SEARCH THE ARCHIVE

? SEARCH TIPS
Exact phrase, enclose in quotes:
“keyword phrase here”
Multiple words, separate with commas:
keyword, keyword

The last time: how are we living? Are we living in these last times by partaking of the king’s meat? Do we like the king’s meat? Do we find that it is desirable and that it tastes delicious? If our answer to those questions is yes, then we, you and I, are simply not living in these last times as we should. To put it bluntly, if our answer to those questions is yes, then we, you and I, are in deep spiritual trouble. We are in deep spiritual trouble. We are in deep spiritual trouble exactly because the Word of God to us today is that we may not partake of the king’s meat. But rather, we along with Daniel of old must purpose in our hearts that we will not defile ourselves with the portion of the king’s meat. 

Yes, Daniel. Daniel refused to partake of the king’s meat. Oh, to be sure, it was offered to him. Daniel, as we noticed last time, had been taken captive to Babylon’s land. In Babylon’s land he had been separated from his covenant parents and from the covenant education that he had received from his covenant parents. In Babylon’s land he had been subjected to the godless learning and education of Nebuchadnezzar’s court. In Babylon’s land his name had been changed from a name that reminded him of his covenant God and the faithfulness that his covenant God had shown to him, to a name that reminded him solely of heathen gods and their abominable worship. And in Babylon’s land he was offered the king’s meat—The king’s meat that consisted of the finest food in the realm: food that was fit and suitable only for the king’s table. It was delicious food. It was food that was pleasing to the taste: food that, so to speak, would make one’s mouth water. That food, that king’s meat, Daniel was offered. And that word “offered” must be emphasized. Every day the king’s servants brought that food. Every day the king’s servants placed that food before Daniel. And having done so, they by that very action said to Daniel: Oh, Daniel, doesn’t that look delicious! We have prepared for you the finest food in the realm. Doesn’t it look delicious! Won’t you try some? Just try it! See once if you like it! It won’t hurt you! That food was offered to Daniel and offered to Daniel very forcefully. And that word “forcefully” must also be emphasized. It was not the case merely that Daniel could accept or reject that food if he so desired. It was not the case merely that Daniel could say to those servants when they brought him that food: No, I prefer not to eat of it. But rather it was the case, that no matter if he wanted to eat of it or not, he had to eat of it! The king, according to verse 5 of chapter 1, had “appointed” Daniel to eat of his meat. That is, the eating of the king’s meat was that which was required of him. From the point of view of the king there was simply no choice in the matter: no ifs, ands, or buts about the matter. Daniel was required to eat of the king’s meat, and that was all there was to it. 

But Daniel, according to verse 8 of chapter 1, “purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat.” Daniel refused. Required of him or not, Daniel would not eat of the king’s meat. And he told the king’s servant so. He came to the king’s servant and said to him very forthrightly and very pointedly: I may not eat of the kings’ meat. I may not. Instead of feeding me with the king’s meat, give me pulse to eat and water to drink. And do not be afraid. Do not fear for thy life. I will be alright. My countenance will be just as fair and even more fair than the other youths. Do not fear that I shall look undernourished. Just do as I say and give me pulse to eat and water to drink. I may not eat of the king’s meat! And he did not. The king’s servant, into whose favor God had brought Daniel, consented to Daniel’s request. For ten days Daniel ate only pulse, and for ten days he drank only water. 

Now you may say to yourself: Oh, how ridiculous! ,How utterly ridiculous! How utterly ridiculous Daniel was in not eating of the king’s meat. Surely he could have eaten of the king’s meat. There would have been nothing wrong with that. What could be so wrong for Daniel to partake of a good supper? Was not Daniel being just a little bit stubborn, just a little bit ridiculous, in refusing to eat of the king’s meat? I say, you may say that to yourself. But I assure you that you, and I with you, will not say that to ourselves when we understand what that king’s meat represented. Daniel understood very clearly what that king’s meat represented. That king’s meat that was served to Daniel was in fact the very same king’s meat that was served to idols. It was meat that was served to idols! Meat was sacrificed to the idol gods of Babylon’s land. Meat was consecrated and dedicated to the idol gods of Babylon’s land. And a portion of that very same meat that was consecrated and dedicated and sacrificed to the idol gods of Babylon’s land was the very same meat that Daniel was required to eat. Daniel knew that. He was fully aware of that. And even more, he was fully aware of what it would have meant if he had eaten of that king’s meat. If he had not refused to eat of that king’s meat, if he had eaten of that king’s meat, that would have meant that Daniel recognized those idol gods to be gods, and not Jehovah! It would have meant that Daniel worshipped those gods, and not Jehovah! It would have meant that Daniel loved those idol gods, and not Jehovah! That is what that would have meant. And understanding what that would have meant, Daniel refused to eat of the king’s meat. 

