But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself…
Resolve is to settle firmly on a course of action, it is firm determination. What have you resolved to do? Who have you resolved to be? Daniel resolved to not defile himself in a pretty difficult time. But, it was in his resolve that he was able to make it through the chaos and achieve an incredible amount of success and influence.
Daniel made this resolution, this firm course of action, at the beginning of what would end up being 70 years of captivity. You see, the Israelites had fallen into disobedience, again. This time it divided them and destroyed them. The kingdom was divided, the northern kingdom was conquered by the Assyrians and the southern kingdom had been conquered by the Babylonians. Many of the Israelites were carted off to Babylon to live as exiles and slaves in a foreign land. They were basically right back where they started.
During this time Daniel and some of this friends were invited (perhaps forced) into the king’s palace. Here they would be taught, for 3 years, the ways of this culture and kingdom. The king even tried to force them to eat his food. But, Daniel, in his resolve refused the food because it had been offered to idols and never caved in his commitment and obedience to God and God’s law, even though everyone and everything around him was pulling him away. He stood strong.
So, I ask again, what have you resolved to do? Who are you when you find yourself right back where you started (stuck or enslaved in a place you don’t want to be)? Who are you when everyone around you is trying to tell you how to live your life and what to do? Do you give in and do what everyone else is doing? Do you stray form what you know to be right? How is your resolve?
God blessed Daniel’s resolve. Twice in the opening chapter of Daniel we read the words God gave. God gave Daniel favor with his guards and God gave Daniel a ton of wisdom and knowledge. This favor and wisdom is what really equipped Daniel and his friends to be successful and influential in this chaotic time of exile. If we will resolve to not be defiled – to live totally sold out to God, He will give us what we need to be successful and influential. He will give us what we need to be who He wants us to be. So, what will you resolve to do today?
Pastor Matt Huff leads Portland Central Nazarene Church. He loves being in ministry and seeing lives transformed by the power of Christ.