What situation are you in which calls for you to have faith in God? Have you considered that God might have put you there? Yes, I know… it seems ungodly and the circumstances are high pressure. Today’s truth is that if God put you there, he is with you there…
3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility— 4 young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. 5 The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.
6 Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.
8 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. 9 Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”
11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.
15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.
King Nebuchadnezzar ordered the finest of young men to become servants in his palace. Daniel and his three colleagues were put in a very awkward position, in that much of what the court officials would teach them and feed them would violate the strict laws of the Hebrew people.
Before we think about that further, we should remember that the reason they are in this position is that God decided to give Israel to the king. God was the one who handed over his precious treasure in order to teach them lessons about obedience and his holiness and his provision for them. Daniel and his colleagues are in this situation because God put them there by his own hand.
Think about some of the awkward situations you might be in. Is there a chance that God put you there? Yes, I know… it seems ungodly and the circumstances are high pressure. You may even be tempted to turn away from God or turn toward sin because the atmosphere is hard to handle – that’s the roaring lion looking to devour you. Yet, if God put you there, he is with you there.
Daniel resolved in his situation to not defile himself or violate any of the laws of God in his time in Babylon. He asked the chief official for permission to continue with his own diet. Remember that if God put you there, he is with you there. God moved in the heart of the official to have favor and compassion toward Daniel. He wanted to help Daniel, yet he was afraid of the king.
Daniel was able to assure the official that their health would rival any other participants in the program. Daniel had confidence in God to take care of him, and so he asked the official for a ten day test. The official agreed and we can see that God provided for Daniel and his colleagues to look superior in health to the others. Their diet was permitted and they honoured the Lord and his commands.
What situation are you in which calls for you to have faith in God’s ability to change the heart of someone who does not follow God or have any interest in your convictions? These situations are all around us. Remember that if God put you there, he is with you there.
Will you trust him?