FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16
Scripture: Daniel 1
Daniel was taken captive in the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, King of Judah. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem, besieged and conquered it. He brought articles into the treasury from the House of God. Verses 3-4 states, “Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans.” According to Hebrews 11, how did Daniel walk in faith and subdue kingdoms? Daniel is mentioned in Hebrews 11 under the heading of prophets, “David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire…” The book of Daniel is a virtual testimony of what is required to walk in faith and please God. In Daniel 1, it all started for Daniel and his three friends who quenched the violence of fire over whether or not they would eat the king’s delicacies or obey God’s law. God’s law had a significant number of dietary restrictions and the very first test of faith for Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego was whether they would obey God in their diet. In verse 10, the chief steward said, “I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food and drink. For why should he see your faces looking worse than the young men who are your age? Then you would endanger my head before the king.” Daniel’s reply in verses 12-13 was, “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.” The steward consented to the test, which lasted ten days. Verse 15 says, “And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies.” So the steward allowed them to obey their law. The test of faith that established the platform for them to subdue kingdoms started there. Are we going to do what the world says to do or are we going to obey what God says? The fruit of Daniel’s obeying what God said shows up in verses 19-20, “Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.” The lesson of Daniel is the lesson of Samuel and Moses and it is a lesson repeated over and over again in Scripture. It is the lesson of obedience.