Daniel and his friends were among the exiles that were sent to Babylon. The King of Babylon had appointed them daily rations from the king’s choice food and from the wine which the king drank. Daniel spoke to his friends and they determined that they didn’t want to defile themselves with the king’s choice food. He asked for permission from the commander of the officials that they might have other food instead of the king’s ration. God granted Daniel favour.
God showed me that all the exiles here are from Judah. However, only Daniel and his friends sought to keep God’s standard. Even in an unusual time we must stay with God, keep His standard. Sometimes standing by God makes us stand out from the ordinary. We really stand out in others’ eyes, but we are really “outstanding” in God’s eye. Because Daniel and his friends are outstanding in God’s eye, they are worth God mentioning them in the Scripture. I notice that only the four of them, the exiled king and a couple of the prophets are mentioned by God. I don’t know any other names other than these few people among the exiles. Daniel sought the approval from the commanding officer to change their food. Seeking approval probably was not his usual way of doing things while he was in Judah. Many of the exiles here were from the nobles, royal family. Daniel changed his way of living to adapt in his new environment to become successful. Let us use this time to expand our thinking, to be more forward thinking as Daniel. Let us expand the care of our circle, if I am mainly thinking of my own family, let me start thinking of the well being of the community. If I am mainly thinking of the well being of my immediate community, let me start thinking of the well being of the province. If I am mainly thinking of things for today or this year, let me start thinking of things for 5 years down the road. One way to start to expand is through praying. Praying for one another; praying for our city; praying for the nations. When we expand our view, we will then come across questions. When we prayerfully seek God for the answers to our questions, He will reveal the answers. His answers could become our vision. If we keep on working in the vision, we will prosper in the everchanging world. Daniel determined to stand in God, changed his way of doing things, and sought the welfare of his “new community”. The Scripture said that God granted Daniel favour and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials. When we keep our eyes on God, when we make change according to our circumstances, we will be outstanding in God’s eye. God will grant us success.
- Benjamin Pang