But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. (Dan 1:8 ESV)
The final resolution that I want to mention and examine comes from the life of Daniel and it focuses on his resolution to live a clean life. That resolution is found in Daniel 1:8.
This resolution is really the testimony of a teenager (15 years old) who was faced with some very difficult circumstances. His country had been taken over by a foreign power (Babylon) as judgment from God came upon them. Prophets had been warning for some time that judgment like this would come on Judah if they continued in sin against God and did not come to the place where national repentance happened. Though all of this, God had a plan for Daniel and three of his friends. For instance, Daniel had been chosen to study at the palace putting him in direct communication with the king and giving him the chance to earn his favor. The reality is that living in the palace and being close to royalty brought with it great temptation and opportunity to deny Jehovah. Daniel didn’t do this. Instead, he decided in his heart to be different. The reality is that it would have been so easy to just go along with the crowd and to do all of the things that they were doing. He would have easily been accepted and probably could have moved up the ranks much faster.
It is important to understand that the word “defile” here in Daniel 1:8 means to soil or pollute oneself. David’s resolution centered around making sure that he wasn’t going to do anything that would result in his polluting himself or even soiling himself with the sins that surrounded him on an almost daily basis.
What can we learn from Daniel’s resolution? I think we need to understand that there is plenty of pollution around in our world today. There is reading material that defiles, viewing materials that defile, music that defiles, and there are influences that can defile and cause us to go in wrong directions. Every believer must be like Daniel and come to the place where they make a decision to live a holy life before the Lord. The Puritans used to refer to the matter of piety. It meant living your life with a priority on the applications of God’s Word to your life. In many ways, we have failed in the church to allow those kinds of applications to carry weight in our lives and we need to get back to allowing them to impact us. Not in the legalistic way of proving yourself spiritual by keeping more and more commands or having great standards. I mean not being afraid to let God’s Word change your thinking or actions in a certain area out of love for Christ and out of a desire to glorify, please, and honor Him. Remember, a decision for holiness of life will go against the flesh, but it will always pay dividends!
May Daniel’s resolution be of great challenge to us as we enter into this new year!