3. Daniel determined in his heart to remain faithful to God even in Babylonian captivity.
Daniel would not defile (taint, dishonor) himself by eating the king’s finest food and wine. Historians say the Chaldeans strangled their meat animals. That method went against Jewish dietary laws because the blood was still in it.
Daniel’s name means “judge of God”¹. His friends’ names also contained references to God. Their new names contained references to idolatry. As Daniel and his three companions are called children (KJV), they may have been no more than age twelve.²
To carry out his plan, Daniel asked the chief of staff to excuse them from eating the unacceptable foods. He asked the attendant to feed him and his friends only vegetables and water instead of the food and wine provided for the others.
Outcome — “At the end of ten days it seemed that they were looking better and healthier than all the young men who ate the king’s finest food.” Daniel 1:15 AMP
And — “In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the [learned] magicians and enchanters (Magi) in his whole realm. Daniel 1:20 AMP (emphasis added)
4. God blesses Daniel and his friends.
Before Daniel asked for permission (to be exempt from the king’s diet), God gave him favor — respect and affection — in the eyes of the commander. The commander confessed he was afraid to disobey the king. He thought Daniel and his friends might become pale and thin compared to the other young men.
The only wise God gave Daniel wisdom. He asked their attendant to test them for ten days to see how they looked compared to the other young men who were eating the king’s food.
What does this show you about God?
God gave Daniel the wisdom and the boldness needed to approach the king’s official and attendant. God also gave Daniel favor so that they agreed to his suggestion.
Daniel’s friends were blessed to have a friend like Daniel who displayed a leadership gift.
Daniel was blessed with supportive, like-minded, Hebrew-speaking friends.
5. The story of Daniel inspires me.
I noticed new details about Him. Several questions came up also.
They were new captives — very young men, captured and taken from their families, homes, towns, and culture. They had to learn a new language in a new culture.
And, I wonder if Daniel and his friends were forced to become eunuchs? Daniel 1:8 “…he (Daniel) asked the chief of the eunuchs…” If so, wow. He and his friends had reason to really hate and fear the king.
Israel went into captivity because of their unfaithfulness to God. Yet Daniel and his friends remained faithful or became faithful.
Who trained Daniel before captivity? Most scholars assume these young men were of royal lineage because of their earlier education.
There’s a lot we don’t know about him, but this we do know — He faithfully served in the Babylonian court for sixty-seven or sixty-eight years. It reminds me of Joseph’s fate.
Daniel’s example encourages me to pursue my relationship with God no matter what is going on around me. I am so blessed to have access to many versions of the Bible, reference books, teachers, and other resources. They had nothing.
Then they were immersed in the ungodly culture and taught cultish ways. And we worry about our children attending public school.
I have so much to be thankful for. I have no reason not to remain faithful. God has certainly been faithful to me.
I’m in awe of this young man.
¹ Strongs Greek-Hebrew Dictionary
² Matthew Henry
³ Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary