But 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).
King Nebuchadnezzar determined to convert the best of the youth of Israel to the culture of Babylon. He separated four Hebrew boys from their parents and their values. He substituted a rich and exciting lifestyle for a sheltered existence. Satan is still using these methods today.
Nebuchadnezzar brought them to Babylon and changed their names. He immersed them in the affluence and customs of the palace and of his kingdom. He gave them “daily portions of the King’s food and drink” – food appealing to the “lust of the flesh” and the “lust of the eye.” He dressed them in rich colorful clothing and housed them in his palace – immersing them in the pleasures of Babylon.
The King of Babylon never took into account that these four young men were trained by godly parents. How do I know? Because, someone had instilled a “purpose” into their hearts to serve only the One True God. They were taken out of Judah, but the God of Judah was still in them. “But 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).
Daniel’s cry was, I may not have a choice of my place of residence, but I am not a Babylonian! I may be here but this is not my country, this is not my food, this is not my king and these idols are not my God!
The power and influence of a father’s training is given to us in the book of Jeremiah. Israel would not obey the commands of the prophet – so God commanded that the Rechabites be brought into the temple as an object lesson to Israel. Jeremiah was to “set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites pots full of wine, and cups, and I said unto them, Drink ye wine. But they said, We will drink no wine: for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons for ever: Neither shall ye build house, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any: but all your days ye shall dwell in tents; that ye may live many days in the land where ye be strangers. Thus have we obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab our father in all that he hath charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, nor our daughters” (Jeremiah 35:6-8). A father’s training won the day!
The power of a mother’s training is shown in the story of Moses. Pharaoh commanded that all the boys of Israel be put to death. There was a mother, however, who was determined to save her little baby. Jochebed hid him until she could not hide him any more. She then made a little boat out of bulrushes, waterproofed it and placed the little craft in the marsh grass near the bank of the Nile.
Placing Moses into the little boat she placed him in the hands of God. As determined by God, Pharaoh’s daughter came down to the river to bath. She heard the baby cry and her heart went out to the child. Here again I hear the voice, “Bring me the Child!, and I will take him to the palace as my son, and I will raise and educate him to be an great Egyptian ruler.”
Pharaoh’s daughter underestimated the power of a mother’s training. The mistake she made was that she gave Moses right back into the arms of his loving mother to nurse and to train him. His mother’s early training never left him.
“By faith when Moses was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt …” Hebrews 11:24-27).
“You may take me to the palace and make me eat the rich food–and even dress like an Egyptian–but, thanks to my godly mother’s training, I know that it is all foreign food offered to foreign gods. I know I am not an Egyptian!”
No, Satan–you cannot have our children.
Once again, godly training wins out over the wiles of the devil.
“Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices” ( 2 Corinthians 2:11).