Daniel writes from captivity in Babylon. The book is a companion to the book of Revelation which teaches the sovereignty of God over all nations and people.
Reading in Daniel 1, the king of Babylon named Nebuchadnezzar overtakes Jerusalem. He removes the articles from the Temple of God. He also orders his officials to bring some Israelites from the Royal family; young men showing aptitude for learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace (v. 4). These young men would be given food and wine from the king’s table. They would also be entered into special training for three years in preparation to serve the king.
They would be fed from the royal table but Daniel didn’t want to break God’s law by eating the royal food and wine because he knew God would not approve (v. 8). He asked if they could just have vegetables and water. So the official agreed to let Daniel and his companions try this for ten days. After that time period, they were healthier than those who had eaten the king’s food so the official agreed to let them eat vegetables instead of the rich food and wine (v. 16).
Daniel and his friends learned all they could in order to do their work with excellence. At the end of three years of study, the king gave them positions in the royal court as advisors (vv. 18-19).
A few lessons were learned in this reading. It’s important to be strong in the knowledge of the Lord and be faithful because you never know what situation in life you will get into. We all face pressure to fit in today but if we keep God’s standards for living, then good things happen. Following His way keeps the body and mind healthy. Daniel along with his friends demonstrated self disciplined and ate only the foods permitted by God. Daniel’ s faithfulness and discipline made his body healthy and his mind grew in knowledge; studying literature and science and being able to understand visions or dreams so he could give advice to the king.
This day with God, let us be lead to the cross and remember what has been done on the cross. Let this inspire us to be disciplined so we don’t give in to what everyone else is doing but like Daniel, keep doing what God wants.
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