Daniel And Peer Pressure
by David Woetzel, B.S.
"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" (Daniel 1:8).
The Book of Daniel provides us with a case study in handling peer pressure. We note in our text verse that Daniel began his career in the worldly city of Babylon by making an internal commitment of personal purity.
Soon we see his standards challenged. Verse 10 tells how the prince to whom Daniel was accountable confronted him: "I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort?" Rather than buckling to go with the crowd, Daniel humbly requested his superior to put his performance to the test. God blessed Daniel and he passed this first test by maintaining his purity in a place far from home. ". . . among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king" (v.19).
In Daniel 6 the aged statesman is attacked by jealous peers. Yet verse 5 says they could find no fault with him, except in his allegiance to God. So these rivals conned the king into passing a law that only the monarch could be the object of of worship for 30 days. Daniel might have been tempted to cease his routine of public prayer for a short while, but his experience had taught him to take a stand for what is right.
Because of this stand, he was cast into the den of lions. Not only did God preserve him there, but his courage resulted in the king passing a decree "That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for He is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall be even unto the end" (v.26). DW