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FRIDAY 31 MAY 2024

In part 2 of this wonderful topic, I stated unequivocally that although God caused the king's chief eunuch official to show favour and compassion to Daniel, the official still told Daniel, "I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink; therefore, you must observe to eat according to royal plan." So Ashpenaz refused Daniel's request, stating that it would put him in a difficult situation. However, Daniel reasoned with the guard whom the chief of the royal eunuchs assigned to watch over them, as in Daniel (Belteshazzar), Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meshack), and Azariah (Abed-nego). More below!

Reference: Daniel 1:20 Amplified Bible (AMP)

"In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the [learned] magicians and enchanters (Magi) in his whole realm."

Daniel said to the guard: Please do us a favour. Put us, your servants to test for the next 10 days. Give us vegetables and water only. Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king's rich food be observed by you. After that, then deal with your servants and make your decision in light of what you see. So the attendant agreed to Daniel's suggestion and tested them for ten days. At the end of the ten days, Daniel and his three friends looked healthier and better nourished than the young men who had been eating the food assigned by the king. So after that, the attendant fed them only vegetables instead of the food and wine provided for the others.

Here is what it is: Basically, I stated earlier that Daniel and three of his compatriots requested for a diet consistent with God's instruction to His covenant people. But from the standpoint of my in-depth nutritional analysis based on ancient Israeli descents, this is not exactly the main reason. The ancient Isaelites meal includes bread loaves, wine, butchered sheep, parched grain, raisins, and fig cakes. In addition, the dietary staples rampant among the Israelites were bread, legumes, fruits and vegetables, wine and olive oil, dairy products, fish, and meat. A typical Israelite drank goat and sheep's milk especially in the spring and summer times, and also ate butter and cheese, as well as honey, both from bees, which were agricultural products listed as special to the Land of Israel in the Bible.

Now watch this: Vegetables, although significant, cogently played a smaller role in an Israeli descent's diet. So why did Daniel reject the king's royal dietary offer and reasoned to choose vegetables and water? The first portions of the food and wine would have been presented to the Babylonian idols before being served at the table. But being different, he ordered for vegetables and water, without the rich cuts of meat that are normally staples of those who eat at the king's table, because he intended to abstain from any unnecessary entanglements with Babylonian idolic defilement. So Daniel avoided the meats, meads and wines which have been offered to the Babylonian gods. Although they had to live and settle in Babylon, every bite of every meal they considered, reminded them that they were different.

However divine revelation is progressive. As born again Christians, we are now freed from the bondage of traditions and ceremonial law by the Lord Jesus Christ, and so, we must walk closely with God in obedience to the new covenant gospel. Although Israelite cuisine was adherent to the dietary restrictions and guidelines of Yahwism and its later-developed forms: Judaism and Samaritanism, Jesus functioned differently while on earth. In the book of Matthew 9:10, the Bible says, "While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. Even the Pharisees saw this, and asked his disciples, 'Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?'" (NIV).

On another occasion, Levi held a large feast for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and many sinners were eating with them. As stated in Luke 5:29-30, it reads, "Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, 'Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?'" (NIV).

Of a truth, the Pharisees were self-righteous people who shared a deep commitment to the Hebrew's Scriptures and traditions, but Jesus came for an entirely different reason. So they were so angry at Jesus because He ate and associated with all manner of people, meaning that He accepted them, regardless of their way of doing things. For a typical Pharisee, the kind of Saviour they expected from God was a Saviour who would judge and destroy sinners instantly, and not forgive them and enjoy their company.

Another interesting instance was when Jesus talked with a Samaritan woman, and asked her for a drink. The Scripture numbered as John 4:9 stated that the Samaritan woman said to Him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans). Did you get that? Yet Jesus broke the barrier and ended up going to spend two days with the Samaritans who did not associate with the Jews, including a woman who had had five husbands, and was at that moment, cohabiting with a man who was not her husband (see John 4:39-42 NIV). I'm quite sure that you know that the Samaritans fed Jesus, a confirmed Jew by birth, within those two days He spent with them. Now the question is: "What manner of man is Jesus? What was His mission? Stay tuned for part 4. Shalom!

Scripture Reading - Matthew 9:10-17; Mark 2:13-22; Luke 5:29-39; 1 Corinthians 10:25-27.

Guided Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, you declared that the thief approaches with malicious intents, which are to steal, kill and destroy, but you came that I may have life, and have it to the full. Therefore, I live the life you have given me - with joy and abundance, and I thank you for the overflowing benefits in my life. To God be the glory, Amen!


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