“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” (1:8). When Babylon conquered Judah (the southern part of Israel), Daniel was one of the capable young men from noble Judean families forced into service in Babylon’s royal palace. Daniel and his friends grew in knowledge and understanding so that they could serve the king (1:17-20), but their first loyalty was to God (symbolized by their food choices).
“I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors” (2:23). Like Daniel, whether in Jerusalem or Babylon, we can choose to be faithful to God’s ways and to honor him above all else.