In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it… and the king told Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring in some of the children of Israel, both of the royal family and of the nobility… Among these were of the children of Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (Dan. 1:1,3,6).
King Nebuchadnezzar offered these young men the opportunity to be educated in the Babylon’s culture and language for three years to serve in the king’s palace. Their diet was to be daily from the portion of the king’s own rich and dainty food and of the wine which he drank (vs. 4-5). That probably would have been very attractive and an adventurous experience to the eyes of some other young men who had been taken captive, considering the treatment they were going to have as slaves. But not in the eyes of these young men. Their determination to follow God and His laws in that strange land of cultural differences, stood firm before all. When approached by the chief eunuch with the idea, Daniel courageously spoke for the four of them expressing their heart’s determination not to defile themselves by eating the portion of the king’s rich foods. He requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might [be allowed] not to defile himself (Daniel 1:8). Meanwhile, God was working in the heart of the eunuch to show favor toward them. Although, he expressed fear in the outcome of Daniel’s decision, he gave him permission to try the diet of vegetables and water for ten days. At the end of that period of time, the chief of eunuchs perceived that they looked better and had taken more flesh than all the youths who ate of the king’s rich dainties (Vs. 15). The supernatural happened, because of their choice to obey God and not to depart from His laws. God then came to their aid and proved to all that He is the sustainer of life. It was not the vegetables and the water that sustained them, but it was God’s doing. The result was obvious and no one could deny the fact. Although their identities were lost in the change of their names, seemly their faith was challenged when brain washed in that period of three years, still they held on to the things they had learned back in their country and nothing would erase that from them.