Morning by Morning, January 22 - Refusing to Eat the King's Food
Friday, January 22, 2021
Good morning, Lord Jesus. Help me begin my day and live out my day grounded in Your Word and filled with Your Spirit -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of God. ...
"In the third year of the reign of King Jehoiakim of Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. The Lord let King Jehoiakim of Judah fall into his power, as well as some of the vessels of the house of God. These he brought to the land of Shinar, and placed the vessels in the treasury of his gods.
Then the king commanded his palace master Ashpenaz to bring some of the Israelites of the royal family and of the nobility, young men without physical defect and handsome, versed in every branch of wisdom, endowed with knowledge and insight, and competent to serve in the king's palace; they were to be taught the literature and language of the Chaldeans. The king assigned them a daily portion of the royal rations of food and wine. They were to be educated for three years, so that at the ends of that time they could be stationed in the king's court. Among them were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, from the tribe of Judah. The palace master gave them other names: Daniel he called Belteshazzar, Hananiah he called Shadrach, Mishael he called Meshach, and Azariah he called Abednego.
But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the royal rations of food and wine..." (Daniel 1:1-8).
Daniel found himself under the authority of a new king with power to force his influence on Daniel's life and the life of his nation. He was commanded to be "educated" in the ways of Babylon. He was even given a new "name" and expected to conform to this new identity and accept the new ways of this new world that suddenly had such influence over his life.
But Daniel would not eat the king's food. Daniel would not "defile himself." Instead, Daniel fasted and prayed. He chose to eat what was good for him and not to eat what would defile him.
It took great courage to stand firm in his faith and to stand against the pressure of the culture of the new world around him. But You gave him the courage he needed and even Your "favor" in the midst of all pressure he endured to conform to ways of Babylon (Daniel 1:9).
By the power of Your grace, I join so many of my brothers and sisters who are fasting and praying and refusing to eat the king's food and conform to Babylon's ways. May our hearts not be defiled nor our sense of identity be changed into what the world would name us and try to define us to be. May we remain true to You and true who You say we are -- "of the royal family and of the nobility." In You, we are "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation" (1 Peter 2:9). In You, we are the "children of God" (John 1:12).
There came a day when Daniel's prayers were answered, when Daniel's faith and obedience was rewarded. There came a day when You sent Your mighty angels to war in the heavenly realms on behalf of Daniel and his nation and to let him know You had heard his prayers and You were moving all along on their behalf in ways he didn't see and couldn't yet know (Daniel 10:1-21). And our day will come too.
When Your angel came, in the fullness of time, at just the right time, he said to Daniel, "Do not fear, greatly beloved, you are safe. Be strong and courageous!" (Daniel 10:19)
May we "be strong and courageous," refusing to eat the food of the kings of this world or be "educated" in the ways of Babylon in the ways of the world, but eating only the food of the One who is "the Bread of Life" (John 6:35). May we keep offering our hearts as Your vessels in the house of our God. And may we keep worshipping and serving the One who is "the King of kings and the Lord of lords" no matter whose authority we're under (Revelation 19:16), even as we continue to pray "for kings and all who are in authority" (1 Timothy 2:2). In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Be encouraged today! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays
My friend, may you filled with the Holy Spirit, strong and courageous, refusing to eat the food of the kings of this world but eating only of the Bread of Life who is the King of kings and Lord of lords, in Jesus name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friend!
Friends, please keep us in prayer as we minister at Olney United Methodist Church with my great friends Pastor Jeff and Lisa Bealmear this weekend. Free to Be Like Jesus! God bless you!
Standing firm with you in faith,
in our hearts and in our land.