by NTEB Health and Wellness Editor Stephanie A. Buist, ND HC
Daniel's actual plan in the bible had very little to do with fasting and everything to do with being obedient to God
I am going to take a time out from the commentary on the Five Habits of Healthy People sermon, by Rick Warren in his Daniel Plan launch, to go over some important biblical truths about the real Daniel story. My hope is that if you see what the real story was, it will give a clearer picture of the concern I have over this plan. Please understand I am not against fasting. But the Daniel story is not about fasting at all. So lets begin.
Reducing holy scripture to a marketing scheme to sell stuff to gullible Christians cannot be pleasing to the God who wrote that scripture, can it?
The story of Daniel and King Nebuchadnezzar is shared with us in Daniel 1:1-21. I have pulled out the key scriptures of the story for ease of evaluation (full story linked above). Daniel was a Jew who had been taken into Babylon. What do we know about the Jews? They have very specific dietary laws. It was not permissible for them to eat anything they pleased. If it was an animal not only did it have to be killed in a specific way but it also had to be prepared in a specific way. Nebuchadnezzar was the King over all of the Babylonian Empire and did not have any of these restrictions.
First we read that the King decides that he is going to share his meat and wine with the children of Israel who were under his care. This meat would have been offered up to idols as was common in the Babylonian culture. Jews were specifically forbidden to have anything to do with things offered to idols. So Daniel decided to honor God and refuse the Kings food.
Daniel 1: 5 (KJV) "And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king."
Daniel 1:8 (KJV) "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."
He then proposes to Melzar to allow them to eat pulse for 10 days. What is Pulse? According to the Bible dictionary it is described as: PULSE, n. L. pulsus, beaten out, as seeds; Heb. a bean, to separate.Leguminous plants or their seeds; the plants whose pericarp is a legume or pod, as beans, peas,
Another states it is : "herbs," vegetable food in general."
Daniel 1:11-16 (KJV) "Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; 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. And at the end of 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 the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.
Daniel 18-19 (KJV) "Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king."
To recap, Daniel and the others refused to eat the kings meat and wine offered up to idols. Instead he ate pulse which is beans, seeds and vegetables along with drinking water. After 10 days they appeared before the king. At the end of the 10 days their countenances (facial expressions) looked fairer along with being fatter in the flesh. Does that sound like Rick Warren's Daniel Plan?
Click here to read the rest of this story on Stepping Stones Living…