Today’s devotion focuses on two non believers who were servants to Daniel and his friends. I hope you enjoy it.
Ashpenaz and Melzar
We have seen already that God can use anyone to be a servant to his servants. Many times, when a person provides a service to someone it is as simple as allowing them to do what God called them to do in the first place. To just get out of the way and let God do his thing.
In the first chapter of Daniel, we see four Hebrew children taken into captivity and carried into a foreign land. They are chosen to be groomed and trained as Babylonian servants and wise men. With this honor also comes the honor of receiving food and nourishment from the Kings table. Since this was the best food in the land, it would seem right that anyone who ate it would be stronger and more fit than any others. But scripture says Daniel decided in his heart that he was not going to eat the kings meat. There was nothing he could do about being in captivity, but he believed that he could do something about what he took into his body. In believing this, he took a stand against the King and his decree. But to do this, he had to have help, and not just from his three companions. They had no more legal right than Daniel did. There had to be someone who was willing to look the other way so that these four young men could honor God in the way that they saw fit. Just like always, God takes care of things when we take a stand for him. He gave Daniel favor in the eyes of Ashpenaz, the prince of the Eunuchs. In that favor, he listened to Daniel’s request and gave his opinion that he was scared of the King seeing Daniel and his three companions in worse shape than the others. So Daniel went to the other servant, Melzar, who was over he and his friends, and in essence put God to the test. He said prove us for ten days. Give us vegetables to eat and water to drink and then see if our countenance is different than the others. You see, Daniel believed that God could take care of him. He believed that with all his heart or he wouldn’t have been able to go through with it. Both Ashpenaz and his servant had to see this belief in Daniel or they would not have gone along with him. But because of the favor that God had given Daniel in their eyes, they went along with him. For ten days, Daniel and his friends ate nothing but vegetables and drank water while everyone else ate meat and fine foods and the best wines. After ten days, they were not only better to look at, but they had gained weight and looked better than all those who had eaten the kings meat. With the test being passed, Melzar did not balk at his promise, but took the kings meat from the four of them and gave them their request for the remainder of their time.
Why were these two Babylonian servants so important to God’s servants? Because sometimes we need help from others who have more authority than we do. Sometimes we have to disobey man’s law’s to follow God’s laws. Sometimes we have to depend on people who may not believe the same way we do, but trust that God will give us favor in their eyes. You see, Daniel and his friends were in a strange country being taught strange ways, but they did not forget the ways of their God. In doing so, God provided someone who allowed them to go completely against the wishes of the King. Why would someone do this? Why would they take the chance that they could be killed for not following strict orders from the King? Because they saw something different in these four Hebrew children. They saw something that they could follow and that was a devotion to their God that gave them strength to stand against anything that would be contrary to what they believed. Because of their service to God, these two Babylonian servants went against their King’s decree and served God’s servants.
Do you ever wonder if your life is making a difference in other peoples lives? Sometimes we try too hard to make a difference when all we need to do is just live our lives according to Gods laws and his precepts. When we do that, others will be drawn to us and they will help us in our service to God. I truly believe that Daniel’s faithfulness drew these two Babylonian men to a realization of what God truly was. They saw that he was a defender of those who believed in him mind body and spirit. They became servants of God’s servants and didn’t even know what they were doing. But because of Daniel’s faithfulness, they saw something that they could believe in. Something that would make them do things they would have never done before. That’s what being a servant will do. It will cause others to serve.