MP3: The Mighty Angels of Daniel 1
Hosts: Nathan Jones & Vic Batista
The Deadly Test
Nathan Jones: Let’s find out how Daniel’s stand for God against eating unlawful foods likely sacrificed to idols worked out by reading Daniel 1:9-16.
“Now God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs. And the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, ‘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.’
So Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, ‘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.” So he consented with them in this matter, and tested them ten days.
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. Thus the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.”
Vic Batista: Isn’t it awesome that Daniel had found favor with the chief of the eunuchs? Daniel so stood out as a man of God that here we find something amazing happen. Daniel and his friends only ate vegetables, and after ten days, the steward looked at them and was amazed at their healthy appearances. Should Daniel and his friends have failed the test and appeared unhealthy before the king, they would have most certainly been considered useless to the king and so be put to death.
Nathan Jones: The Mosaic diet has helped the Jewish people throughout history. It is a very healthy diet originally meant to help the Jews, who had only known 400 years of slavery, during the exodus out of Egypt to survive in the desert. The Jews had left Egypt and were wandering around in the middle of the Sinai desert, coming into contact with new foods that were totally unfamiliar to them. God was helping the ex-slaves know what to eat and still remain healthy. God created this dietary system for the Jews to help them survive, and the Jews have kept it even to this day.
The Mosaic diet precludes insects like flies, and certain animals like pigs which consist of a very fatty meat. They weren’t to drink blood, which is filled with parasites. The Jewish people remained very healthy because of their kosher diet, and it works even to this day.
The diet certainly worked for Daniel and his friends, so much so that the steward then assigned all the young men to eat the very same vegetable diet. I believe that also could have been the beginning of Daniel’s woes as he rose through the political ranks. The other captives wouldn’t have liked Daniel very much for turning them all into vegetarians. No cheeseburgers! The book of Daniel later records, that through no fault of his own, Daniel did not make himself very popular with the other men of his time because of never budging from obeying God’s laws.
Daniel reminds me of the book and movie Ender’s Game. Ender wasn’t very popular with his fellow cadets because he always beat them in the war games. Daniel also was the smartest and the wisest of the kings subjects, and now he had turned them all into vegetarians. I’d imagine that right now his fellow captives weren’t liking him very much for taking away their steaks.
Isn’t it true that when we do what God wants us to do, we often create enemies?
Vic Batista: That’s right! We aren’t very popular for taking a stand for Christ. Everything seems turned upside down when evil becomes the reward for good. Regardless, Christians should stand in the gap and make a difference and be a shining light in this dark world. Because of taking such a stand, we are going to be persecuted for doing so.#Christians should stand and make a difference in this dark world. #BookofDaniel Click To Tweet
Nathan Jones: Christians will always face persecution for what we believe in, but we still have to take that stand for Jesus Christ because we are facing an eternity of consequences. Life is short, and so we have little time to make a difference for Jesus Christ.
Making a difference is what Daniel does right from chapter one. Daniel stands up for something that we might think is ridiculous. Today we may think, “Who cares if he eats meat?” But, he stands up for the kosher diet and against foods most likely sacrificed to idols. He makes a difference as an example of godliness among the captives. Already Daniel is making a name for himself. He’s someone his three friends can look up to. These young men will be the up and coming leaders of the Babylonian Empire, and they will use that power and influence to help the Jewish people survive throughout their captivity.
Isn’t it amazing that when we take a stand for something that’s right, even if it seems so little at the time, God will bless it in a big way?
Vic Batista: Excellent point! God has a wonderful plan for our lives, and it starts with us taking a stand by accepting Jesus as our Lord and savior.
The Special Gifts
Nathan Jones: Let’s see how the story ends with Daniel 1:17-21.
“As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
Now at the end of the days, when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 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. Thus Daniel continued until the first year of King Cyrus.”
Vic Batista: Amazing! Not only does Daniel stand out for sticking to his convictions, but God grants Daniel the incredible spiritual gifts of wisdom, understanding, prophecy, and dream interpretation. These gifts set Daniel apart from King Nebuchadnezzar’s other subjects, and make him the most valuable counsel in the king’s eyes. It was God’s will that Daniel end up in Babylon serving under King Nebuchadnezzar. The process of getting there via exile might have been painful for Daniel and his friends, but God will use them to change the pagan culture they were forced to survive.
Likewise, it could be that some day God is going to use each of us similarly in a very powerful way. We just have to be willing and remain faithful to Him, just as Daniel did.
Nathan Jones: The book of Daniel is very encouraging, for it teaches us to stand up for God and His moral law. When we do so, we will be amazed at the results. The Lord will work through us like we can never even imagine!
Vic Batista: The most important act we can ever do is to turn our life over to Jesus Christ by accepting Him and His salvation. God can also make us into a Daniel when we make a stand for Him.
Nathan Jones: To accept Christ’s free gift of salvation, we must surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, confess we are a sinner, and repent of our sins. Jesus accomplished all the saving work by His death on the cross, and by defeating death through His resurrection. He loves us so much that He went and died for us all. Therefore, respond by asking Jesus to be the Lord and Savior of your life, and then make that public declaration to the world by being water baptized.
In the fourth segment of this series on the mighty angels of Daniel, we’ll move into the wondrous chapter eight.