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  The Great Bible Story #76
Daniel keeps himself pure for God

Jacob Ninan
When King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon conquered the southern kingdom of Judah as a part of God's judgment against Judah, he asked Ashpenaz, the chief of his officials, to select a few young men from Judah who were without defect, good looking, intelligent and able to study. These young men were to be given special training in all the literature and wisdom of the Babylonians so that after the training they could become his personal staff. Among them were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. Ashpenaz gave them new Babylonian names as Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego.

As special trainees these boys were given special food and wine every day from the king's table. But in order to remain faithful to his God, Daniel decided not to have them. When Ashpenaz heard about this, he was worried that the boys would suffer in their health and when the king came to know about it his own life would be in danger. But Daniel suggested that he could try it out by giving the four of them only vegetables and water for ten days. If he found them becoming unhealthy he could then change their diet. God was watching Daniel's intention to be faithful to Him, and so He gave him favour with Ashpenaz. Ashpenaz agreed to try this for ten days.

At the end of ten days, these boys who were having only vegetables and water turned out to be healthier than the others who were enjoying the food and wine from the king's table! So Ashpenaz continued to give them what they wanted.

At the end of their training programme, these four boys, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, were seen to have more wisdom and understanding in all things compared to the others. This was because God had given them special grace and endowed them with knowledge and intelligence in everything they had to learn. He also gave Daniel special abilities to understand and interpret visions and dreams. King Nebuchadnezzar was so impressed by these four young men that he gave them special responsibilities as his personal staff. He thought that these men had greater knowledge and abilities than even the renowned magicians he had employed till then.

God watches every decision that we make, and when He finds us choosing to honour Him even at the risk of losing out because of it in front of people, He honours us by giving us special favour beyond our natural abilities and skills. Ultimately people also come to recognise what God has done in our lives.

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Comfort & Counsel