But 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.
— Daniel 1:8

Several years ago, a Mrs. Gina Lamb asked me to include a favourite hymn of hers in our worship on a Sunday. Standing by a purpose true was the hymn, with the refrain:

Dare to be a Daniel! Dare to stand alone!

Dare to have a purpose firm! Dare to make it known!

            We begin a sermon series on the Biblical book of Daniel. In the first chapter we see Daniel requesting to not eat the food of the king (wine, rich foods and meat) and simply to receive vegetables and water instead. It may seem insignificant, but for a 17 year old to challenge the leadership of Babylon, much courage was required. Daniel received strength from his God and found favour in the eyes of the officials. He walked with integrity and sought to follow the practices inherent in his Jewish faith.

What small steps of faith is God calling us to take? Has fear choked out courage as we consider repercussions of standing alone? Most Christians fear speaking about our hope in Christ. We feel we live in a foreign land unreceptive to our message and so we stay silent. Satan delights in our timidity and the Church of Jesus Christ withers due to it. Friends, as this old hymn charges us to do in the final verse, let us defy the hosts of Satan and declare your belief that Jesus is the answer to life’s greatest challenges; declare Jesus as your greatest source of joy. May God grant us the courage of Daniel.