• elpidiopezzella

They decided not to defile

The fall of Jerusalem caused by the king of Babylon and the deportation of some its residents are the background at the first chapter in the book of Daniel (Daniel 1:3-20), who tells about a group of deportees: Daniel and three of his friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. When we knew the love of God we spontaneously asked him to take us away from the world, from sin, lust and from all the evil. So our attitude looks like that of Peter, John and James when on the Mount of Transfiguration they suggested to Jesus to make there three tabernacles, leaving all the rest behind. What Jesus said to them it still says to us: “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:16). Even those four guys saw their Jew identity tested in a foreign land, but they didn't give up.

Whoever has experienced salvation as a child of God, he should be annoyed by the world. However the Lord has placed us in this world and he prayed to the Father to preserve us from sin and corruption. It often happens to go through tough situations, to be in front of the rulers who entice us with their table. The four sons of Judah at the court of King, they made a choice before the delicacies they had never tried and who were against their religion, as opposite to their faith. Before to do so Daniel sought and found favor with the chief of the eunuchs responsible of the prisoners. A gate opens every time we are faithfull to God. We should not worry about people we are going to relate, having decided to preserve our spiritual identity. The Lord will place on our path men and women with whom we will find grace and mercy, who they will be as a shield against the danger and sin, so becoming the clear sign of a door open by God.

In the Scriptures when someone has decided to act as defence of faith or for the people sake, God gave him favor. Nehemiah, deported to the court of Artaxerxes king of Assyria, was placed for his service; Joseph, sold and abandoned by his brothers, became Deputy Pharaoh with God’s hand. Each of them climbed the society of that time, so having high public positions. This shows even more that there was someone who watched over them. These are the grace and mercy that God gives to them who decide to serve Him. The passage shows that this was the motivation that moved Daniel, convincing him not to defile himself. It would be natural to think that such a decision was taken with his three friends , but I like to think that Daniel’s choice encouraged the others. It is important when we meet brothers or sisters on our path that are an example to follow. Daniel’s faithfulness and determination found favor with the chief of the eunuchs. The Lord sets before His children people that have a certain importance so that specific doors could open. Sadly, some christians when they meet these people on their journey, rather than defend their faith and the people they belong to, they ask for personal things. So they remove their identity as children of God to be children of Cain, forgetting the brother and being also able to kill him in order to their own interests.

Daniel did not find any difficulty to get Meltsar approval not to take any food that others were having. The same is for us that we don’t want to act as others do, nor share the sin, neither the compromise. We don’t even desire that in our life there are vices or sins, although hidden, for these things undress us from the dignity of children of God. Meltzar was worried about the choice taken by the four friends, but they promptly asked to be tested. They did not test their God, as it’s usual to do, so giving conditions and orders. Daniel and his friends had no need to test God, as they believed and feared Him. They turned to those they were subjected to, asking to be tested. For ten days they had to eat only vegetables, a very simple food. God’s children as those four Jews men, they choose the things others refused. In the same way God has chosen us that we were rejected by others, He has picked us up and raised to be His children. He has took those vessels to throw away, cracked or nearly broken renewing and making them to honor and full of His Spirit. The test was effective. After ten days the appearance of the four men was more beautiful than others who were having the delicious food of the king. It is easy to recognize if a believer is doing the will of God, you can notice from his shiny face. The chief of the eunuchs and Meltsar noticed it. And when they were before the king, he could not help but also recognize such a wisdom and knowledge, that we know come from God.

When we put in our heart the desire to serve God, He bestowed upon us His knowledge and understanding. When the four friends were tested by the king he had to acknowledge that their knowledge was higher than all the magicians and astrologers of the kingdom! Moreover such wisdom also ordained the defeat of the witchcraft, astrology and all those things are against to the biblical faith. It’s a decision of the heart not to defile himself, not to sin and turn away from temptation in order to avoid it. For sure Daniel and his friends were a support and an encouragement for each other. When we are weak is essential have next to us someone stronger. Never stay alone! And if it should happen ask for the Father’s help, through the Son by the work of the Spirit. Be careful where you sit and with whom. If we have decided to follow Him and serve Him, He will sustain us by giving the required wisdom and understanding, that they will also be visible to those around us.