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Day 27 | Daniel

Read Daniel 1:1-21

Nebuchadnezzar’s decisive victory over King Jehoiakim of Judah led to a series of deportations of the best and the brightest. Being a strong, handsome young man of royal lineage, Daniel was a prime candidate to serve the great Babylonian king. Likely only a teenager, Daniel was among the first to be deported from his homeland in Judah across hostile foreign lands to Babylon, where he would undergo an expedited form of cultural assimilation.

During his time in Babylon, Daniel was renamed in homage to a pagan god, received training in astrology and magic, and was offered the king’s finest wine and choicest meats. It was at the king’s table where Daniel and his friends drew the line. Indulging in a non-kosher meal sacrificed to pagan gods would signify a shift in allegiance. To indulge would be to cut ties with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, leaving the Law of God in the rearview mirror. Daniel (“God is my judge”) would truly become Belteshazzar (“Bel will protect”) all in the name of status and pleasure. Risking his career and even his life, Daniel resolved not to eat from the king’s table and chose instead to follow the food laws of his God. In exchange for Daniel’s allegiance, God granted Daniel strength and wisdom far above that of his peers. Despite the strong seduction of the palace on the one hand and the very real threat of death on the other, Daniel refused to compromise on his convictions. He refused to realign his allegiance.

In one sense, life is a series of tests—tests to determine your ultimate allegiance. At times you will be among believers in Christian settings reading the Bible, singing praises, and testifying to God’s greatness. On other occasions, you will be among unbelievers, tempted to gratify your desires and desperate to raise your status and promote yourself. Over the course of your life, will you discover that circumstances dictate your decisions? Or will your allegiance to King Jesus win out in the end?

Pray for 10 minutes