December 17, 2011

Daniel's Fast, 10 days, Vegetables & Water

Daniel, an Israelite, was taken captive when Israel was invaded and overthrown by the Babylonians.  Daniel's decision to not eat meat was a combination of both his desire to abstain from meat offered to the false gods of Babylon and to uphold the Kosher laws of his Jewish heritage.  He wanted to remain pure and holy and by doing so honor the God who gave him life.

Apparently, as the result of this food test, Daniel was found to be healthier than those who chose to eat the fine foods of the King.  The application to our modern day is likewise that, if we want to remain pure and holy before God, we need to practice self-discipline and refrain from engaging in those behaviors that corrupt and compromise our faith.  

Daniel's faith allowed him to withstand the many trials that were about to come about him, from being thrown into the Fiery Furnace (Chapter 3) to spending time in the Lion's den (Chapter 6).  Would Daniel been able to withstand those trials without God's protection?  The obvious answer is no as without being protected by an angel in the fiery furnace and without an angel closing the mouths of Lion's, he would have been eaten alive.  

The God of whom we serve is faithful and wants to give us 'abundantly, exceedingly, above all that we can ask, think, or imagine.'  BUT, before that happens, we must prepare our hearts and minds and be purify our hearts before him while in the midst of people who do not revere God's name.  


Fasting has roots all throughout the Bible.  This fast in particular is in relation to eating only veggies and drinking water for 10 days.  According to scholars, the word translated into modern day word 'Vegetable' is a word that means 'pulse' or anything eaten grown from the ground or with a seed.  In other words, fruits, vegetables, or anything grown in the family garden would have the food of choice along with water.

Check it out.  Daniel 1 and two great sources to read.

 8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. 9 Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your[c] food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”
 11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.
 15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead. 
Key Points from Freedomyou:
Daniel refused to defile his body with foods that had been sacrificed to false gods. Picture him sitting and eating his bowl of veggies with a tall glass of water among muscled men slurping on royal food, savory dishes that filled the air with mouth-watering fragrance. As men do when sharing fine food and drink, there would be boisterous camaraderie, a celebration of the senses. He stood alone in the conviction that his circumcised body was holy. This was not a secret impractical conviction but observable for all to see by how he lived—and how he ate. 

But under the New Covenant, didn’t Paul say that all foods are now clean to eat? Yes, we can enjoy all foods with a clear conscience. You see the connection here is not legalism; it goes deeper. I am sure you have learned by now that no form of legalism can tame the jaws of hunger—in fact it will only anger the beast within. Don’t make the mistake of misreading Daniel's intentions or you will miss the message. This was about love, not law. It was about how he saw himself and how he saw his God.   
 I believe it goes beyond the nutrition of raw food. There is something in Daniel we all aspire to, a strength of character that comes from a clear sense of who he is. In an age of media-induced addictions, where we race from one emotional fix to another, resulting in escalating obesity, illness and loss of self, the maverick message, “Dare to be a Daniel” spells refreshing freedom. His strength to say no speaks to the real you suffocating under years of saying yes to the wrong things; to the real you that is wired in the image of God―creative, fiercely individualist, and full of life and passion. 

The Daniel’s Fast is just one of the many types of fasts mentioned in the Bible. The fast described in this book is not EXACTLY the same as Daniel’s original fast. It is based on what Daniel requested to eat to avoid being defiled when Israel was besieged and taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. When studying the scriptures, we first recognize the King’s food was not compliant with God’s dietary law established with the Israelites. Daniel’s request to only eat “pulse” was to avoid breaking these laws- his intended purpose was to eat “kosher”. The Daniel’s Fast is a modified fast based on what Daniel avoided, not his intentions. Therefore, the Daniels fast is not simply a kosher diet (a diet following the Old Testament laws associated with food); it is a modified fast based on what Daniel requested to eat to avoid defilement. Daniel 1:8 says “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat nor with the wine he drank. Therefore, he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” KJV He did not eat meat or drink wine. Therefore, on the Daniel’s fast there is NO meat or animal products.  
In Daniel 1:12 Daniel asked for a ten day test in which they be given “pulse to eat and water to drink”. In simple terms, pulse is anything grown up from a seed. Barnes notes defines pulse as “what grows up from seeds-such, probably, as would be sown in a garden, or, as we would now express it, vegetable diet.” 

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