Daniel, His Friends, and Separation #4

Monday, May 1, 2017

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 that he might not defile himself (Daniel 1:8 KJV).

Every Sunday School child knows about Daniel and his three companions (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego). Unfortunately, today, few adults practice what these precious children knew!

In refusing to partake of the pagan ways, Daniel and his friends, by faith, have established a good testimony in Babylon. JEHOVAH God can use them for His purposes even in the midst of rank heathenism! Verse 17 tells us: “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.”

Verse 18 occurs three years after the opening verses of Daniel: “[18] Now at the end of the days [or three years, verse 5] that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. [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. [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.”

Whether Nebuchadnezzar ever learned about Daniel and his friends’ special diet, we do not know because the Bible never says. Nevertheless, the King of Babylon recognized that they were somehow special. He used them in his government. They had a supernatural power on their side that his religious leaders never even came close to matching. It would be years later, but Nebuchadnezzar would come to realize, looking with spiritual eyes, that these four Hebrew men served the one true God, “the King of Heaven” (Daniel 4:37).

Daniel chapter 1 closes: “And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus” (verse 21)—Daniel served some 70 years in these pagan Gentile courts! His three friends went on in their own separation (see chapter 3). Let us see what lessons they can teach us….

Special-edition Bible Q&A #375: “Does Scripture teach a flat Earth or a spherical Earth?” (A 37-page PDF to be read in your leisure.)