Daniel 1:10-13

Do you have faith? Do you wish you would? Read the following verses:

Daniel 1:10-13

"But the official told Daniel, 'I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you' "

Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 'Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see' "


If you have compared with the Hebrew, observe some points which could be rendered another way:
1) "Chief official" = "chief of eunuchs"
2) The "guard" is "Melzar" in the original. In other translations it is taken as the name of a person; here, as some kind of buttler. This should show two different persons, the "chief" and the "guard". But the original shows a deal with one person only. The proper rendering should sound, "...to the guard WHO WAS APPOINTED as chief official over Daniel..."

Now, don't think that the chief was exaggerating. There are examples of the cruelty and despotism of Nebuchadnezzar in other passages of the book of Daniel and other testimonies. If some of the young servants should be found to be weaker than the rest, and if the king should knew that it was because of a different diet, and that Melzar was responsible, the highest probability was the execution of the "insubordinate chief". We can see the "favor and sympathy" that the Lord gave to these young Hebrews, whom the "foreman" - remember that they were slaves - favoured in their petition, changing the command of the king, with risk of his own life. Observe too the humility and meekness - πραοτης ,"praótes" in the NT - which Daniel showed in the conversation, in spite of been it such a serious matter against their beliefs.

Why did God stood by Daniel and his friends?

In God's plans, there's nothing that just happens "by luck". The fact of been chosen Daniel and his friends to this status in the royal palace of Babylonia had its place in God's plan. He would keep them untill the accomplishment of His plan (we'll see different trials and conflicts that they met in Babylon and how the God of heaven sent deliverance in their favour). The kings of Babylonia, and the Persian ones - their successors - should know a solid testimony of the God of the Hebrews, because the first ones should spare their lives and the last ones should set them free to go back to their land and rebuild Jerusalem. Hallelujah! Isn't He Wonderful, the God of Israel?

There are other reasons, of course: the human factor. They obeyed God and showed always an unfading faith, keeping it alive and avoiding to be "babylonized". The Jews had several yearly feasts in Jerusalem to which they should come to celebrate God (it was an important matter in their religion) and the ones who were captives in Babylonia were deprived of this blessing. But they kept their faith in their God, praying to Him through all their lives, and reading His Word. Their steps of faith in an alien, pagan empire - even in the royal court, were there were the same rules for everyone - their steps of faith were rewarded by God, as we will see.

God has a plan for us, too. He wants to save the sinners  - which are all of us. And this salvation was worked on the cross at Calvary. The cross is able to save the ones who were waiting for the Messiah - as Daniel and his friends - and the ones who received Him after his coming to this world. As those Hebrew young men, and all the believers in the Old Testament, and all the ones who has received the Savior after the birth of the church in Pentecost, you have also that possibility, to "receive faith".

I didn't have any faith. But the Spirit of God gave it to me.

When I converted, it was rather difficult in the beginning, because I saw greater faith in other believers and I had some kind of "inferiority complex" about my faith. I use to think, "I haven't got some faith; other have it". But it was changed in a biblical study, one of them we can attend in work days. I should say a "common biblical study" by that time, but now I know that the Spirit of God is not confined to Sunday sevices or great meetings; He works every day, 24 hours a day. In that study I got a revelation about the faith that has kept me through all my life in Christ. It was about the passage of Matthew 8:23-27, a very well known story about Jesus. He was with his disciples in a boat. A storm came upon the lake, and He calmed the storm with His word. He called the disciple "you of a little faith" because of their fear and unbelieving attitude. In that study, the Lord CALLED ME also a man of a "little faith". But there's something different in the sound of the voice of the Lord and the other ones. To me, it was heavenly and filled me with great joy. It sounds kind of krazy maybe, but I felt unbound that day, from my confusedness. I became aware that I didn't lack faith at all, I only had a "little faith". "Faith" is able to grow and develop itself, in order to lead us to greater steps. That day I became aware of the Holy Presence of the Spirit of God IN ME (not only as I saw Him in other persons). Some years later, I should be "baptized in the Spirit", but that's another story. The day I'm referring to, was a significant one for the "child" that I was as a believer, because I was unsecure, and that revelation was a confirmation for me about my existing faith, which was there. It was "a little faith", OK,  but it was only waiting to grow. That knowledge opened a door in my heart that had been closed: "growth in faith". It wasn't the day I began to preach or to compose songs of praise, but the day when my spirit became open to all of this. You see, the disciples on the boat were not "without faith" - they were just Jesus disciples! - but they had a "little faith". Their faith grew more and more, later, as mine did, too. The Lord "unbounded" it.

If you haven't received yet Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, think that that's the faith which can save you. Surely you'll not be changed from unbeliever to apostle in a second, not even in a day or a year (I don't even know if you are called to be an apostle). But this can you believe as certain: in the same instant that you open your heart to Jesus, confess your sins to Him, ask Him for forgiveness and accept Him as your personal Lord and Savior, you will no more belong to the "condemned" ones but to the "forgiven" ones; you will leave that path with "destination hell" and commence to go in the path towards eternal salvation with God, and you will pass from death to life. Many more things said Jesus that you would be able to do, if you have a faith "as small as a mustard seed" (Luke 17:6)

Receive Jesus and be saved! The faith of Daniel and his friends saved them in a hostile place, and your faith will save you also wherever you are, because it is the instrument that God gives us to receive the blessings which He has for us: to believe them.

May the Lord bless you richly. In the love of Jesus Christ, your brother

Israel Leonard

PS. Jesus is coming soon!

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