And the king appointed for them a daily ration from the king’s choice food and from the wine which he drank, and appointed that they should be educated three years, at the end of which they were to enter the king’s personal service. Now Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or the wine which he drank. (Daniel 1:5,8)
Nebuchadnezzar provided food fit for a king to all of his new captives. All of his favorite foods were now placed before them to feast upon. Imagine being able to eat anything that your heart desired. Think of these young people with high metabolisms faced with such an opportunity. What others saw as an opportunity, Daniel saw as an obstacle. First the food was previously offered to Idols and second it was forbidden food according the dietary laws prescribed by God.
Before Daniel and his friends lay temptation. Temptation in some form comes to us all. Temptation is not sin. It is pressure placed upon us by Satan to get us to disobey God. It is necessary for us to see temptation in two stages First there is temptation from without. It is something that appeals to the eyes which for the moment has no affect on us but if we look at it long enough we may be motivated to try it out. Then there is the temptation from within which becomes a part of us because we have tasted it. It is this inner temptation that is the most difficult to resist (like eating chocolate or potato chips). In order to overcome we must put the temptation as far from us as possible. Each time we resist, it becomes easier to say no.
Daniel had a goal and he determined that he would not defile himself by participating in that which would hinder God’s greater purposes from happening. It is easy to minimize the problem of temptation. Giving God a healthy body is a worthy Goal. Why not join Daniel and dare to make being the best for God your goal? You can do it and God through His indwelling Spirit will help you to say NO.