Daniel 1:8 (NET) But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the royal delicacies or the royal wine. He, therefore, asked the overseer of the court officials for permission not to defile himself. Please test your servants for ten days by providing us with some vegetables to eat and water to drink.
Movies and books are replete with stories of mothers trying to persuade their kids to eat their vegetables. Left to themselves, kids will eat only candy, chocolate, sweets, and cakes. This is why parents usually step in to try and persuade them to eat healthy by also taking some vegetables.
However, it would be an awkward sight to see a mother calling her son, on the behest of her daughter-in-law, to plead, tease or attempt to coerce him to vary his diets from burgers and cheesecakes to include healthier options such as grains, beans, and soups. So, what has changed? It is that we have an expectation that with maturity in age and mental development, a man (an adult) should have begun to display sound reasoning by taking responsibility for his health and well-being.
One mark of maturity (whether spiritual, mental, etcetera) is the ability and mental will to make decisions and choices based on rightness and propriety and not based on pleasure and convenience. He doesn’t just eat vegetables because it is prepared into a sumptuous vegetable soup delicacy, he is able to decide to take it for its benefit to his health and not just from the tantalizing aroma it emits.
In our text today we read about the story of Daniel and his three friends who didn’t have to eat vegetables; there was no compulsion from anyone around, there was meat and a sumptuous royal meal available, in fact, getting vegetables will require stepping out on a limb to make such a request to the King’s officer. Yet, knowing the law of the Lord concerning eating food offered to idols, it didn’t matter to Daniel that he was miles and miles away from Jerusalem and its temple, he took God’s law in his heart to exile and went for vegetable not for its superior taste, but for obedience and righteousness’ sake.
When we have trained ourselves to eat vegetables in the presence of a sumptuous and tantalizing aroma, then we can serve the Lord even when serving Him is not “in vogue” in that environment. Then we can stand for him, even when that would mean we will stand alone. Then we can go to church but not just because the music is lit. Then we can follow Jesus and make a mark for Him here on earth.
Are you eating your vegetables?
Go into today asking the Lord for strength to grow into maturity so your acts of service and worship become independent of circumstances but are anchored on an accurate understanding, a true sense of purpose, and deep convictions.
Bible In One Year: Psalms 9-11 (In Devotional Audio)
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