would violate their religious beliefs. Instead, he addresses the concern of the official by arranging a test. Daniel is not demanding or offensive. Instead, he proposes testing a potential solution that will not harm the goal of the official. Assume you face a challenge to your religious beliefs at work. What practical lesson do we learn from Daniel? In business, you should mention your religious beliefs, but you should also propose a practical solution. Do not insist on your Christian beliefs at work and become a nuisance. Be wise as you shine your light. You want to be a witness for Jesus in that dark corner, not a foolish, stubborn, lazy trouble maker. Daniel was practical and wise. He kindly cooperated with the official’s worries. Can you do that? Are you kind with the unbelievers in your office?
Because Daniel and his friends were obedient to God, He blessed them with success and promotion. They went to the king to be interviewed by him. Try to imagine that interview! In a foreign language they just had to learn! In the middle of a foreign culture! Among pagans! You who pray for a breakthrough in business… Let’s say, the Chinese have kidnapped you and carried you in chains to China… Can you pass the interview and come first among ten professionals Chinese in China? This is how God helped Daniel and his friends! They were ten times better than their competitors!!! Selah!!! Question: are your friends helping you to be a better Christian or they encourage you to backslide?
Dear Child of God, would you like to be blessed by God? Would you like to be ten times better than your competitors? Why not, through the power of the Holy Spirit, determine right now to be faithful to God in all things? For the sake of Christ, and for the sake of keeping your conscience free from guilt, avoid any sin and every appearance of sin! And may God prosper you in a way that all may see it and give Him glory! In Jesus’ name!
In Christ, I declare:
I am a child of God! By God’s grace, I am faithful to Him in all things, big or small! By His grace, I obey God’s Word! The ungodly people around me cannot stop me from fulfilling my destiny! The One in me is greater than the one outside me! God and me, we are the majority! My the grace of God, I am ten times better than my competitors. I shall pass the tests of life! Their fire will not burn me. It will only make me shine brighter! People will see my good deeds done in the name of Jesus and they shall glorify my Father in heaven! I now arise and shine, for my light has come! To the glory of God! In Jesus’ name! Amen!