You Don't Have to Eat the King's Meat

One of my favorite passages in the bible is the first chapter of Daniel.  This is one of the stories about Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and AbedNego.  The four young men were brought to serve the king in his palace.  The men were godly, good-looking, wise, knowledgeable, and intelligent.  Since these young men served in the king's palace, they had the right to partake in all the king's special food and wine.  However, Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not eat the king's delicacies and drink his wine.

Daniel did not want to defile himself and be disobedient to his God.  If Daniel and the other young men chose to eat and drink the king's food and wine, they would be sinning against God.  So, Daniel asked the king to only feed them vegetables and water.  But, the king was concerned that if he only gave them vegetables and water, they would not be as strong as the other men.  Daniel, trusting in his God, told the king to test them for 10 days, and if they were not of the same quality as the other men, the king could punish them as he saw fit.  What level of faith?

I'm sure you're wondering, what's the big deal?  The big deal is: they wanted to be obedient to God.  The children of Israel were not allowed to eat certain foods.  It would have been easy for the young men to live and eat like everyone else in the kingdom.  They could have discarded the teachings of God and decided to do what everyone else was doing.  They could have followed the trends, the fads and the culture they were living in, but they refused.  They decided to trust God and be obedient.

I know we find ourselves in the same predicament in our day to day lives.  We face it in our families, on our jobs, and even in the church.  We see people all around us defiling themselves in order to "fit in" with the culture.  We let go of our morals in order to be accepted.  We change who we are in order for people to love us.  We choose to lie and cheat on our jobs in order to make more money or to get ahead.  We will do whatever it takes to be loved and accepted, even if it means turning our backs on God.

I don't think we do it because we don't want to follow God, but because the other way seems so much easier.  The people who are not living godly seem to be "getting ahead."  They are getting married.  They are getting the promotion.  They have many Twitter followers or Facebook likes.  However, in the end it leads to destruction.  The Word of God states, "Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the wicked; For there will be no prospect for the evil man; The lamp of the wicked will be put out."  Proverbs 24:19-20.

It may seem that doing things the wrong way is beneficial, but it is not.  The bible is clear that you will reap what you sow; those who practice evil will soon be cut off.  You don't have to do things like the ungodly in order to prosper.  You can do things God's way.  Just as the Hebrew boys came out better than the others, God will show you the same favor.  He will honor you for your faithfulness.  So, let us not be tossed to and fro by the ways of the world, but trust God to take care of us.  We do not have to eat the king's meat!

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