Daniel was taken captive by King Nebuchadnezzar, along with many other young men of Israel. He was told that he and others would train for three years with the end goal of possibly serving before the king. The king gave all the men in training "a daily provision of the king's delicacies and of the wine which he drank" while they studied the language and literature of the Chaldeans.
Then verse 8, "But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself." And three other young Israelite men followed his lead.
He purposed. In spite of him being ripped from his homeland, in spite of being absent from family, in spite of the delicacies before him, he purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself--all because of his love for the Lord and His ways. Wow.
God had set the Israelites apart, and as Christians He has set us apart. So do we blend in with culture, not wanting to stir the waters or cause any trouble? Or do we in love purpose in our hearts that we will not defile ourselves with the delicacies this world has to offer? The choices are innumerable; and we are offered a daily "platter." But God's ways bring ultimate reward.
After ten days of being tested in their request, the four young men that purposed to remain pure "appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king's delicacies...As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams...(and the king) found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm."
God's ways are best. Though there are passing pleasures of this world, nothing will ultimately satisfy like Him. May we be a purposeful people.
For further nourishment: Daniel 1