S21P35 – Portraits of faith: Daniel

Daniel 1:8
But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.

The Daniel fast has been common among believers for some time as a go-to fast. We see the power that Daniel’s fast produced, and we desire to see that power manifest in our lives as well. We might even think that the account of this diet of Daniel’s is proof that this type of diet is more beneficial than eating what would be classified as choice foods. But we must look a little closer to understand the true significance of this diet.

Daniel’s decision was not one made out of concern for physical health but for spiritual health. His goal, as stated above, was to not be defiled. He was not trying to stay away from fatty food or red meat. He was trying to stay away from food that in one way or another would have been considered unholy. His purpose was to honor God. Because of this, God honored the decision of his servants by making them the healthiest of the bunch. This was not about food but about faith.

We will be faced with similar decisions in this world. When taking the route that honors God appears like it will result in disadvantage, we can remember that honoring God cannot end in anything by good and holy things. It may require sacrifice, pain or embarrassment for a time, but it will bring eternal glory. Father, help us have confidence in You when the path of obedience goes against worldly sense and logic, keeping our eyes on that which is eternal and secure.