When Daniel and his three friends were taken captive along with thousands of their countrymen, what they saw when they first arrived in Babylon must have shocked them beyond belief. It was a society so loose, immoral and full of idolatry that these four men’s spiritual sensibilities were assailed.

Daniel and his friends made a commitment. They told each other, “We dare not compromise. We dare not adopt these moral standards. We will be separate, and we will be disciplined in our walk of faith.” These four men did not go about preaching their way of life to others. It was strictly a matter between them and God, and I believe they had something more in mind than avoiding anything ceremonially unclean.

“Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself” (Daniel 1:8, NKJV).

The word ‘defile’ in this verse suggests “freeing through repudiation.” Daniel was saying, in other words, “Any compromise of my standards will rob me of my freedom.” When he told the chief of the eunuchs this, the man answered, “I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food and drink. For why should he see your faces looking worse than the young men who are your age? Then you would endanger my head before the king” (Daniel 1:10).

Rather than backing down, Daniel invited the chief of eunuchs to test him and his friends, and God honored them. “As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams” (Daniel 1:17).

When you’re in a crisis, do you cry out, “Lord, where are you when I need you? Aren’t you committed to my deliverance?”

What if in that moment, the Lord should say to you, “Where are you when I need a voice? I need voices in these sinful times, pure vessels through whom I can speak. You say you want me to come to your crisis, yet you remain a part of the wicked, worldly system. Tell me, are you committed to my purposes? Will you allow yourself to be tested and trust that I will preserve and bless you?” How will you answer him?