Summary: Let me give you a life principle Commitments are not made in the heat of battle but before the battle begins. The decision not to defile yourself sexually is not made in the back seat of a car in the heat of passion… they are made before.
605 BC – Babylon is new world superpower—King Nebuchadnezzar – Comes to Jerusalem, capital of Israel and defeats it but…
Let’s it alone – except taxes and takes a few select young men of royal blood
Puts them through intense deprograming … designed to wipe out any trace of past… Judaism… nationalistic fervor.
New education, new philosophies, Babylonian dress, Babylonian language, Babylonian everything
Even new names
Now I want you to get this whole situation in your mind
These boys are about 16, have never been away from home more than 20 miles, have never lived anywhere but at home, have never “been to town” so to speak and are as green as a turnip that just fell off the wagon.
They don’t know the first thing about the big city
“Boy, go get your Ma”
Back to the boys in Babylon. Here they are in this mega city, filled with all types of people, stuff happening round the clock, all kinds of activities and businesses like they have never seen. And EVIL!!!!! Prostitutes, con men, pick-pockets, businesses that offer everything the flesh can desire
And as a part of their deprograming and reprograming… they are allowed… no encouraged to “eat, drink and be merry.”
Imagine four sixteen year old boys from backwoods Appalachia all of the sudden plopped down in Las Vegan with pockets full of money and told “Go for it.”
These four boys were not the only captives taken and put through the deprograming… you can be sure the others were going for it, with a gusto!!!
To top it all off… these boy’s families were far away and had no idea what they were doing. They were denied contact.
These boys were told, “What happens in Babylon…and When in Babylon…”
The other boys were surely saying, “Everybody’s doing it.”
THEN… as part of their deprograming and reprograming… they were put on a very special diet of food and wine straight from the King’s table.
And the royal dieticians… the experts… said it was good for them and what is a 16 year of boy supposed to do… be impressed and intimidated.
And probably the other boys did.
It was good… only the best! It looked good, it smelled good and it tasted good.
THERE WAS ONLY ONE PROBLEM -- IT WAS UNCLEAN… NOT KOSHER
So what were these wet behind the ears teenagers going to do?
Listen to what they did…maybe one of the greatest verses in the whole bible… “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself…” Daniel 1:8
I don’t know if you have learned any bible verses lately but today is a good day to start and this is a good verse with which to start.
Now Daniel was raised right by his parents and you can see it here. He respected his elders and those in authority over him so he politely went to the dietician and explained his dilemma and proposed a ten day test.
They would eat only veggies and drink water and after 10 days, if they did not look and perform as well as the others, there was plenty of time for the dietician to get them back on the royal diet before they were to face final exams.
They passed with flying colors.
Rest of the story
God blessed Daniel and his friends because of their faithfulness and obedience and they rose in the government. Daniel especially rose because God especially blessed him because of his dedication.
The king reorganized his government with 120 governors and over them he placed three presidents… each overseeing 40 governors.
Daniel, however, distinguished himself even above the other two presidents and the King planned to create a new cabinet position which would place Daniel above all of the other politicians… over the 120 governors and the three presidents.
The other two governors were afraid. They hated Daniel because he was a foreigner and they were jealous of how the King respected Daniel.
They decided something had to be done about Daniel. They began to look for some chink in his armor, some fault, some weakness they could point out and cause Daniel to lose some of his sparkle in the king’s eyes. They wanted to have him removed… or at least not raised up over them.
But they could find no fault… God was blessing him.
So they decided to entrap Daniel. They would set up a sting operation, some situation where Daniel would be found guilty. But they went past just tarnishing his image… now they wanted to kill him.
So they devised a plan to have the King sign a royal decree (under the law of the Medes and Persians if the King made a decree it could not be changed by anyone… not even the King) that it was a capital crime for anyone to pray to any god except Nebuchadnezzar for 30 days. Anyone who did, would be thrown in the lion’s den.