Spend time in prayer and silence with God asking Him to meet with you and speak to you.
In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand…then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring in some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility…showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after they were to enter the king’s service. Among these were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrack; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego. But Daniel resolved to not defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.
– Daniel 1:1-8
Daniel was taken hostage from Jerusalem in 605 B.C. to the Babylonian court. Daniel as well as other Jewish refugees were to be part of a reeducation process to help them assimilate into the Babylonian culture. These people were set apart for training and preparation for their official duties. Daniel at once manifested his strength of character in purposing to abstain from the king’s meat and wine. Daniel showed respect to his captors yet remained unwavering in his commitment to uphold the religious practices of his faith. Because of his strength of character, Daniel would gain favor with his captors and would eventually rise to a powerful position in the Babylonian Empire. God would use Daniel’s influence to impact the life of the king and the empire. God would be recognized and exalted as the One True God by a pagan king and culture.
The Big Question
Daniel refused to compromise his identity even though the pressure to submit to his captors was very strong. As a result of his character, he gained respect and influence in his new surroundings. The temptation to give into cultural pressure is just as strong today. Are you able to stand up against the cultural pressures that would cause you to deny your faith in Christ? Are you able to remain firm in your convictions even though the culture would mock you for your faith? We all experience “Daniel Moments” in our lives. What does your “Daniel Moment” look like today?
Conclude your time in prayer and silence reflecting on what God has revealed to you today.