Daniel and three of his friends stopped and stared up at the huge, beautiful palace. They were very tired, and very sad. Strangers in a strange country, they were captives of the king of Babylon.
Once inside the palace, servants took the boys to big bathtubs. After their baths a servant handed each one fancy new clothes and showed them their new rooms. “Supper will be ready soon,” the servant said.
Daniel and his friends knelt beside their new beds. They prayed that God would help them be strong and choose good things in this strange country where people didn’t worship Him.
Soon the servant called the new captives to supper. Daniel and his friends followed him into the dining room. Delicious-looking food covered the tables, food that came from the king’s table and had been offered to idols. Daniel and his friends looked at one another with wide eyes. What should they do? This was the kind of food they knew God didn’t want them to eat.
Daniel went to the chief official in charge of all the captives. “May my friends and I eat the kind of food our God has told us to eat?” he asked politely.
The official was afraid of Daniel’s idea. “The king ordered you to eat his food and drink his wine,” he answered. “If you get pale and sick-looking, the king will get rid of me for not doing my job.”
Daniel thought about the problem. He spoke to Melzar, the guard appointed to care for Daniel and his friends. “Will you test us for 10 days?” he asked Melzar. “Please give us only simple food to eat; food that our God has told us to eat. And give us water instead of wine. You can see how we look after 10 days.”
Melzar agreed to the test. For 10 days he gave the boys simple food to eat and water to drink.
When the 10 testing days were up, Daniel and his friends looked healthier than the boys who had been eating the king’s food and drinking the king’s wine. Melzar decided Daniel and his friends had made a good choice. He let them continue to eat the simple food.
God blessed Daniel and his friends because of their obedience to Him. He helped them learn all the things they studied in King Nebuchadnezzar’s school. Three years later when the king tested them, he discovered that Daniel and his three friends had learned more and were wiser than all the other wise men in his kingdom.
Daniel and his friends had chosen good things for their bodies. They had worshipped God by their choices. You can do the same.