(21 verses, 3:28 to read)
What I am about to READ
The Lord blesses Daniel in Babylon and makes him a high official in the king’s court.
MARK and LEARN
- Verse 1: “In the third year”—The Babylonian captivity was not a single event but, rather, a series of three events extending over about 20 years. The Babylonians became the world ruler in 605 BC by defeating Egypt in the battle of Carchemish. In that year, in the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, they conquered Judah (but did not destroy Jerusalem) and took some of the best Israelites into captivity. Included in that deportation were Daniel and his three friends (Hananiah renamed Shadrach, Mishael renamed Meshach, and Azariah renamed Abednego…see verse 7).
- Verse 2: Nebuchadnezzar took the treasures of God’s house and put them in the temple of his god. The theme of Daniel is set up already in verse 2. The theme is God’s ultimate victory over all the kingdoms of the world and their false gods.
- Daniel had a choice to make. Either he would eat the king’s food, which was given him by the king’s “nutrition expert” to make the trainees as healthy as possible, or he would continue to follow the dietary rules of God’s law.
- Some excuses Daniel could have used are that he might have gotten into trouble, that God would understand his disobedience under difficult conditions, or that he could disobey without any harm. Yet the Lord was working in the heart of the official in charge of the trainees and gave Daniel favor in his eyes.
- The Lord blessed Daniel’s faithful response/obedience by giving him better health and more wisdom and knowledge than any of the other men in Babylon.
Obedience is a natural fruit of faith. There were plenty of excuses Daniel could have offered for disobeying God. He lived in Babylon after all! But Daniel’s conscience wouldn’t allow it. He belonged to the true God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and nothing could prevent him from worshiping the Lord properly. There are plenty of excuses we could make too. We live in a Babylon of sorts, where we’re constantly pressured to abandon the true God for the latest false idol fad. In such times as these Daniel provides us with a wonderful example. Lord, grant that we remain faithful in midst of Babylon. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
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Pastor Kevin Zellers, Jr.