But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your[c] food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”

11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.

15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.



Daniel resolved – He made a deep inward commitment not to defile himself of the royal food and wine.  Probably because the royal food and wine was offered up to idols and that would go against the commands of God.  So he decided that he was going to abstain.

Think about it though…

The food was the best of the best – coming from the table of the king of one of the most powerful empires of the time.

There would be a constant battle to eat it and to rationalize away why it was just necessary.  After all I have no other choice, I must obey the king in whose country I am now a subject.


Daniel’s approach was not open and direct rebellion because “it was against his religion!”  He asked for permission.  He went through the proper channels.  He did something with the conviction and did not just excuse away why it would not work.

He asked permission AND GOD intervened on Daniel’s behalf.  God caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel.


The official was open to Daniel’s request but was afraid for this own safety so he said no.

Again, the resolve of Daniel is evident.  He didn’t give up and say, “Oh well I tried and it did not work out so I have an excuse for not doing this.”  Daniel proposes a trial period.  Give us a try and if it doesnt work I will quit asking.



Some thoughts from this…

Daniel purposed – he committed to living out the ways of God in a land that was a stranger to God’s ways and in a place where the pressure to conform was great.

It is not easy to obey God in this setting, but Daniel was committed to doing the best he could.  And his best was not going to be a half-hearted attempt.

The food from the king’s table was very tempting and tasty, the best of the best; and he would be giving it up for vegetables and water.  Wow from caviar and the choice meats to carrots and water.  Day after day after day.  Not exactly something I want to do.

He started by working within the system to fulfill his vow, pleading his case before his immediate supervisor.

God honors our desire to be holy.  In the end all of Daniel’s future is in the hands of God who caused the supervisor to show favor and compassion.

Daniel does not quit after the first attempt but looks for creative alternatives.  I believe that the idea of the trial was a idea of the Holy Spirit.

God again is at work because at the end of the time Daniel looks and acts healthier than the others who are on the royal food.


Life Application

When we choose to put God first He honors us for it.

Too often we say, I can’t do this, I can’t do that, I would get fired, my boss would not understand…!”  The list goes on with the excuses as to why we cannot resolve to follow God.  Every January I hear from people all the reasons why they cannot fast, but Daniel did not give excuses, he did what he could and he trusted God to do the rest.  He purposed, committed himself fully and completely, he resolved to not sin against God.


When we resolve, commit and purpose to do something then we must be prepared to face difficult moments.  The hunger pangs, the pain, the isolation because you are doing something different than everyone else.  You will be ostracized, misunderstood and well meaning people will tell you why you should not take such a radical approach.  But we must stay strong and make the myriad little decisions to continue to do what you are doing because it is about worship and honor to God.  Do what you can and let God do the rest.  And we can do quite a bit more than we think.


We can be creative in our approach.

Don’t just try one thing and then give up.

There may be a time to disobey but that is not where you start – you start with asking permission within the culture you live in.