Plain living and high thinking go together.
When God’s people are in Babylon, they should take special care that they partake not of her sins (Psalm 141:4).
It is to the praise of God’s people not to relish the delights of sense,
but to look upon them with indifference.
1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.
2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
3 ¶ And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes;
4 Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.
5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.
6 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:
7 Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abed-nego.
8 ¶ But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
9 Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.
10 And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.
11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.
13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.
14 So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.
15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat.
16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.
17 ¶ As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
18 Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
19 And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.
20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.
21 And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus.
Daniel 1:1-2 – J. Vernon McGee
Daniel 1:3-5 – J. Vernon McGee
Daniel 1:6-8 – J. Vernon McGee
Daniel 1:9-13 – J. Vernon McGee
Daniel 1:14-21 – J. Vernon McGee
Daniel 1 – Moral Courage Rewarded
These young men of noble Jewish families were brought to Babylon to receive education for the civil service. Their names were altered to break, so far as possible, their connection with the past. The food provided probably contravened Leviticus 3:17. According to the usual custom it had been presented before an idol, I Corinthians 8:10. Note those words: Daniel purposed in his heart. It is all important to resolve in one’s heart that certain things are not possible for us. Too many of us have a secret reserve. We barricade the front door but leave the back door on the latch. We ought to realize the extent to which Paul referred when he said, “dead to sin” (Romans 6:2). God always cooperates with His servants when they are true to Him. He brought Daniel into favor; He gave him skill; He caused his face and that of his three friends, to bear the hue of health. Let us trust Him to do His part! This is the secret of continuance, Daniel 1:21. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Find the missing words then click and drag the letters in the grid below. Click “Start“
1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and ________________ it.
4 Children in whom was no ______________, but well ________________, and skilful in all ____________, and cunning in __________________, and understanding ______________, and such as had ______________ in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the ________________ and the ____________ of the Chaldeans.
5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so ____________________ them three years, that at the end thereof they might __________ before the king.
Daniel 1:21—And Daniel continued even unto the first year of King Cyrus.
Is that wonderful? It may seem so when you consider the uncertainty of Oriental politics, and the feverish haste with which favorites are raised to confidential positions and thrust back again to obscurity. In this very book we have glimpses of the virulence of hatred entertained in the court of Babylon towards Jews, and the mortification with which aspirants for the royal favor found it monopolized by Daniel and his friends. But we cease to wonder when we turn to Daniel 6:10, and discover Daniel’s habit of kneeling upon his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks to his God. Prayer is the secret of continuance.
To all deep lives there come moments of serious questioning: Shall I be able to hold out? Shall I always be able to withstand the virulent hate of my foes, and overcome the corruption of my heart? Will it be always possible to meet the strong and imperious demands of duty, and the appeal of those who look to me for help? Amid the changes that the years may bring, will it be possible to maintain my ground? Men are so capricious; events so fluctuating; the sea of human life so unstable. To all such suggestions there is but one reply—prayer is the secret of continuance.
It is a dangerous temptation of the adversary, so writes one of God’s hidden ones, when upright minds suffer themselves to be completely cast down by the unbelieving—I had almost said proud—view of their infirmities: in the performance of God’s works such ought only to humble themselves, and go forward. He who loves and exercises prayer, will in due time be translated from self unto God: from being a pitcher, filled and emptied, to a river-bed. (Meyer)