Reading: “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.” —Daniel 1:8

In Daniel 1:8 Daniel, then a young man living in a wicked society, purposed in his heart not to defile himself with the king’s meat. Daniel was not only obliged to separate himself from all things ungodly, but, according to the inward principle of holiness, Daniel was motivated, strengthened, and enabled to pursue a holy life in a godless society that was foreign to everything he knew as a Hebrew.

Daniel knew what sitting at the king’s table meant to the other young men of Babylon—it was eating the food offered to idols. The situation is very different from our day, but the principles of personal holiness still stand. We cannot isolate ourselves from society—Daniel didn’t—but we can “purpose in

[our] heart not to defile [ourselves].” We can as Paul tells us [literally], “Abstain from every sight of that which is injurious” (1 Thessalonians 5:22). Daniel, like Job, “made a covenant with [his] eyes” (Job 31:1). And David said, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes” (Psalm 101:3). Believer, whatever it is that causes you to sin, stay away from it!

To be holy, then, I must look to God through His Son Jesus Christ—I cannot be anything apart from Him. Only when I have been united to a holy God through Christ can I obey the command “be ye holy.” I cannot be holy if I do not know Him for holiness is from Him. And if I am not holy I cannot be happy for happiness is in holiness.