Daniel: Part 7 – The Progressive Maturation of a Believer in the End Times from Immaturity to Full Stature and a Redeemed Body
Dan 1:8 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.
Before we get into the wonderful, deep message of this verse, we have to briefly look at some spiritual types, so please bear with me.
Defile – Gesenius’ lexicon – To be polluted, stained, impure, i.e. to be removed as a priest from sacred ministry.
Portion of the king’s meat – The natural mind, (King Nebuchadnezzar), thinks it will come into maturity by dividing out certain parts of Scripture in daily portions. On the surface the word “meat” would cause one to think this would imply seeking deep spiritual insights into the Word. However, in the Hebrew/Chaldea, the word “meat” means “delicate food, pleasing and light, mild.” We can see that the natural mind is willing to daily go to the Word, but it picks and chooses what it likes—that which is mild and pleasant.
Wine – The natural mind also drinks wine. The Hebrew tells us this is “wine as fermented.” Fermented, according to Webster, means to boil and be agitated. When a mind takes in something that is boiling and agitating, it is taking in thoughts that cause it to worry. The natural mind’s diet of mild, delicate and light Scriptures, is not sufficient to bring it into a faith in Christ where it does not worry.
Prince of eunuchs – This is Jesus as explained in previous verses. He watches over the spiritual mind. He is the one who gives us a new name. It is Jesus with whom we have a deep and loving relationship.
The spiritual mind in this person living in the end times purposed that he would not allow himself to be polluted or impure as a result of merely staying on the surface of the Word picking and choosing what he would believe and only choosing scriptures that were mild and pleasant. (But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat.) He also purposed not to take in the anxiety producing, peace robbing thoughts from the natural mind (nor with the wine which he drank .) Therefore he prayed and asked God to help him with this resolution to remain pure in his thoughts and to live according to the spiritual mind (therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.)
Dan 1:9 Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.
God brought this person living in the end times into a very close relationship with Jesus. (Jesus as prince of eunuchs has been established in previous verses of Daniel Study.) The decision and request of the previous verse deepens this person’s relationship with Jesus. If we want a rich, close relationship with Jesus, we must spend time studying the Word rather than just skimming across the surface of the Word. Also, we must learn to apply all the Word to our own lives, not just pick and choose what we like or what is easy. If we don’t understand a verse, we need to get the necessary tools to study and dig deeply to find the understanding we lack. Once we get that understanding, we need to apply it to our own life. In this way we mature and our relationship with Jesus is enhanced and deepened.
Dan 1:10 And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.
Prince of eunuchs is Jesus, as established in previous verses. Of course Jesus is not afraid of the natural mind (Nebuchadmezzar). However, God has given our natural mind the freedom to make decisions. God does not override this freedom and force his will on anyone.
The king – This is Nebuchadnezzar, the natural mind.
Daniel – the spiritual mind
Appointed – to weigh out; by impl. to allot (Strong’s)
Meat – On the surface the word “meat” would cause one to think this would imply seeking deep spiritual insights into the Word. However, in the Hebrew, the word “meat” means “delicate food, pleasing and light, mild.”
Worse liking – dejected, (Strong’s)
Children – quality (Strong’s)
Sort – joy, rejoice, gladness (Strong’s)
Jesus says to the spirit in this mature Christian (Daniel), “I respect the authority of your natural mind that picks and chooses (appointed) what it is willing to believe leaving behind some important truths because of its desire for pleasant and mild words ( your meat). Since it has free choice, it can choose to think thoughts that cause it to get agitated and upset over things (and your drink). But why let your natural mind (for why should he) see your spiritual heart become dejected (your faces worse liking) when you have within you the quality (children) of joy (sort). If you give in to your natural ways of thinking and let yourself lose your joy, I have to let this happen because the natural mind has been given freedom to choose. The spiritual mind has to stand against the natural mind.”
The word “children” reminds me of the scripture that says we must become as little children to enter the kingdom of God. The word “joy” brings to mind the scripture “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” The joy in our spirit gives us strength to stand against the unwise ways of the natural mind.
