“’Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.’ So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.” (Dan 1:12-14)
“In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom. And Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.” (Dan 1:17-21)
I find it a strange coincidence that Daniel’s wisdom increased in an exact proportion to the number of days his faith was tested. Could it be that God’s blessings sometimes come in proportion to our faith? Could it be that we’re the ones who sometime set the limit upon what God will do? Could it be that God has so much more He is willing to give us, if only we had the faith to trust Him?
David Guzik writes in his commentary on Daniel –
“These young Jewish men gave themselves to the LORD in a remarkable way and God blessed them in a remarkable way. J. Edwin Orr remembered something Billy Brice said to him: “Edwin, if Christians would only give over and above their reasonable service, the Lord would give over and above the usual blessing.” Daniel and his friends understood this principle and God blessed them for acting on it.”
I am not encouraging us to try to manipulate God, but I wonder if we as believers sometime set the ceiling on His blessings. In Matthew 9 Jesus is asked to heal two blind men. In response to their request Jesus said, “According to your faith will it be done to you.” Again I am reminded of the time Jesus was asked to heal the servant of the Centurion. In response to the Centurion’s faith Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.” (Matthew 8:10) Yet once again my mind goes to another passage of scripture where Jesus was in His hometown of Nazareth. Scripture says, “And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” (Matthew 13:58)
Any blessing we might receive from the Lord is due to His willingness to be gracious. We neither earn nor deserve a single blessing from God. Yet at the same time I don’t believe that we’re being true to scripture if we do not recognize that the Lord often responded in accordance to someone’s faith.
Perhaps the number ten is a coincidence in the life of Daniel. Or perhaps the Lord is trying to teach us that we are the ones who often determine the amount of blessing we receive. Regardless how you might view it, we all agree that we serve a great God who expects great faith from His people.
But without faith it is impossible to please him:
for he that cometh to God must believe that he is,
and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.