Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Daniel 1:8.
We can have no right understanding of the subject of temperance until we consider it from a Bible standpoint. And nowhere shall we find a more comprehensive and forcible illustration of true temperance and its attendant blessings than is afforded by the history of the prophet Daniel and his associates in the court of Babylon....
It was not their own pride or ambition that had brought these young men into the king's court, into the companionship of those who neither knew nor feared the true God. They were captives in a strange land, and Infinite Wisdom had placed them where they were. They considered their position, with its difficulties and its dangers; and then, in the fear of God, made their decision. Even at the risk of the king's displeasure, they would be true to the religion of their fathers. They obeyed the divine law, both natural and moral, and the blessing of God gave them strength and comeliness, and intellectual power.
These youth had received a right education in early life; and now, when separated from home influences and sacred associations, they honored the instructors of their childhood. With their habits of self-denial were coupled earnestness of purpose, diligence, and steadfastness. They had no time to squander in pleasure, vanity, or folly. They were not actuated by pride or unworthy ambition; but they sought to acquit themselves creditably, for the honor of their own downtrodden people and for His glory whose servants they were.
God always honors the right. The most promising youth of every land subdued by the great conqueror had been gathered at Babylon; yet amid them all, the Hebrew captives were without a rival. The erect form, the firm, elastic step, the fair countenance showing that the blood was uncorrupted, the undimmed senses, the untainted breath—all were so many certificates of good habits, insignia of the nobility with which nature honors those who are obedient to her laws. And when their ability and acquirements were tested by the king at the close of the three years of training, none were found “like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.” Their keen apprehension, their choice and exact language, their extensive and varied knowledge, testified to the unimpaired strength and vigor of their mental powers.
The history of Daniel and his companions has been recorded on the pages of the Inspired Word for the benefit of all the youth of all succeeding ages.—The Signs of the Times, February 11, 1886.
From Reflecting Christ - Page 141
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