Preparing with Hope March 19, 2023
disciple: someone who follows Jesus and leads others to do the same.
This week we're going to be looking at the story of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah in Daniel 1. It starts out by telling us that God has allowed Babylon to conquer the nation of Israel. This causes me ask questions like why? Why would God let this happen to His people? Why would God allow things to be taken from the Temple? And then I have questions about Daniel and his friends. Why are their names changed? What does what they eat matter? What is God's plan for them in all of this? What is God's plan for us?
To be honest, there are many days that as I try and quiet the noise in my life I start thinking of what I need to do at work. What groceries I need to purchase. Who I may need to speak to. So, don't be hard on yourself and don't give up. Try again the next day. Keep looking for ways to quiet the noise in your life and hear from God.
Get Ready for Sunday.
3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility— 4 young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. 5 The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.
6 Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.
8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. 9 Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”
11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.
15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.
17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.
18 At the end of the time set by the king to bring them into his service, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service. 20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.
21 And Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.
Share your thoughts or questions here.
Learned a new word studying this passage "resolved" . My commentary says "a strong word that means devoted to principle and to be committed to a course of action". What a testimony and a good weapon to have during temptation and living in the world. I pray that I am resolved to obey God and do what is right.
Also, loved that Daniel stayed true to himself and God by not rebeling or causing a big scene and he trusted that God would protect him and just negotiated about the FOOD. And of course God did his thing by taking care of him. Very cool lesson about being who you are, a child of God, a faithful servant in a world with differnt lifestyles.
I'm sure the vegetables were better for them than alcohol and sugary and fat filled foods. I'm also thinking possible this could have been considered a fast for God, and fasts help us to be extra blessed in one way or another!