“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” (Daniel 1:8)
There inevitably come those times in the life of a Christian when he, for conscience sake in the light of the Word of God, must take a stand against some worldly practice. Daniel has given us a striking example of how to do this, not only courageously, but graciously and effectively.
As one of “the princes” of Israel, “of the king’s seed” (Daniel 1:3), he realized that he had the responsibility of maintaining a godly standard as a testimony for the true God when he was asked “to stand in the king’s palace” (Daniel 1:4) after he and his friends had been carried into captivity. Daniel knew that the king’s wine would surely be harmful were he to partake of it. Also, the king’s meat would certainly include pork and would be cooked with blood, which would be unlawful for him, as a good Jew, to eat (Leviticus 11:7-8; 17:10-14). He determined in his heart to take a stand against it.
Note, however, his stand was not belligerent or self-righteous, but courteous and reasonable. “He requested. . . . Prove thy servants, I beseech thee” (Daniel 1:8-12). The Babylonians thought they were doing him and his friends a great favor, and Daniel appreciated this. He suggested a scientific test: Let them try a vegetarian diet and water for just ten days to see if this wouldn’t produce better results than the gourmet fare of the palace.
God honored Daniel’s graciousness, as well as his courageous faithfulness, and so will He do for us as well. Both are essential ingredients of a fruitful Christian testimony in a non-Christian world. We must “be ready always to give an answer,” but this should be done, not in arrogance, but “with meekness” (1 Peter 3:15). HMM