October 16, 2020
Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 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.” So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.
How much of a transformation could you expect to see in a week and a half of dieting? Especially if you were trying to GAIN weight instead of lose it? There’s only so much that 10 days of eating vegetables can accomplish. Yet Daniel is so sure of God’s faithfulness, he essentially promises a visible difference between himself and the other captives. It’s an uncommon solution. Daniel doesn’t badger or bribe. He doesn’t offer a test of his own competence, strength, or intelligence. Instead, he offers a test that is, ultimately, about whether or not God is going to show up.
When is the last time you were faced with difficulty, and decided to lay God’s faithfulness on the line? When is the last time you thought, “If God doesn’t show up here, this is going to go very, very badly?” You see, while Jesus said we aren’t to put God to the test, this isn’t the type of test he was referring to. Jesus quoted a passage of scripture when the Israelites were testing God out of unbelief. They needed water, and didn’t believe he would provide it. So, they were calling for God to prove himself.
This isn’t that sort of test. Instead, it’s an invitation to witness God’s power. It’s a demonstration of faith. The starting place for this sort of test is miles away from doubt and disbelief. So the next time you are in a difficult spot – especially one where the desire to do what’s right collides with what you are being required to do – stop and ask what a faith-filled response would look like. Imagine what would happen if God showed up in a way that showed his power, authority, and holiness. Consider that path and see what happens.