Today’s Scripture: But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Daniel 1:8

Of the thousands of young Jewish men who were swept into the net of Babylon’s conquest of Israel, only four refused to violate God’s law and eat the meat and wine of Nebuchadnezzar. Four out of thousands. I can imagine the other Jewish youths who probably looked at Daniel and his three friends like they were unreasonable. “What’s the big deal? Just eat the meat and go with the flow.”

Daniel knew that small sins were just as big as big sins. He knew that compromise on the seemingly harmless level would lead to greater deficiencies in character. I wonder if God wasn’t testing these young men, because later, we see Daniel and his three friends take much larger, more dangerous positions, risking death.

Remember, little things eventually turn in to big things. Anyone I have ever seen fall away from the Lord didn’t start on their downward spiral by having an affair, embezzling money, or leading a revolt.  It always started with small shortcuts in their spiritual walk.

Don’t be tempted by Satan’s trail of deceit. It begins with a glance, a remark, an idle word of gossip. Then, it leads to something bigger.

I’m not writing this to be nitpicky and petty. Only to say, whether we are young or old, men or women – we must all be vigilant guardians of our hearts.

Today, let’s ask God for the courage, wisdom, and foresight to obey in the little things so that we already have an answer when the greater issues arise.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder