Daniel 1:1-21

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Text: Daniel 1

LIVING BY CONVICTION

INTRODUCTION:

It is necessary that parents provide Biblical instruction in their homes for their children.

Deuteronomy 6:4-7 - 4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: 5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

Ephesians 6:4 - And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Parents tend to put off training their children until it is too late.

Daniel was born at the time of God's choosing, in some very difficult days.

The Northern Kingdom, also known as Israel, had been taken into captivity by the Assyrians in 722 B.C.

In the Southern Kingdom known as Judah, Manasseh was a very wicked king who reigned as king in Judah for 55 years from A.D. 697-642 B.C.

Amon, the son of Manasseh, was another wicked king. He reigned as king of Judah from 642-640 B.C.

Josiah, the son of Amon, reigned over Judah from 640-608 B.C. There was a revival in 623 B.C.

Daniel would have been born during Josiah's reign, most likely not long after this revival.

Daniel was fortunate to have lived during the revival under King Josiah.

The Babylonians were a rising power in the Middle East; and in 612 B.C. the Babylonians conquered Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, leading to the eventual end of the Assyrian Empire within the next six years.

The Egyptians were also a dominant military power.

Josiah was a godly king, but it was too little and too late to save Judah from captivity.

II Kings 22:2 - And he (i.e. Josiah) did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.

II Kings 23:25-29 - 25 And like unto him (i.e. Josiah) was there no king before him, that turned to the LORD with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him. 26 Notwithstanding the LORD turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withal. 27 And the LORD said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there. 28 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 29 In his days Pharaohnechoh king of Egypt went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates: and king Josiah went against him; and he slew him at Megiddo, when he had seen him.

Josiah was killed by the Egyptians under Pharaoh-Necho in 608 B.C. The Egyptians were passing through Judah on the way to do battle with the Assyrians.

Jehoahaz became king of Judah. He reigned for three months in 608 B.C. He was a wicked king.

II Kings 23:30-33 - 30 And his servants carried him [i.e. Josiah] in a chariot dead from Megiddo, and brought him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own sepulchre. And the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and anointed him, and made him king in his father's stead. 31 Jehoahaz was twenty and three years old when he began to reign; and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 32 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his fathers had done. 33 And Pharaohnechoh put him in bands [i.e. imprisoned, put him in prison, or put him in chains] at Riblah in the land of Hamath, that he might not reign in Jerusalem; and put the land to a tribute [i.e. imposed a levy, imposed a fine, or imposed a tribute] of an hundred talents of silver, and a talent of gold.

Pharaoh-Nechoh then deposed Jehoahaz and replaced him with Jehoahaz's brother, Eliakim. He also changed Eliakim's name to Jehoiakim who reigned as king of Judah from 608-597 B.C.

II Kings 23:34-37 - 34 And Pharaohnechoh made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in the room of Josiah his father, and turned his name to Jehoiakim, and took Jehoahaz away: and he came to Egypt, and died there. 35 And Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh; but he taxed the land to give the money according to the commandment of Pharaoh: he exacted the silver and the gold of the people of the land, of every one according to his taxation, to give it unto Pharaohnechoh. 36 Jehoiakim was twenty and five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Zebudah, the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah. 37 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his fathers had done.

In the Battle of Carchemish in May-June 605 B.C., the Babylonians defeated the Egyptians.

In late summer 605 B.C. the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem. Many, including Daniel, were taken into captivity to Babylon; and this is where Daniel 1 begins.

I. DANIEL'S DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES - 1:1-7

Psalms 37:23 - The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Daniel 1:1 - 1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.

Daniel 1:2 - 2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God [i.e. some of the vessels from the temple in Jerusalem]: which he carried into the land of Shinar [i.e. Babylonia] to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god [i.e. to show the superiority of Nebuchadnezzar's god].

Daniel 1:3 - 3 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs [The word translated eunuchs can mean men who were castrated; but it can also be used of officials in general. It is known whether Daniel and his friends were eunuchs.] that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes;

Daniel 1:4 - 4 Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured [it suggests that they were good looking], 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 [Chaldean language = Akkadian].

Daniel 1:5 - 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.

Daniel 1:6 - 6 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:

Daniel 1:7 - 7 Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs [i.e. Ashpenaz] 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 Abednego.

(According to the Ryrie Study Bible) Daniel means God is judge. Belteshazzar means May Bel protect his life.

Hananiah means Yahweh is gracious. Shadrach possibly means command of Aku (the moon god).

Mishael means Who is what God is? Meshach may mean Who is what Aku is?

Azariah means Whom Yahweh helps. Abed-nego means servant of Nebo.

In each case the Hebrew name contains a name for the true God (either el or iah, an abbreviation for Yahweh), and the Babylonian name contains the name of a heathen god.

II. DANIEL'S COURAGEOUS STAND - 1:8-16

Notice some things which are implied in this context.

Daniel was not bitter nor unhappy in his circumstances. He accepted them.

Daniel decided that he would live for the Lord no matter what.

Daniel's mom and dad were not around watching him. Only God was watching him.

Daniel 1:8 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 [i.e. Ashpenaz] that he might not defile himself.

They would defile themselves if they were to eat meat that had not been slain in accordance with the Mosaic Law, or that came from an unclean animal, or that, together with the wine, had been offered to a pagan god.

Exodus 34:14-15 - 14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: 15 Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice.

Daniel 1:9 - 9 Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs [i.e. Ashpenaz].

Daniel 1:10 - 10 And the prince of the eunuchs [i.e. Ashpenaz] 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 [i.e. looking] than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.

Daniel 1:11 - 11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs [i.e. Ashpenaz] had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,

Daniel 1:12 - 12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse [i.e. vegetables, things grown from seeds] to eat, and water to drink.

Daniel 1:13 - 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.

Daniel 1:14 - 14 So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.

Daniel 1:15 - 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.

Daniel 1:16 - 16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.

III. DANIEL'S REWARD FOR FAITHFULNESS - 1:17-21

Daniel 1:17 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.

God, rather than the training provided by Nebuchadnezzar, was the source of their knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom; and God was the source of Daniel's understanding in all visions and dreams.

Daniel 1:18 - 18 Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs [i.e. Ashpenaz] brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.

Daniel 1:19 - 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.

Daniel 1:20 - 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.

Daniel 1:21 - 21 And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus [i.e. 539 B.C.].

Daniel lived long enough to see the end of the Babylonian captivity. He actually lived a few years into the Persian monarchy.

Daniel 10:1 - In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.

CONCLUSION:

We don't know what's coming in the future. We need to be faithful to the Lord in the present and also to stay faithful to the Lord in the future. Of course, if we are always faithful in the present, the future will take care of itself. Your children will soon be out of the home and away from your influence. Be sure to make the most of the time you have with them.