Touted by professionals and businessmen, the stand out quality in Daniel’s life is not the fact that he is highly esteemed by men, but highly esteemed by God.
Timeline of The Prophets
Daniel and his friends were equivalent or more than and IAS officer (or Magi in those days) in the court of the foreign king. They had the best training and great knowledge. He wins the respect of Babylonians. When some, out of jealousy try to get him down, God steps in and protects him and his friends. He lives on through the reign of 3 kings. Highly esteemed by God and strongly connected to Him by prayer, he is also given spiritual wisdom and prophetic skills.
Daniel - Authorship
- The book directly states that Daniel was the human author (Daniel 10:2, 12:4-5)
- The author shows a remarkable knowledge of Babylonian and Persian customs and culture.
- Jesus said Daniel was the author (Matt 24:15).
- Daniel is flashed as a model in the business/ professional world for his unique combination of professional as well as spiritual leadership.
- Above all, he was highly esteemed by God
Daniel 10:11 He said to me, “O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell you and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.”
Daniel 10:19 He said, “O man of high esteem, do not be afraid. Peace be with you; take courage and be courageous!”
Outline of Daniel
The traditional approach:
chapters 1-6: historical
The linguistic approach:
chapter 1-2:4a: introduction (in Hebrew)
The Glory of Babylon
The 7 wonders
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
The Ishtar Gate
Why were Jewish Youths taken?
- Secure Jehoiakim’s loyalty (hostages)
- Train future leaders in Babylonians ways.
- Remind Nebuchadnezzar of his success in battle.
- Bring the best and most gifted people into the empire. Pool the best brains and abilities.
- Heritage – Royalty
- Age – “youths” (14-17 years old)
- Physical – “no defect” (healthy) “good-looking” (physically appealing)
- Mental – “insight in all wisdom,” “knowers of knowledge,” and “understanders of knowledge”
- Social – “ability to stand in the king’s court” (personality, poise)
The Brainwashing Process
Language and Literature
Daniel 1:5b “And appointed that they should be educated three years at the end of which they were to enter the king’s personal service”
Daniel 1:5 And the king appointed for them a daily ration from the king’s choice food and from the wine which he drank
- To solicit good will and a sense of obligation
- To insure that they were healthy
- To get them accustomed to the good life
The Language and Literature
Daniel 1:4b “and he ordered him to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans
The Chaldeans accumulated literature included omens, magical incantations, prayers, hymns, myths, legends, scientific formulae for skills such as glass-making, mathematics and astrology.
Daniel (God is my Judge)
Belteshazzar (Bel protect his life
Hananiah (Yahweh is gracious)
Shadrach (Aku is exalted)
Mishael (Who is what God is)
Meshach (Who is what Aku is)
Azariah (Yahweh is my help)
Abednego (Servant of Nebo)
It’s objective was:
- To demonstrate control
- A gesture giving credit to the gods of Babylon
- To further divorce and alienate the young men from their background and assimilate them into Babylonian life.
While he excelled in his work and knowledge of the culture, when a conflict arose
- He never compromised
- He never allowed himself to be brainwashed
Daniel, never Compromised
Daniel does adhere to some Babylonian norms but never compromised on
He knows when he should take a stand and when not to make an issue of it.
Daniel Refuses the King’s Food
Daniel and his three friends stand out among the pack “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”. Daniel 1:8
God Gives them Wisdom
Daniel 1:17 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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aK7zpVU7bE
Daniel 3:12 But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”
God Walks with them in the Fire
Daniel 3:25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
God gave him Supreme Favour
Daniel 6:3 Then Daniel began distinguishing himself above the administrators and the satraps because an exceptional spirit was in him, and so the king planned to appoint him over the whole kingdom.
Those scheming against him could not point a finger on any wrong from Daniel. Daniel 6:5 Then these men said, “We will not find any pretext against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.”
Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home.. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed,.. just as he had done before.
In Chapter 8 and 9 we see God’s seriousness in responding to his prayer – first through Gabriel and next time probably Jesus himself.
This is because he was “highly esteemed” by God.
Daniel 9:23 “and I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed” Daniel 10:11 “O Daniel, man of high esteem”
God closes lions' mouths
Daniel 6:22a My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions.
Highly Esteemed by God
Daniel stood out, not for his exceptional skills but for his exceptional Spirit
Dare to be Daniel, Dare to stand alone! Dare to have a purpose firm! Dare to make it known.
And Daniel continued even to the first year of king Cyrus. Daniel 1:21
“As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.“ Daniel 12:13
Daniel survived through the reign of three kings – a long blessed life
- What were Daniel’s faith survival secrets in a foreign regime?
- What prevents us from taking the stand of Daniel? How can we change our stance?
- In a corrupt world, how do we achieve the longevity that Daniel did?