Updated: Apr 22, 2022
Good morning. It is Wednesday, April 20, 2022.
I want to talk about a man who was handsome, who had integrity, a man who was loyal to his friends, a man who had huge faith in God.
He was a good man. You could not find any fault in him. There was nothing he did in the way he lived his life that you could talk bad about, well, at least and be truthful about it.
He was kidnapped as a teenager and taken to live in another country, but he so impressed the ruler of that country that eventually he would be made a ruler of sorts himself.
This is the story of Daniel.
We have been filming on the Women in the Word set at Better Life TV. The topic: Daniel. It has been good for me to relive and remember the story of Daniel and his three friends.
I wanted to revisit the man that Daniel was. We know the book of Daniel is filled with prophesy. Daniel and Revelation go hand in hand. But I wanted to look at the first 6 chapters. I wanted to get a feel for the man that Daniel was.
I grew up on all the great Bible stories and Daniel was no exception. The story of Daniel and the lion's den is one of my favorites. It is very possible that Daniel was in his 80's when that event happened. But let's backup a few years.
Daniel chapter 1 tells us Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, went to Jerusalem and "besieged" it. He ordered the master of his eunuchs to bring some of the children of Israel AND some of the king's descendants and some nobles. He wanted young men with no blemish. He wanted good-looking young men who were gifted in all wisdom and possessing knowledge and quick to understand. He wanted these young men to serve in his palace.
The king arranged for these captives to have the best of his food: "the king's delicacies and the king's wine.
Among these young men were sons of Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.
Did you catch that? They were from the line of Judah. Daniel is from David's royal family!
But back to the story. Chapter 1, verse 8: "But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself..."
My guests on Women in the Word have been Alta Austin and Donna Griffith. It has been brought up that, even though he was a young man, Daniel made the decision from the very beginning that he would do what was right. That he would follow the instruction from his youth. He would honor his upbringing and his God.
If Daniel had failed that first test, chances are he would have failed many others after that. If he had compromised on food and drink, chances are it would have been easier to compromise on the next test and the next. But he "purposed in his heart" to do the right thing.
We know those four young men asked for vegetables to eat and water to drink and at the end of 10 days "their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king's delicacies."
verse 17 "...God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams."
They were Jews and had been taught about clean and unclean food. Even though they were young, even though they had been taken captive, even though no one was there to judge them, they purposed to do the right thing.
Chapter one shows us that Daniel and his friends obeyed God. Chapter two is all about Nebuchadnezzar's first dream. I would invite you to read the chapter, but in summary the king has a dream. Not only is he troubled by the dream, but he cannot remember the dream. He calls all his magicians, astrologers and sorcerers and demands they tell him what his dream is. Of course they cannot and even say as much. Chapter 2 verse 10: "There is not a man on earth who can tell the king's matter..."
The king became very angry, furious and gave the command for all the wise men of Babylon to be killed.
Daniel prays in verses 20-23 and God gives him the meaning of the dream. Not only does Daniel go before the king and tell the king his dream, he interprets the dream. He saved the lives of all those men.
By the end of the day the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon. He made him chief administrator over all the wise men of Babylon. Daniel then petitioned the king on behalf of his friends and they were given positions over the affairs of the province.
The chapter ends with "...Daniel sat in the gate of the king." or king's court.
And it all started with food. One decision caused these young men to stand out. They purposed in their heart to do the right thing.
Even though they were taken from their home, their families and friends. Even though they saw destruction and death, they decided they would do the right thing.
The story of Daniel is rich with history. I encourage you to get your Bible out and read chapters 1 to 6. It shows you strength and determination.
If I had to sum up Daniel in a few words, it would be: Daniel was a man of faith.
He never let his faith falter. He prayed morning, noon and night. He trusted wholly and completely in his Father in heaven. Shouldn't we do the same.
Friends, purpose in your heart right now, that when trials come, and they will, that you will not let your faith falter. That you will remain true to God and keep that line of communication open with Him.
Make that decision now that no matter what happens, or how bad it gets, you will stay true to the one true God.