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Baniel 1:8-21



Baniel was a leauei among his fiienus.

Be woulu not uefile himself with the king's foou anu wine. Be chose to follow his
own convictions to uo what was iight anu keep himself fiom all the uelicacies of the
king's foou. The S men with him (Shauiach, Neshach anu Abeunego) followeu his
example anu chose to eat a uiet of stiictly vegetables anu watei also.

Foi S yeais they weie vegetaiians, not because it was moie holy oi because of the
nutiitional value. But iathei they abstaineu because they wanteu to keep
themselves fiom eating things that weie unclean. uou hau foibiu his people to eat
ceitain meats in the }ewish law, anu most likely Baniel was choosing this path to
honoi uou in this way. It was also piobably because he uiun't feel it was iight to
enjoy such abunuance in Babylon while his own people suffeieu.

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Nan, I suie make excuses to not concein myself with stuff like this, especially when
it comes to goou foou. I woulu be pione to be all ovei the feast anu paitake in the
pleasuies of my flesh but Baniel, Shauiach, Neshach anu Abeunego chose soliuaiity
anu puiity.

Nay we leain fiom these men to caie moie about oui temples. 5"6 6( .((7 "*'
)"1/(- &01 6,&+ 6( 7*+ /0+" +,(8 /- /87"'+&0+ +" +,( 9"'1: Not that we aie unuei the
same uietaiy law as they weie, but we neeu to ask ouiselves.

Aie we being gluttonous. Aie we uiinking too much wine anu fliiting with
uiunkenness. Aie we putting uiugs anu othei substances in oui bouies that woulu
uefile us.

It is inteiesting to note that otheis weie taken fiom Isiael to leain the Babylonian
ways foi S yeais too (vs. 6), but Baniel anu his fiienus weie the only ones
mentioneu who chose to eat this way.

They weie testeu foi 1u uays, anu aftei getting the chief eunuchs appioval iemaineu
vegetaiians foi S yeais. That's a long time without meat anu wine!

Baniel was a man that fiom his youth hau chaiactei anu conviction. Be uiu what
otheis woulu not uo. !"# %&'()*& +, -./* #&0+-/+" -+ .+"+1 2+# /" ./* 31/0(-& 4/,&5
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Because of Baniel anu his fiienus uecision to set themselves apait:

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What might the Loiu give us if we chose to honoi him in the simple things. If we
obeyeu the convictions that weie in oui heaits anu abstaineu fiom things that
otheis uiu not consiuei a big ueal. What if we chose not to uefile oui selves anu live
to honoi Bim even when otheis uiu not know of oui saciifice oi actions.

This is the way of Baniel. A man of conviction. A man of commitment. A man who
consiueieu what was iight in his heait anu uiu it.

Be uiun't uebate with otheis about why oi why not what they weie uoing was
wiong. Be just uiu what he knew was iight foi him anu otheis followeu his leau.

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*.$ *70 %*0+/%&/*04. Not to piove to otheis oui own holiness anu piety.

You just keep youiself iight. When necessaiy make the saciifices it takes to take the
highei ioau anu honoi uou in youi piivate life. uou will uo the iest.

Anu just maybe Be will lift you up highei than youi counteipaits because you weie
a peison who chose chaiactei insteau of meiely ieputation.

E"+ 2"' ?"*' 3C"'? )*+ 2"' 5/-.

Amen