Daniel determined that he would not defile himself with the king’s food or with the wine he drank. So he asked permission from the chief eunuch not to defile himself. God had granted Daniel kindness and compassion from the chief eunuch, yet he said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and drink. What if he sees your faces looking thinner than the other young men your age? You would endanger my life with the king.” (Daniel 1:8-10)
There are two things to see in this passage. First, that Daniel had made a decision to honor God and not to defile himself by eating food that had been sacrificed to pagan idols. His refusal was an act of worshipping the true God. Second, that God had arranged a friend for him in Ashpenaz, the king’s servant. God will often bring us new friends to help us in our journey.
In the midst of a culture that is often antagonistic toward Christianity, each of us must make a decision as to whether or not we will continue to serve God. Our decision may create problems for other people, and so there is a price we must be willing to pay. But God always blesses those who choose to be faithful to him. God will bring friends alongside us to help us in our journey. We should pay attention to new friendships and cultivate them.
Heavenly Father, help me to live boldly in the face of a culture that undermines my faith. Let me make decisions that honor you. Help me to cultivate the new friendships you bring my way.