A Short Study of Daniel 1:8

“But Daniel purposed in heart not to defile himself.”
(Daniel 1:8)

Daniel lived in a time of Divine judgment upon his nation. The vast majority of the people of his land despised God and His commandments. Therefore God sent Israel into horrible bondage. Daniel witnessed the conquest of his country, the rape of God’s temple, and was himself carried away into captivity.

In Babylon Daniel was assigned to the service of the king. But everything in that heathen society blasphemed God. Idolatry was rampant. Immorality was promoted in the name of religion, enlightenment, and freedom. Because of his assigned position, Daniel was assigned a luxurious diet of foods and drinks that had been offered to idols. Eating such food was clearly forbidden in the Scriptures. So Daniel quietly, but resolutely refused to do so. In the midst of a wicked, oppressive, perverse society, “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.” He might have suffered greatly for his decision. But as he resolved to honor God, God began to display his favor toward and blessing upon Daniel (1st Samuel 2:30)

We live in similar circumstances. In this society the house of God has been raped, the gospel of God has been prostituted, and the name of God is everywhere blasphemed. We live in a generation under the judgment of God! Our government appears to have no purpose other than the promotion of homosexuality, fornication, abortion, and the complete destruction of moral principle. In schools the name of God cannot be mentioned, except to blaspheme it, but in the name of morality young children are taught how to commit fornication “safely”! In the media, in the schools, in the White House, in the congress, and in the churches of this country rebellion against God is promoted, often in the name of God!

As believers in this decadent society, we must draw the line, like Daniel. We must resolve by the grace of God not to defile ourselves by yielding to the pressures of a heathen culture. As the children of God, we must constantly separate ourselves from the pagan influences around us (2nd Corinthians 6:14-7:1).

“Dare to be a Daniel,
Dare to stand alone!
Dare to have a purpose firm,
Dare to make it known!”

D. Fortner

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