Daniel Maintains His Purity

Scripture Passage: 
Daniel 1:1-21
Attached audio files: 

INTRODUCTION: The book of Daniel contains a wonderful set of prophecies that have thrilled and challenged Bible students for hundreds of years. But the book also tells some great stories.

This chapter deals with Daniel as a young man who is taken captive by the Babylonians but refuses to surrender his convictions or belief in the God of Israel. This is a challenge to all young people to hold to the Bible and its teachings even when opposed by the forces of this world.

  1. THE PLAN OF THE KING (Daniel 1:1-7)
    1. To Isolate (Daniel 1:1-3; 1 Kings 19:9-10, 18)
      1. The siege of Jerusalem (Daniel 1:1)
      2. The taking of Jehoiakim (Daniel 1:2)
      3. The taking of the holy vessels (Daniel 1:2)
        1. From the house of the Lord
        2. Into the land of Shinar (Genesis 10:10; Genesis 11:1-2)
        3. Into the house of his god
      4. The taking of the children (Daniel 1:3)
        1. Of the king’s seed
        2. Of the princes
    2. To Indoctrinate (Daniel 1:4; Leviticus 18:3; Jeremiah 10:2); Note: The desire is to indoctrinate those with the most potential.
      1. Physical skills – “well favoured”
        1. Having good health practices (1 Corinthians 6:12)
        2. Having self-control over physical desires (1 Corinthians 9:27)
      2. Achievement skills – “skilful in all wisdom”
        1. Knowing the best way to get things done (Ecclesiastes 10:10)
        2. Knowing how to focus and finish what you start (Colossians 3:23)
        3. Knowing to do the best things (1 Chronicles 12:32; Ephesians 5:17)
      3. Information skills – “cunning in knowledge”
        1. Knowing the value of knowledge (Proverbs 24:4-5)
        2. Possessing the core knowledge of civilization (Acts 7:22; Proverbs 10:14; Proverbs 23:12)
        3. Able to compare/contrast knowledge (Proverbs 1:1-6; Matthew 13:52)
      4. Analytical skills – “understanding science”
        1. Understanding math computation (Luke 14:28)
        2. Possessing scientific understanding (see Job 12:7-9)
        3. Able to apply scientific principles (Ecclesiastes 10:10)
      5. Social skills – “ability in them to stand in the king’s palace”
        1. Knowing basic etiquette and manners (Luke 6:31)
        2. Able to interact with people (Romans 12:10)
        3. Able to follow and to lead (1 Samuel 18:5, 14, 30)
      6. Learning skills – “whom they might teach the learning … of the Chaldeans”
        1. Able to learn on their own (2 Timothy 2:15; Proverbs 18:1)
        2. Having made learning part of life (Proverbs 1:5; Proverbs 15:14; Proverbs 18:15)
      7. Language skills – “whom they might teach … the tongue of the Chaldeans”
        1. Able to speak, read, and write (Job 6:25)
        2. An understanding of the structure of language (Nehemiah 8:8)
        3. Willing to learn other languages (Acts 21:37-40; Acts 22:1-2)
    3. To Intimidate (Daniel 1:5; 1 Samuel 17:42-44)
      1. The king’s meat
      2. The king’s wine
      3. A three-year program
    4. To Inoculate (Daniel 1:6-7; 2 Kings 18:28-32)
      1. Taken as the children of Judah (Daniel 1:6)
      2. Given heathen names to separate them from their heritage (Daniel 1:7)
  2. THE PURPOSE IN DANIEL’S HEART (Daniel 1:8)
    1. Daniel’s Strength of Character (Proverbs 23:7)
      1. He purposed in his heart.
      2. He acted on the purpose.
    2. Daniel’s Refusal to Compromise (Proverbs 4:23-27)
      1. He would not defile himself.
      2. He would not give on any points.
    3. Daniel’s Request in Courtesy (Colossians 3:12)
      1. He requested. Note: The Bible’s usage of the word requested seems to indicate that Daniel handled this with respect.
      2. He respected authority.
  3. THE PROVING OF THE PULSE (Daniel 1:9-16)
    1. The Testing of Their Convictions (Daniel 1:9-14; Luke 9:23-24; 1 Peter 1:6-7)
      1. The favour given to Daniel (Daniel 1:9)
      2. The fear of the prince of the eunuchs (Daniel 1:10)
      3. The proposal made to Melzar (Daniel 1:11-13)
        1. The participants (Daniel 1:11)
        2. The time: ten days (Daniel 1:12)
        3. The diet (Daniel 1:12)
          1. Pulse (a diet of herbs and vegetables) to eat (2 Samuel 17:28)
          2. Water to drink
        4. The determining factor: their countenance (Daniel 1:13)
      4. The agreement to the test (Daniel 1:14)
    2. The Testimony of Their Countenances (Daniel 1:15-16)
      1. Their countenances were fairer and fatter in flesh (Daniel 1:15).
      2. Melzar took away the portion of meat and wine (Daniel 1:16).
  4. THE PROSPERITY OF THE HEBREWS (Daniel 1:17-21; Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:1-3)
    1. Intellectual Prosperity (Daniel 1:17)
      1. Learning and wisdom for the four children
      2. Understanding in dreams and visions for Daniel
    2. Vocational Prosperity (Daniel 1:18-19)
      1. Brought before the king (Daniel 1:18)
      2. Highly esteemed for their wisdom (Daniel 1:19)
    3. Spiritual Prosperity (Daniel 1:20)
      1. In all matters of wisdom and understanding
      2. Ten times better than the magicians and astrologers
    4. Perpetual Prosperity (Daniel 1:21); Daniel continued well into the kingdom of the Persians.

CONCLUSION: Daniel and the Hebrew children give us a wonderful example of godly people who will not lower their convictions or compromise because of the pressure of the world. We must learn to stand for right according to God’s truth and not according to the world’s standards.

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 22:29

Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.