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 end 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, so he asked the palace master to allow him not to defile himself.
Reflection. What does it mean to be chosen in this fashion? Might some see you as collaborators? Might others be jealous?
Might you feel happy that your wisdom, insight and knowledge has been recognised. Might you be happy at your improved living conditions, with better food and wine thrown in - I bet 'Royal rations' are pretty good! And, then you were to get fully paid tuition for three years before a place in the King's Court. It all sounds rather good in those terms, doesn't it?
To Daniel it sounded like a great temptation not to live according to God's will and law. So Daniel 'resolved' not to give in to defilement. Daniel wanted to stay pure. What will we 'resolve' to be like to live according to God's will? What need we do to remain pure. As 1 Peter 1:15 says 'but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behaviour;'
Prayer. Lord Jesus, on this Sabbath day, I resolve to be holy. Please send the Holy Spirit to strengthen me. This for your sake and glory. Amen.