And that simply means that Daniel, in harmony with his calling, the calling which is given to every single child of God, lived in Babylon’s land an antithetical life. And that must be emphasized! Daniel, by refusing to partake of the king’s meat, lived in harmony with the antithesis—the antithesis, which is always the battle of light over against darkness; the antithesis, which is always the battle of the Church over against the world; the antithesis, which is always that battle between God and all that which is not God; the antithesis, which is always the battle between Christ and Belial. That is the antithesis—the antithesis which always, which always, consists in the calling of the child of God to keep oneself unspotted from the world, the calling of the child of God to live one’s life as a pilgrim and a stranger, fleeing that which is of darkness and standing firmly upon the side of Christ. That is the antithesis. And that antithesis, that antithetical calling, Daniel lived when he refused to partake of the king’s meat. 

Do we? Do we?! Do we stand firmly upon the side of Christ? Do we? Do we live in harmony with our antithetical calling? Do we? Do we refuse to partake of the king’s meat? Do we? That is the question. Understand well that the question is not: Do we teach the antithesis? Do we expound the antithesis? Do we emphasize the doctrine of the antithesis? Of course we do. We do teach and expound and emphasize the doctrine of the antithesis. We hear the doctrine of the antithesis taught and expounded and emphasized from our pulpits by faithful ministers of the Word of God Sunday after Sunday. We read about the doctrine of the antithesis from our printed pages, the pages of ourStandard Bearer. Indeed, our Churches are known for their strong and forceful stand upon the doctrine of the antithesis. And we can only give thanks to God for that. But, you see, that is not the question. The question is not: Do we teach the antithesis? But the question is: Do we live the antithesis? Do we live it? That is the question. And understand well, also, that that is not my question. That is God’s question. God says to you and to me: Do you, who are My people in these last times live the antithesis? Do you refuse to partake of the king’s meat? Or do you, instead of refusing, partake of the king’s meat? What is your answer to God’s question? 

Well you say: Certainly not! I do not partake of the king’s meat. I would never do such a thing. I live in harmony with the antithesis. I keep myself unspotted from the world. I live as a pilgrim and a stranger. Really? I wonder. And the reason I wonder about that is simply because I know my own weaknesses. I look at my life. I ask myself the question: Do I refuse to partake of the king’s meat? And much to my utter dismay I discover that very often, much too often, I do. 

The king’s meat comes to us in the form of the pleasures and treasures of this life. It comes to us in the form of the godless entertainment of this life—its movies and its drama; its music, its godless music! Parents, have you asked your young people lately if they have attended movies? And I do not mean movies in the theatre either. I mean movies in the home on our very own television sets. Have you asked your young people what kind of music they listen to in their cars? I dare say it is not God-glorifying music, but rather the music of the king’s meat. And, by the way, when you ask your young people that question, be sure and ask yourselves that question. Do you watch the same movies, the king’s meat, right along with your children? To what kind of music do you listen? 

That is serious business. It is serious business because this world, the world of Babylon’s land, offers that king’s meat to us. It does! As really as it did to Daniel of old, it offers it to us. Its word to us is: Here, partake of my pleasures and treasures! Here, partake of my entertainment and all the rest! It won’t hurt you! It’s not so bad! Just try a little bit! See once if you like it! It won’t hurt you! 

Do we? If you do, then you know by experience that just as soon as we try a little bit, we try some more, and some more, and some more, until pretty soon we are filled to overflowing with the king’s meat. And the result, the inevitable result, is that we forget all about our calling. And having forgotten all about our calling, we forget all about our God. And that, I say, is serious business. 

We may not forget about our God. We may not forget about our calling. We may not partake of the king’s meat. Remember, these are the last times. But the question is: how are we living?