Dare to be a Daniel. Few stand out in the Bible as does this exceptional young man. Taken away from his homeland and family as a young teen, he exhibited character qualities that far exceeded his years. He and some of his exceptional teen friends were placed in a cultural immersion program to purge them of their Jewish values and beliefs, and reshape them into Babylonian cultural emissaries. It proved to be an exercise in futility.
"Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king's choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself ... At the end of ten days their appearance seemed better and they were fatter than all the youths who had been eating the king's choice food." (Daniel 1.8,15) Per God's blessing on their faithfulness, the cultural immersion program failed.
"As for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams." (Daniel 1.17) Strange as it might sound, God directed these young men to excel in the Babylonian culture; undoubtedly a very ungodly system. But, God would have the last word. These young men would prevail over the system rather than the other way around.
Our culture seeks to shape us into its mold, and away from conformity to the will and word of God. Whether a teen or long ago a teen, Daniel and his friends serve as excellent examples of those who stand with character integrity amidst an ungodly environment. Dare to be a Daniel.
©Steve Taylor, 2017 --Used by permission