Daniel and his friends are exiled from Israel and under captivity in Babylon. Their covenantal Israelite names are changed to Babylonian and they are brought into Babylonian culture of idol worship. In a similar way, the world reprograms us to be more like the world. Daniel resolves to not defile himself with the food and drink of the king. He rejects the wine and meat that was used for idol worship and asks to eat only vegetables and water. Daniel’s confession wasn’t about being vegetarian, but confessing that they rely not on the gods of Babylon or King Nebuchadnezzar, but God.
1. Daniel’s Faith in the Covenant
Daniel doesn’t just give a resolution. He had unwavering faith in God’s promise of Christ (Isaiah 7:14) Anyone can give a resolution: to lose weight or eat healthier. More than a resolution, what Daniel had and what we must have is faith in God’s promise. God’s greatest promise is Christ and our faith is in Christ. We must accurately understand Christ and make our resolution in Christ. Nothing but Christ has completely resolved the spiritual fundamental problem of mankind. Let’s live a life truly freed from the world in Christ. We can’t be vague about our faith: it must be in God’s covenant of Christ.
Why wasn’t Daniel unshaken? Daniel’s resolution was not an easy one. He decided his faith in the covenant was most important. The absolutely impossible became possible because of Daniel’s faith. The greatest answer and blessing we can enjoy is Christ. We know the gospel yet we don’t apply it to our lives. We know but do we really believe? Do we really believe that God has life changing power and he is the master over our lives and our circumstances? The problem most of us have is that gap between knowing and believing. Let’s resolve to believe in God’s covenant and his faithfulness to his covenant.
“And Daniel was there until the first year of King Cyrus” (Danel 1:21)
Over the span of 70 years, God was faithful to his covenant and to Daniel. Let’s resolve to have faith in God’s covenant just like Daniel
2. Daniel’s Life Mission
Daniel and his friends had a clearly defined life mission that came from God. They understood God’s mission, yet many of us create our own dreams and ask God to bless them. The reason many of us shake is because we don’t have a clear life mission. God’s desire is for all men to know Christ. Then, what is my life’s mission? Without it, we will be lost. Why am I here? God has sent all of us to where we are for a reason: to be deacons and elders and build the church God desires in this century. We need to build a church that proclaims the gospel of Christ. Why do we go to school or get married? What is my life’s goal? If you’re not sure, ask God through prayer.
3. Daniel’s Vision
Daniel had the covenant, God’s life’s mission and vision. Daniel had the vision of God’s ultimate goal, of the end. We are not in our final home, but are pilgrims on our way to our eternal home. We place so much faith in our GPS, but do we have the same faith in God’s navigation, his word? Without faith, we have no choice but to be shaken? Take some time and seriously pray for your life’s mission. Take ownership of your church and God’s desire for your church. How? By renewing ourselves and thinking about how we can reach all people.
“As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams…And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom” (Daniel 1:17, 20)
The greatest blessing God gave to Daniel, his friends, and us is his wisdom. When we are filled with God’s covenant, life mission and vision, God will give us his wisdom to testify Christ. God’s wisdom cannot compare to any wisdom of the world. We have every right to receive and enjoy this blessing as God’s children. Let’s apply the gospel into our lives by prioritizing worship and spending time with God not just weekly, but daily.