Friday, July 22, 2016

Dare to be a Daniel: Purposeful Determination

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.  
(Daniel 1:8 KJV)

Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.  (Daniel 6:10 KJV)

**This post is the third post in the Dare to be a Daniel series. [1]
  For the first two posts, please see: Abiding: Some Thoughts on Daniel and Dare to be a Daniel: Introduction.**

Returning to our study of  Daniel, today we are going to look at the decision Daniel made and how he determined to live his life, even if that meant going a different direction than those around him.  Keep in mind, when the book of Daniel opens, Daniel is a youth who grew up in Judah (south) during the days when Israel (north) was divided.  In Judah, many had strayed from the Lord and living as He desired they live, instead they lived like their pagan neighbors.

In Daniel 1:8 we read that:  “…Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself” (emphasis mine) (KJV).

Webster’s Dictionary of 1828 defines purposed like this:  “Intended; designed; applied to things. Resolved; having formed a design or resolution; applied to persons. I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.”[2]  As we will see, Daniel followed through on his convictions and did not defile himself with the king’s food and wine. 

Photo Credit: C. Meissner

By respectfully approaching those in charge of training the young men, Daniel was able to propose a test for his friends and himself (eating only vegetables and drinking only water).  The foods of Babylon were likely defiled (offered to idols), still had blood in them—in other words, not kosher.  Moreover, the meat may have been from one of the unclean animals that God told Israel they were not to eat (see Leviticus 11).  In this way, Daniel (and his friends) passed the test regarding food with flying colors.  On the other hand, Adam and Eve, while still in the garden failed the test in the area of food.[3]

In reading the first chapter of  Daniel, we know these young men pass the “food test” with “flying colors”—clearly God was at work here—God blessed them physically, intellectually, spiritually, and in many other ways.  They were used mightily by God and those around them took notice.

The faithfulness of Daniel’s friends—Shadrack, Meschach, and Abendego earned them a trip to the fiery furnace, due to their determination to bow to God alone and not an idol.  As we know, God brought them through it, showing His power and might to King Nebuchadnezzar and all of Babylon.  To read this experience in its entirety, please see Daniel 3.    

Photo Credit: C. Meissner

Daniel’s faith was a life-long faith, of dedication to the Lord and His commands.  Even on his own, separated from his family and religious nurture he stayed true to what he was taught as a youth (see Proverbs 22:6).  What about our faith—could it withstand separation from family and church?

What about the young people in our lives—how deeply rooted in the faith are they?  How can we best prepare them for the inevitable attacks they will experience throughout the rest of their lives?  How can we prepare to be attacked due to our beliefs?

We see in Daniel a portrait of how to live a life that is God-centered and God directed while in a less than godly culture.  Babylon of Daniel’s time is not so unlike our own time.  living for the day, acquiring one more “thing”, a thirst for “power”, the desire to be their own “god” drove the Babylonian culture, as well as our Western, First World culture.  Sadly, even the church has compromised and bought into the worldly mentality, at least at times.  However, there is a different way.

Compromise—compromise is something Daniel and his friends did not do.  Compromise is easy, go with the flow type thinking, yet it is deadly in a spiritual sense.  The moment a person decides to compromise makes it that much easier to do it in the future.  When others see us compromise our witness is weakened. 

Personal Photo

When have you been tempted to compromise your beliefs just to not face harsh treatment?

I encourage you to take time to examine your heart, to discover where you may have compromised your beliefs.  God is gracious to forgive us when we come to Him repenting of our sins.  It is not too late (or early!), no matter what your age to turn (or return) to God.  He is ready and waiting with arms open wide to receive you.

Dare to be a  Daniel this week!

To be continued…

Please join with me in prayer:

Everlasting God, thank You for the truths in Your Word—through Your Holy Spirit illuminate Your Word in such a way that it does exactly what You desire.  Direct our examination of our hearts, increase our sensitivity to sin in our lives, and lead us to repentance.  Increase our faith, so we have the strength to not compromise our beliefs.  In Jesus’ Name, we pray.  Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,


[1] Beth Moore’s Daniel: Lives of Integrity, Words of Prophecy (2006, LifeWay Press) was the inspiration for many ideas in this sermon/blog post.


  1. Yes, it can be all to easy to compromise our beliefs when we feel pushed into a corner by the world. May we all have the heart of Daniel to stand strong for the Lord even when the world tells us otherwise.
    Great post, Kim!
    Love and blessings!

    1. Martha, standing strong for the Lord isn't always easy, yet having a heart like Daniel had makes it possible. There are many who have walked in faith before us, who refused to compromise and paid with their lives. Thank you for your kind words on this post.

      Love and blessings!


All comments are moderated. Please use care in posting comments or replies. If you wouldn't say what you are writing in person, rethink your words. Remember words can build up or tear down. Speak the truth in love.