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October 25, 2020 | Doug Sauder
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“And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies. Thus the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.”—Daniel 1:15-16 (NKJV)
In an effort to forcibly integrate Daniel and his friends into the Babylonian way of life, they were given new clothes, new names, new duties, new leadership, and a new purpose in life of serving in King Nebuchadnezzar’s courts. This was a systematic dismantling of their Jewish identities for the purpose of rebranding them into Babylon’s image.
But when they were given a new diet that consisted of the delicacies from the king’s table . . . something happened. Like a ship that suddenly runs aground on an unseen sandbar, the mandate to eat and drink from the king’s table collided with an immovable conviction within Daniel and his companions. They would not partake of Nebuchadnezzar’s table and were willing to put their conviction to the test by living on a diet of vegetables and water for ten days.
Notice the effects after this trial period, “their features appeared better and fatter” than those who had been eating from the king’s table. Consequently, the steward in charge of Daniel and his companions determined they could continue on their diet of vegetables and water. Their conviction was put to the test and it passed with flying colors, so much so that they were permitted to continue in their conviction.
God planted this conviction inside of Daniel and his friends. As they sought to be obedient to it, the Lord supernaturally intervened on their behalf. And because His favor was upon their lives, they were able to continue in their God-given conviction.
Though exact circumstances will differ, the underlying principle we see here that translates into our lives is this: God blesses our obedience to the convictions He places within us.
When we know the Lord has called us to take a stand on something, and we take obedient action on it, He will bless our lives so we can remain faithful. This doesn’t mean we won’t encounter adversity or ridicule from others as a result of taking such a step. In fact, it’s likely that we will. But a greater blessing will be upon our lives enabling us to continue in what’s right, because God blesses obedience.
DIG: Where did Daniel’s conviction come from and why is this important to know?
DISCOVER: What applicable principle do we see from this account?
DO: Consider what God is calling you to take a stand on and how you are responding.