“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.” – Daniel 1:9
When Babylon conquered Jerusalem, the Jews were deported to Babylon in stages, both before and after the fall of Jerusalem. It would appear that Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were taken in 605 B.C.
At that time the Babylonian king wanted the best physically fit, handsome and smart Jews to be trained for three years and indoctrinated with the Babylonian ways and trained in the language and literature of the Chaldean’s. The first thing that they did to indoctrinate them was to change their names. Daniel means “God is my judge” but it was changed to Belteshazzar which means “Bel protect his life.” The others were changed to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. All there original names had meaning and truth of our Mighty God but were all changed to names identifying false gods. All in an effort to indoctrinate young minds and erase their history so the One True God would not be remembered. The truth is, this still goes on today. There is nothing new under the sun.
Many in our nation today have set up false gods to replace our true God. In our schools, many efforts have been made to take God out and in a way, erase Him and replace Him. Daniel and his friends were not about to defile themselves with the kings delicacies. They would be trained in the Chaldean ways, yes, but they would not conform. They set their hearts on God.
God put these young men in this scenario for a reason and He would use their lives to minister to others. When the pressure was on from the world to conform to its ways, these men did not compromise their faith in God. They did not conform by the pressure from without, but transformed the lives others by their lives that were controlled by the power from within.
As a Christ follower in today’s society, are you a follower and conformer to its standards? Do you buckle under the world’s pressure? If so, why? Do we not remember that the same power that is in Christ is in us? Reduce the pressure from the outside by remembering the power you have from God on the inside. Set your heart on God and remember the power of Christ.
“Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” – Proverbs 4:23