Dan 1:11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
We determined in previous verses that the prince of eunuchs is Jesus. The only one he would set over the spiritual mind would be the Holy Spirit (Melzar). Daniel’s three friends represent different understandings in his knowing God (as established in earlier verses). The Holy Spirit will be Daniel’s guide, counselor and teacher as Daniel begins his “diet” of vegetables as revealed in the next verse.
Dan 1:12 Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink.
Daniel is praying here…talking to the Holy Spirit who has been put in charge of his spiritual diet. He asks that he be able to partake of the Word in its entirety, not just pick and choose and stay on the surface.
The number “ten” speaks of perfection of divine order, nothing is wanting, the number and order are perfect; the whole cycle is complete (Bullinger’s Number in Scripture). Daniel is asking to partake of the entire Word until he comes into perfection of divine order (10 days).
Vegetables are a type of the entire Word because in that food group, every part of the plant is eaten…roots (carrots), seeds (peas), stems (celery), leaves (lettuce), tubers (part of the stem underground), fruit (tomatoes), and blossoms (squash and pumpkin). The spiritual mind (Daniel) wants to eat the entire Word of God. There is no part of the Word he will not gladly study. He will not reject anything the Holy Spirit teaches him as he daily delves into his study of the Bible. By choosing vegetables he is rejecting the king’s meat…the practice of choosing only passages that are “delicate food, pleasing and light, mild.”
In place of wine, Daniel requests water. Wine, as seen earlier, speaks of agitation caused by thoughts generated from the natural mind. Water, therefore, is the opposite…it washes the mind daily in the water of the Word so it will be at peace and calm.
Dan 1:13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.
This is not about outward appearances (countenance). This is about the condition of the mind. He believes his spiritual mind will grow and prosper more than the natural mind that picks and chooses what parts of the Word to believe and merely skims across the surface of the Word. He had to ask the Holy Spirit for this (to go deeper into the Word and understand it in its entirety [vegetables]) because he is our teacher. It is he who opens the Scriptures to us. Without his permission we would see nothing of spiritual significance in the Word. If we read the Scriptures using just our natural mind and our intellect, we won’t grow spiritually.
Dan 1:14 So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.
Dan 1:15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat.
The Holy Spirit permitted the spiritual mind (Daniel) to do this for the period of time necessary to come into the perfection of divine order where nothing is wanting, the number and order are perfect, and the whole cycle is complete (ten days). The spiritual mind grew stronger than the natural mind.
Dan 1:16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.
In answer to the spiritual mind’s prayer and subsequent spiritual growth, the Holy Spirit took away any desire in this person (in whom this spiritual mind and natural mind dwell) to just read the Word and skim across the surface. The Holy Spirit granted this person great revelation in the Word in its entirety as he studied. This is a story picture of the natural mind gradually shrinking and the spiritual mind taking over.
If we feel we live too much out of our natural mind and not our spiritual mind, the only way we are going to grow more spiritual is to delve into the Word of God. If we only read the Scriptures, that is better than nothing; but if we desire to come into the fullness of Christ and all the great things reserved for the church of the end times, we are going to have to change our approach to the Word of God.
Not only must we study the Word, we must live the Word. If we fail to live out of what we learn, God will close the door to revelation. He does this out of his love for us. The more we know, the more we will be judged based upon that revelation. To know and not obey is to harden our heart. When the heart is hardened, it can no longer receive revelation from God.
What does it mean to live out of our spiritual mind? We will see all of life from a spiritual perspective. The deeper we see into the Word, the deeper we see into our own heart, into the lives of people around us and into our society. If we listen to the evening news programs with our natural mind, we may believe everything we hear. If we listen with a spiritual mind, we will discern what is false and what is truth. We will be able to identify propaganda when we hear it.
To live out of a spiritual mind increases our ability to make wise decisions. We become more like Jesus when our spiritual mind is stronger. We have more faith and are not fearful when circumstances of life seemingly come against us. We see God’s purpose in all things.
Moving in the gifts of the Spirit requires having a strong spiritual mind. We are more able to hear the voice of the Lord. We have more power to live righteously and minister to others. God will show us things to minister out to others because one who lives out of a spiritual mind can be trusted.