Our fasting quote of encouragement today is from James Hudson Taylor. He said: "In Shansi, I found Chinese Christians who were accustomed to spend time in fasting and prayer. They recognized that this fasting, which so many dislike, which requires faith in God, since it makes one feel weak and poorly, is really a Divinely appointed means of grace. Perhaps the greatest hindrance to our work is our own imagined strength; and in fasting we learn what poor, weak creatures we are - dependent on a meal of meat for the little strength which we are so apt to lean upon."
Our fasting devotional today is titled "THE DANIEL FAST PRESCRIPTION: BE SPECIFIC" from Dr. Elmer L. Towns in his book "Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough".
Daniel was not vague in his objection to the Babylonian diet. He defined the problem immediately, and had a clear solution to suggest to the king's servants. Although it was an act that had social and political implications and may well have cost him his life, Daniel was specific about his plan.
With so much at stake, why did Daniel reject the delicacies offered by the king? Three possibilities have been suggested: (1) The king's food was against Jewish dietary laws; (2) Daniel and his three friends had vows against partaking of the alcohol (wine) that was included; and (3) The king's food had been offered to foreign idols/demons.
The exact reason Daniel refused to eat the king's meat is not clear. Two principles, however, are evident: (1) Daniel felt it was a religious test of his faith (he "would not defile himself"); (2) Daniel had a desire for a strong physical body in which to serve the Lord.
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