Read Daniel 1
Most people would want what the king offered. Good food. Great wine. And lots of it. Most people would have soaked in every bit of Daniel’s orders for more royal treatment than he’d ever known.
But Daniel knew better. He knew the real meaning of “better”. And he knew that “more” does not always mean “better”.
Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. (v8)
It’s not hard to understand the chief official’s hesitation. He was afraid the king would find out that Daniel and his friends didn’t get the king’s best.
In fact, they craved and trusted God’s provision more than they wanted the king’s plunder.
The king thought his stores would satisfy. But God’s provision proved better.
As it turned out, the king had nothing on God’s favor. For Daniel and his friends knew Almighty God’s ways are always better than the best that man can possibly provide.
And so they had no choice food. No king-level wine. Just veggies and faith.
That’s when God’s idea of “more” and “better” proved beyond comprehension.
To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. At the end of the time . . . (t)he king . . . found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah . . . In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom. (vv17-20)
To man’s feeble mind, it should have ended differently. Those who partook of all the king’s best, more than they could dream, should have ended up healthier, more beefed-up than the four whose diet consisted of vegetables and water alone.
But God’s favor was better, more nourishing than even King Nebuchadnezzar’s best.
For Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, trusting God’s definition of “more” and “better” paved the way to the king’s service. They knew unwaveringly that God would give more even as they passed up the king’s “best”.
How willing are we to give up what seems “better” and trust that God’s provision is better?