But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank (Dan. 1:8 KJV)
Daniel was amongst the captives from Judah that were taken to King Nebuchadnezzar’s palace to stand before the king. The King gave instructions to give Daniel and his friends their daily meals from the royal portion to prepare them for their service to the king. These young Jewish boys were surrounded by idolatry and ungodliness which they had probably never been exposed to. They had seen idolatry committed in Judah but not the utter ungodliness of Babylon. However, Daniel purposed in his heart not to defile himself.
Holiness and righteousness in the midst of Babylon indeed require purpose of heart. It takes an inner resolve, and determination. There is no doubt that some of the Jews in Babylon meddled with the system, but not Daniel and his friends. Babylon is still here today. It is the system of ungodliness, idolatry, rebellion and sinfulness that puts tremendous pressure on the people of God. The scriptures call it “the world” to us today.
The degree of ungodliness that is pressing on the children of God is enormous. Babylon promises pleasure, which is the reason why it is so appealing. It promises the best feelings in life but leaves its followers in the very pits of despair, grief, and judgment. You will have to purpose in your heart like Daniel to live in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation without defiling yourself.
Do you feel pressure from society or culture to do what God does not like? Have you purposed in your heart to forgo the fleeting pleasures that Babylon promises for the sake of the Lord?
APPLY THE WORD
You are in the world but not of the world. There is a way the world talks. There is a way the world behaves or acts. This system is not for you. Purpose in your heart not to defile yourself while living in the world.
Ask the Lord earnestly to keep you from the ever-mounting pressures of sin around us today.