Please read the chapter. If you don’t have a Bible handy, read it or listen it here – https://www.esv.org/Daniel+1/
„One passage studied until its significance is clear to the mind and its relation to the plan of salvation is evident, is of more value than the perusal of many chapters with no definite purpose in view and no positive instruction gained.” (Steps to Christ, chapter 10 – A Knowledge of God).
1. While being a slave, in a far away and pagan country, suffering as innocent for the sins of others, Daniel still sees God. And sees Him active, as in v. 2, “the Lord gave”, in v. 9, “God gave”, and in v. 17, “God gave”. In the setting, during the trial, to the victory… God is in there. Giving. Providing.
2. You are being offered “the king’s food” (v. 5), and yet you know that is going to defile you. Don’t aim for king’s stuff. Still be open: you can serve (as a minister) a defiled king without defiling yourself.
3. Three steps in Daniel’s trial (v. 8):
- resolved, in his heart and mind,
- asked, the right step before the next,
- not to be forced to defile himself.
Many times people jump to the 3rd, saying “I was forced, I had no choice”. What about your first choice, to resolve in your mind? What about asking (to man and to God)? What about testing God, and let Him handle your challenge?
4. Food & Education. That is what is put in (vs. 4-5), for the body and for the mind. It is the same challenge today – what do you feed your body and mind with? Is it the defiling king’s food, the junk of the world?
5. Change of identity (v. 7). The Babylonians changed the names of the young Jewish men to erase the memory of their God and become „new Babylonians”. But they couldn’t change their God. He was more into their life than just a name…
6. When serving God, when giving testimony for Him and His providence, we should not be “in worse condition” than the others of our own generation (vs. 10, 15).
7. Ten days (v. 12). A short-term test with consequences for life. And a real daily test – abstinence from what is harmful.
8. Found x10 better (v. 20). Not fatter, nor richer etc. Just better in the tasks you were given. But wait… 10x better? That is amazing. Unbelievable!
9. Why not saying anything against the “education” – learning of literature and language of the Chaldeans (v. 4)? Wasn’t it a danger all along? How come that we talk about Daniel’s diet but not about his education? As v. 17 shows, it was God who gave them skills for proper education so that they can go all the way to the top hierarchy (v. 19) and witness to the most noble officials in the kingdom against the magicians (v. 20).
10. Daniel stays while Babylon goes away (v. 27). Read it again. Don’t pass over it too soon. Daniel comes in as a slave of a superpower, and he ends alive while Babylon falls. What a better before/after image? That is a miracle. Showing again God’s hand.