The story of Daniel illustrates some key elements of obedience. We see the wise young man doing what the Lord commanded, both in the right manner and with the right timing.
Daniel knew that God’s law prohibited eating food that had been offered to idols. But he was living in captivity in Babylon—a nation that worshiped false gods—and soon faced a hard decision. King Nebuchadnezzar had ordered that the choicest of foods be sent for Daniel’s meals after first being presented to idols. Was it better to obey the Lord and risk angering the king—or to disobey God and please the ruler?
On the surface, the question for Daniel was about unacceptable food. But the underlying issue was allegiance to God. He could have rationalized breaking the divine command by telling himself he was a servant and had no choice. Instead, Daniel resolved not to eat the royal food and sought a way that would honor the Lord and keep His law.
Today, many things that our world finds acceptable are outside of God’s protective boundaries for His children. Some are not good for us, while others do not honor Him. Our desire as Christians is to obey the Lord, but our fleshly side wants to please ourselves and others. It’s important to realize that obeying God is always the right choice.
To become like Daniel, we must make a wholehearted commitment to follow the Lord and consistently apply Scripture to our decision making. Then, when challenges come, we will have the courage to obey God’s commands.