Doing the Unthinkable
Their world, in effect, changed overnight. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were Jews who had been ripped away from their family and friends and carried away captive to Babylon. And they found themselves in an environment that was hostile to their faith.
It is not unlike many Christians today, whether they’re students in a hostile environment on a college campus or employees in a workplace where people have no interest in the things of God.
King Nebuchadnezzar wanted the brightest and best of Israel to school in the ways of Babylon and use to influence other Jews. He basically wanted to turn these young Hebrew men into Babylonian men who knew the ways of the Babylonian world.
In some ways, it was a great honor that the king summoned them to the palace. But in another way, they were exposed to great temptation. Yet in Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, we see young men who were resolute. They wouldn’t compromise and eat from the king’s table.
We don’t know exactly why they refused, but it was a big enough reason to make a stand. And there was a real intimidation factor to take this stand with Nebuchadnezzar because he was a cruel and powerful man.
Yet the Bible tells us that “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank” (Daniel 1:8 NKJV). Daniel didn’t want to do anything that could hinder his fellowship with God.
Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stood their ground in a seemingly small area, which I believe enabled them to stand their ground in a much larger area later in their lives.
We all have temptations to compromise. That’s why, like Daniel, we need purpose and resolution because if we compromise now, we’ll regret it later.