so he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days. at the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food. so the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables. [daniel 1:14-16]


God’s way is the best way.


as much as we often try to make this account in history about food, it really is not about food at all. it’s about obedience to God’s commands. because God’s commandments always reveal something about his holy and righteous nature (even the ones that are confusing and difficult to understand!), it is always going to be for his glory and our benefit when we walk joyfully and obediently in them.

we are under no obligation to follow jewish dietary restrictions. under the new covenant of Jesus Christ, we are free to eat and drink to the glory of God. we are no longer slaves under the old testament law. [acts 15, 1 corinthians 10] 


why did we need the law before, but not now? because of our sin, we could not see God clearly in his holy and righteous character. the law was given to show us just that. because the law showed the holiness of God, through it, we were able to see our own sinful rebellion. we were shown how short of God’s glory we fell. could the law save us? no way. but along with the revelation of God’s holiness and our sinfulness, the promise of a Savior was given. so in the old testament, the jews looked forward to the promised Savior, counting on forgiveness of their sin through him.

now we, on the other side of the cross, cling to that same promise. we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, sent into the world to fulfill the law perfectly and to pay the penalty for our sin, offering forgiveness through his blood. and those who believe this are given the Holy Spirit. the Spirit is now who shows us the holiness and righteousness of God. God’s character now lives in us because he lives in us! we are free to live according to this righteousness because he lives in us! so does being free from the law mean that we are free to sin?

what shall we say then? are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? by no means! how can we who died to sin still live in it? do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? we were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. [romans 6:1]


newness of life! that’s what we have in the blood of Christ! so just like these young boys in the book of Daniel were walking according to God’s law, we too are called to walk in the newness of life through the Holy Spirit. no room for temptation, no room for sin, free to walk joyfully in the goodness of God’s character. are you walking in this newness of life? in what areas of your life are you resisting the Holy Spirit? in what areas do you struggle to walk in this newness? may we be the body of Christ who delights to walk in his holy and righteous ways!


~ arwen eastman