Daniel 1

A drawing of Babylon’s attack on Jerusalem

The Fall of Jerusalem (v1-3)

    • God’s prophets has been warning Judah regarding God’s coming judgement because of their idolatry, immorality, and injustice toward the poor and needy.
    • Isaiah prophesied the falled of Judah (Isa 13;31 and 39)
      • “The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your fathers have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the LORD.  And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.” (Isaiah 39:6-7)
    • Micah prophesied Judah would go to Babylon (Micah 4:10)
      • “Writhe in agony, O Daughter of Zion, like a woman in labor, for now you must leave the city to camp in the open field. You will go to Babylon; there you will be rescued. There the LORD will redeem you out of the hand of your enemies.” (Micah 4:10)
    • Habakkuk couldn’t understand how God could use the godless Babylonians to chasten His own people (Hab 1)
    • Jeremiah lived to see these and his own prophesies came true (Jer 20;25;27).”This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years” (Jer 25:11)
    • God has fulfilled His promised to the Jews. If Israel obeyed His commandments, He would bless them. If Israel disobeyed, God would chasten and scatter them among the Gentiles (Lev 26; Deut 27-30)
    • Sins of Israel includes ungodly kings, priests and false prophets.
      • But it happened because of the sins of her prophets
        and the iniquities of her priests,
        who shed within her
        the blood of the righteous. (Lam 4:13)
      • Concerning the prophets:

        My heart is broken within me;
        all my bones tremble.
        I am like a drunken man,
        like a strong man overcome by wine,
        because of the Lord
        and his holy words.
        10 The land is full of adulterers;
        because of the curse the land lies parched
        and the pastures in the wilderness are withered.
        The prophets follow an evil course
        and use their power unjustly.

        11 “Both prophet and priest are godless;
        even in my temple I find their wickedness,”
        declares the Lord.
        12 “Therefore their path will become slippery;
        they will be banished to darkness
        and there they will fall.
        I will bring disaster on them
        in the year they are punished,”
        declares the Lord.
        13 
        “Among the prophets of Samaria
        I saw this repulsive thing:
        They prophesied by Baal
        and led my people Israel astray.
        14 And among the prophets of Jerusalem
        I have seen something horrible:
        They commit adultery and live a lie.
        They strengthen the hands of evildoers,
        so that not one of them turns from their wickedness.
        They are all like Sodom to me;
        the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorrah.”(Jer 23:9-16)

Exiled and Training (v3-6)

  • Daniel and his three friends are from the tribe of Judah (v6).
  • They were from royal or noble family (v3)
  • They were healthy, handsome, smart, knowledgable, the best of the Jews (v4)
  • The Babylonians attempt to brainwash Daniel and his friends for three years. The Babylonians wanted Daniel and his friends to speak, think and eat and them (v4).
  • The Babylonians gave them new names to exalt the Babylonians’ gods
    • Daniel (God is my Judge) -> Belteshazzar (Bel protect his life)
    • Hananiah (the Lord shows grace) -> Shadrach (command of Aku)
    • Mishael (Who is like God) -> Meshach (Who is as Aku is)
    • Azariah (The Lord is my help) -> Abednego (Servant of Nebo)

Refused to Eat defiled Food (v8-16)

  • God gave the Jews very specific commandments of clean and unclean food in Leviticus chapter 11. “I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy” (Lev 11:44).
  • God also forbidden them to eat blood in Leviticus chapter 17. ” … I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from his people. For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar..” (Lev 17:10-11)
  • Daniel and friends must have remember God’s word: “… man does not live on bread alone but on ever word that comes from the mouth of the LORD” (Deut 8:4)
  • God intervened by causing the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel (v9)
  • When faced with the options to obey God or to obey man, Daniel and friends chose to obey God. However they did not threaten anybody, did not stage a protect, did not act violently. Instead they took the wise and gentle approach to ask the guard of the official to test them for ten days (v12).

Being Used by God for God’s Glory

  • “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matt 6:33)
  • Daniel and friends were faithful to the Lord in small things, can the Lord blessed them with knowledge and understanding of all kind of literature (v17).
  • Daniel received double portion of blessing, he was blessed with gift to interprete dreams and visions (v17)
  • It is like God is telling us, be faithful to me in small things, and see how I could use you for His glory.
  • Daniel lived till Cyrus reign to see the return of Jews to Jerusalem (v21)

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