I opened my Bible this morning while considering postponing the devotional time until later in the day. “No,” I told myself, “just sit down, open it up, read something, meditate a moment, then you can move on.”
I opened to Daniel 1. I really didn’t feel like dealing with apocalyptic literature this morning. Why couldn’t I have turned to a warm fuzzy, brighten-your-day kind of passage? Why Daniel, why now?
I picked up reading where my eyes fell to the page. Daniel was supposed to be eating from the King’s food and drinking the King’s wine. But as a good Jew, Daniel was not supposed to be eating and drinking that way.
Instead of raising a protest movement or even assuming the martyr position, Daniel approached the King’s representative and asked if he could, rather, eat as his faith called for him to eat.
The Official was (fairly) concerned for his own life should Daniel’s performance or appearance suffer from eating just vegetables and water. Again, Daniel’s response was not to well up with self-righteousness, but to make a deal with the official. “Give it 10 days,” Daniel suggested, “then decide what you will do.”
God rewarded Daniel’s commitment. Was it Daniel’s commitment to the dietary laws, or his commitment to making the effort to work peaceably and cooperatively with the unbeliever. I think it was both.
Now I’m glad I opened to Daniel 1, and glad I followed through.