Daniel 1:8-9

There are some things that bind us and hinder God from using us. Would you wanna know? Read the following verses:

Daniel 1:8-9

"But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel" 

We can see a good translation - if you have compared with the Interlinear Bible - but two points could seem different even when they are only different ways of saying the same thing:

1) The "chief of the eunuchs" is the "official".

2) To "resolve" is in the original to "put in his heart", it is, to make a strong resolution. 

What do we mean with "defile" or "contaminate"?

Why did Daniel took that attitude?

What that it means for us today?

To defile or contaminate is a common word nowadays, about microbes, bacteria, chemicals, and everything which could turn something harmless into bad - even deadly. For instance, we talk about the water of a lake, originally potable, that is contaminated - now it is not good to drink. But we could hardly think of "contaminated" food in the table of the king of Babel, could we?. Well, Daniel thought quite different about that issue.

Daniel was a Hebrew and an expert in the Hebrew Scriptures. The Scriptures are for the faithful Jews the "Word of God", "the Law (Torah)". And in the law of God they had a whole chapter in Leviticus (number eleven) to describe what was suitable for eating and what wasn't, "clean" and "unclean" food. The Seleucids, who were very acquainted of this, used to oblige Jews to eat pork meat, to break their religious beliefs, and they sacrificed a pig in the altar, as a "offering to the Lord". In such a way they would "defile" something holy among holy things for the Jews. 

Maybe Daniel didn't know what would be included in the king's diet. But it would certainly include many "unclean" animals from Leviticus eleven. This order was one more in a whole plan which goal was to "Babylonize" the Jews: indoctrinating them with Babylonian scriptures, changing their names - and by this their Jewish identity - and finally, changing their food. Now we can see why Daniel resolved not to eat the king's food or drink his wine. Going forward in the book we will see that he kept his faith in the Law of God and continued praying to the God of his fathers, through all the days of his life. Daniel's faith (and his friends' as well) worked supernatural deeds. Faith (in the NT, πιστις, "pístis") is an obligatory prerequisite for even approaching God. The young Jews were also able to show another spiritual gift, self control (gr. εγκρατια, "enkrátia") in order to reject the surely succulent food of the king of Babel (it's not detailed, but you could have a pretty good idea if you read about Solomon's provision for each day (1st Kings 4:21-23) and add the "impure" animals that the Hebrews didn't eat, but the Gentiles did (as pork, hare and others). Daniel rejected all this and asked for a vegetarian diet and only water to drink. Observe now the context of his decision: thousands of his fellowmen are captive in Babel, the temple has been desecrated by Nebuchadnezzar, and a puppet king is reigning in Jerusalem... who wouldn't believe that Judaism who sentenced, and that resistance was futile?

Everyone knows that people who practice sports professionally - to take an example - they have a special diet and many exercises that will make them stronger, faster, etc. in order to be winners. The apostle Paul used that example (see 1st Corinthians 9:24-25) to illustrate why some things are good for us and other things wasn't. The world has attractive things nowadays, maybe more tempting that those which were used with Daniel in Babel. And the world make pressure on the believers in order to "defile" them. Probably everyone who has received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior has been taunted by his old "friends" with which he/she used to get drunk, or to fornicate, or to take drugs, etc. For many people, the ones who abstain from all these things do this because "their religion doesn't permit that", and they see this as a lack of freedom. Then "religion" becomes some kind of "dictator" over people.

But the Lord Jesus Christ sees matters from another point of view. He said, "...you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free". What is repression in the eyes of the world, is freedom in the eyes of God. How? Read and consider.

The epistles to the Corinthians were written by Paul the apostle, who founded the Christian church there (read Acts 18) and, as he used to do, he sent letters with recommendations, corrections and encouragement for the faith of the converses. Particularly this church was in a very rich city, with great luxury and full and sin, too.  The Christians there were practicing various kinds of sin (fornication and disorder in the Holy Communion, among others). The remedy of Paul could be resumed in 1 Corinthians 6:20: "...honor God with your body" - the Ancient Greek manuscripts have "...εν τω σωματι υμων και εν τω πνευματι υμων, ατινα εστι του Θεου" ("...in your body and in your spirit, which are from God")

Most possibly you have bought a TV, PC, refrigerator, washing machine, dishwasher, or whatever electric thing which has a MANUAL of instructions. In the manual, the producer explains to you which voltage is suitable for your device, what kind of care is needed, where to place it and where to not, what could damage it, what does each button do... everything you need to know in order that your device will not be ruined, or eventually  injure you or other member of the family.

God's commands have exactly the same function. Our "body" and our "spirit" were created by an Almighty God who loves us and wants to keep us from evil. Before I knew the Lord I hadn't some "manual" to conduct myself in this world. Then I used to practice so called "vices" (as smoking, drinking alcohol, if I would have obtained drugs like marijuana or heroin, then certainly I should use them also) and I used to live in fornication (if you have read before, I committed adultery as well). Maybe my alcohol consumption should never make me a member of Alcoholic Anonymous, but I spent money in something unnecessary and it was augmented sometimes - when I was frustrated, for instance - so that I became drunk and said or do shameful things, which I would never would do in the use of my freewill. An effect of the vices is the destruction of the human will. I can remember me, walking more than a mile at midnight without inducing sleep, because I needed to go to the nearer 24-hours-open kiosk in order to buy cigarettes, take a smoke and be able to sleep, then. My good mother used to reprehend me because of changing "girl-friends" without some serious intentions (even when in that society, a man who do that is a popular one, but a woman who does, is in a despicable condition). My marriage was ruined, mostly because of my adulteries.

Everything that the Bible calls "sin" and has "commands" against it, is something that will ruin us, physically or morally, and that will take us away from God, from the purpose that He has for us. Because of that, our "producer" has given us a "manual" so that we know how to "use" the "device" He has given us, so that we won't damage ourselves, or others. Going further, sin is a rebellion against God, and the most secure way to lose eternal life with God and go to hell in the eternity. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 put that truth in words, which were inspired by the Spirit of God to Paul the apostle. He numbers many things which set us apart from God and nearer to Satan. As Daniel was able to know what would defile him, we can also have that knowledge. Shall we have the courage and determination that he showed? God have sent his Holy Spirit to endow us with those qualities. Shall we change the "pleasures of sin - that always endure "a short time", see Hebrews 11:25 - by freedom in Jesus?. The book of Daniel is the narration about some Hebrew men which did that way, and theirs testimony has been exalted by other prophets and the Lord Himself, which consider Daniel as an anointed prophet and his book as Word of God (you can read Ezekiel 14:14; 28:3; Matthew 24:25; and in Revelation, compare with the book of Daniel, that's why it is treated here in the first place)

If you have not still received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, or if you did, but you are bound to some destructive sin, let me tell you: I didn't get rid of that things on my own (I couldn't). For instance, I "used to" quit smoking (quite long periods, I remember a half years period and a two years one) because IN MY WILL was to do that (but I wasn't able to do it). I didn't know then that there is a devil which is more astute than us, and his task is to frustrate our good intentions in order to keep us rebellious against God. Only when the Spirit of God came to my life, then i got from Him the strength to quit definitively. Pray to God and ask Him for forgiveness for your sins! Receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and ask Him for DELIVERANCE from your sins! If you are already a Christian, but still bound, you can ask your Christian brethren for help, in order to be free from Satan's oppression through their prayers, and then you will be able to obey the voice of the Spirit of God. Jesus Christ can and wants to save us. He came to undo the works of the evil one.

May the Lord bless you. Your brother in Christ, Israel Leonard.

PS. Jesus comes soon!

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