Summary: Now you reckon what Daniel had to guide him at this crucial time?
Daniel chapter 1.
Last time we talked about why Judah was taken captive into Babylon. It was the judgment of God for disobeying His rules and Commandments. The Jews repeatedly disobeyed His commands, especially the law of the land. The land was supposed to have a Sabbath, to lay desolate the seventh year. Verses one and two tell us that part we called the deportation of Judah.
Now in verses 3 -- 7 we will call THE DESIGN OF NEBUCHADNEZZAR. Let’s read them together. As we read I will emphasize some phrases.
From these verses it is obvious that Nebuchadnezzar was designing a plan that some of the young captives would serve him. He commanded that the chief captain carefully choose all the men. He was to choose those who were of royal lineage, intellectually sound, and physically fit. They were to enter a training program in the school of the Chaldeans for a total of three years. So, we can conclude from all this, that Daniel and his friends met the mark. Now it is possible that Daniel and his friends are descendants from the good King Hezekiah. Let’s turn to Isaiah 39: 5 -- 7. Take special note of the 7th verse.
In verses 5,6 there is every evidence that the Kings design was to convert the Hebrews to the Chaldean way of life intellectually, socially and religiously. After enrolling them in the three-year program, the King prepared their diet of food and drank. That meant that these boys would have the best food and drank fit for King.
Now there were no doubt other young men who went through the same training but these four were named for the important role they would play in the story.
Most of the commentaries I have read put the age of these four young men at around the age of 17. As I mentioned, their names are given. When they were born, their parents gave them names that when mentioned would remind them of God. It was the intention of Nebuchadnezzar to erase anything that would identify them with their people and their God.
Now the name Daniel means God is my judge. He was given the name Belteshazzar which means bel’s prince. Bel of course was one of the gods of the Chaldeans. This also applies to the others. Hananiah, beloved of the Lord, to Shadrach meaning, illumined by the sun god. Mishael, who is as God; Meshach, who is like unto Venus. Azariah, the Lord is my help: Abednego, the servant of the Nego.
So you see the changing of their names was to keep in front of them the gods of the Chaldeans. As we would refer to it today as brain washing. That was the design of the King.
Now in verses 8 -- 16, we will talk a little about THE DEPORTMENT OF DANIEL. They could change Daniel’s name but they could not change his nature. Now Daniel alone could not prevent his deportation but he could only be defiled by his own behavior.
I want to tell you, this was some more test for this teenager. He was taken captive, not by his on doing but because of the sins of his fathers. The could have just thrown up his hands and said what is the use. I might as well live it up today, because no telling what tomorrow might bring. He could have thought here in Babylon I will do as the Babylonians do.
Now you might be asking what could be wrong with the food and drank? Why did Daniel think it would not be pleasing to God? Well, the food and drank would have been a sacrifice to the gods of the Chaldeans. Because the food and drank would have been dedicated to the heathen gods of the Chaldeans, Daniel wanted no part of it.
Now you reckon what Daniel had to guide him at this crucial time? When he stood at the crossroads of decision-making, what determined his proper actions? I believe it was the knowledge he possessed of the Holy Scriptures. Those writings that had been penned by Moses, David and the prophets. We have hardly started with this young man and I am already pretty impressed with his strong convictions. He would not surrender his faith in God nor renounce the Word of God. Daniel honored God and what did God do? He honored the witness of his faithful servant. God brought Daniel into favor and sympathy with the prince of the eunuchs. Daniel ask for vegetables and water instead of the Kings food.
Now the prince of the eunuchs said I respect your conviction but I dare not give you your wish because if you lose weight, or get sick, I am a dead man. Daniel said try it for 10 days and if we don’t look better than the others, then you do different.