The Youth’s Instructor


November 12, 1907

With Full Purpose of Heart


To carry out his purpose not to defile himself with the king's food, Daniel made request of the prince of the eunuchs for a simpler diet. “Now God had brought Daniel into favor and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.” This officer saw in Daniel good traits of character. He saw that he was striving to be kind and helpful, that his words were respectful and courteous, and his manner possessed the grace of modesty and meekness. It was the good behavior of the youth that gained for him the favor and love of the prince. YI November 12, 1907, par. 1

But the prince of the eunuchs hesitated to grant the request of Daniel, fearing that such rigid abstinence as he proposed would cause the Hebrews to become less ruddy in health than those who ate of the king's dainties. He said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.” YI November 12, 1907, par. 2

But it was not the luxuries of the king that would give to these youth a clear countenance and bright eye. It was the consciousness of having the approval of God. And Daniel knew that if he and his companions were permitted to adopt a simple diet, by the time they were called to appear before the king, the advantages of health reform would be apparent in their physical health. YI November 12, 1907, par. 3

Daniel pleaded for a ten days’ trial. “Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days,” he said; “and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king's meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants. So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.” YI November 12, 1907, par. 4

When they preferred their request, the Hebrew youth knew the seriousness of their position, and by earnest prayer they braced themselves for duty and for trial. Severe criticism was passed upon them by their companions; they had to meet ridicule and abuse; but sneers could not weaken their piety. With watchfulness and prayer they guarded every avenue of temptation. They had learned the principles of true service. They were captives, lonely, and in peril; but they were in possession of a treasure of priceless worth,—unbending integrity. They feared to do wrong. YI November 12, 1907, par. 5

“And at the end of the ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat. Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and of the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.” The simple pulse and water, which they at first requested, was thereafter the food of Daniel and his companions. YI November 12, 1907, par. 6

From the experience of these Hebrew children, we can learn the precious lesson that the Lord watches over those who place themselves in right relation to him and to his requirements. God regarded with approval the firmness and self-denial of these youth, and his blessing attended them. In Daniel and his companions we have an instance of the triumph of principles over temptation and indulgence of appetite. It shows us that through religious principles young men may triumph over the lusts of the flesh, and remain true to God's requirements, even though it costs them great sacrifice. YI November 12, 1907, par. 7

What young men and women need is Christian heroism. God's Word declares that he that ruleth his spirit is better than he that taketh a city. To rule the spirit means to keep self under discipline. The youth must not suppose that they can go on living careless and indulgent lives, seeking no preparation for the kingdom of God, and yet in time of trial be able to stand firm for the truth. They need to seek earnestly to bring into their lives the perfection that is seen in the life of the Saviour, so that when Christ shall come, they will be prepared to enter in through the gates into the city of God. God's abounding love and presence in the heart will give the power of self-control, and will mold and fashion the mind and character. The grace of Christ in the life will direct the aims and purposes and capabilities into channels that will give moral and spiritual power—power which the youth will not have to leave in this world, but which they can carry with them into the future life and retain through the eternal ages. YI November 12, 1907, par. 8

Mrs. E. G. White