Daniel 1 – STARTING OVER
CIRCUMSTANCES CHANGE – Vss. 1-4
Daniel and his friends had lived in Judah, but were now in a new situation. They had been taken captive, and chosen to become government officials in service to the King of Babylon.
We can be well assured that there will be changing circumstances in our lives as well.
CHALLENGES ABOUND – Vss. 4-7
When circumstances change, we discover new challenges. Daniel and his friends faced the following challenges.
1. A new language – Vs. 4 (end of verse)
2. New education – Vs. 4 (end of verse)
3. New diet – Vs. 5
4. New names – Vss. 6-7 – Instead of being named after the God of Israel, the new names reflected the Babylonian gods.
It seems that the Babylonians were doing everything they could to make these young men forget their old ways and their own religion.
CONVICTIONS DICTATE – Vss. 8-14
There is a difference between conviction and preference.
For instance, I have met parents who had a preference of Christian School for their children. They would prefer that their children receive a Christian education. Most people, who simply prefer Christian School, will find it relatively easy to place their children in a public school. Parents who are convicted that Christian Education is the will of God for their child will settle for nothing less if at all possible.
If Daniel and his friends only had a preference for the right kind of food, they would not have made the stand that they made. Their conviction dictated their behavior. It says in verse 8 that Daniel purposed in his heart. That’s conviction!
Daniel and his friends did not want to defile themselves with the king’s food, that was obviously not a kosher diet. Daniel made a quiet request and then proposed a test of ten days of eating just vegetables.
Our convictions will dictate our behavior, especially when we find ourselves in new circumstances.
CONSEQUENCES BLESS – Vss. 15-21
We often think of the bad consequences that come from going what is wrong. But remember that there are good consequences for doing what is right (Galatians 6:7-8).
In this case, the obedience of Daniel and his friends resulted in:
1. Fairer and fuller countenance – Vs. 15
2. Removal of the objectionable food – Vs. 16
3. Superior knowledge and skill – Vss. 17-20
4. Long life (Daniel) – Vs. 21