But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. Daniel 1:8 NLT
The difference between using one and not using one often means contamination, days off the trail, and painful diarrhea.
I met him on a guided hike. He was the first person I’d ever talked to who had thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail. I had questions, and he had answers. But one story rose above the rest: his bout with giardia. Trail angels had left fresh fruit in a stream by one of the AT shelters. Hunger for more than trail food consumed him. He grabbed the fruit, sunk his teeth into it, and soon regretted his decision. He lost two days of walking, sick from contaminated water.
Never have I drunk from an unfiltered water source. Generally, I use a PUR water filter which guarantees to remove ninety-nine percent of germs. Fortunately, I’ve never suffered from giardia. Purity is important.
Purity was on Daniel’s mind. He was among the first of the exiles to experience deportation to Babylon—a subject of foreign invaders who worshiped pagan gods and read pagan literature. But Daniel stood out, along with his friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. The king chose them to serve him, but they first needed preparation—which included eating the king’s food and drinking his wine. A practice that would defile Daniel according to Jewish laws. He offered a suggestion. He and his friends wanted to try vegetables and water. At the end of ten days, they looked healthier than those eating the king’s food.
The believer’s body is a temple of God’s Spirit. He lives there permanently and continuously. What I put into my body affects Him. But it’s not the food I eat or the liquids I drink—although they may affect my physical condition. Contamination is more about my thoughts, actions, and words.
Remaining pure means thinking on what is true, just, righteous, noble, kind, uplifting, honorable, and lovely. My thoughts lead to actions, which will be pure or impure depending on what I think on. Actions reflect my character. Through them, people see the real me. And the real me means more than the words I speak.
Nietzsche, the atheistic philosopher who proclaimed God was dead, said of Christians; “I will believe in the Redeemer of the Christians when they act like they are redeemed.”
God is holy, makes His children holy in position, and expects us to be pure in our lifestyles.
Commit to a pure lifestyle.
Tweetable: Are you pursuing purity?
Prayer: Father, enable us to live pure lives as good representatives of the pure God we serve.