31. Daniel, Highly Esteemed by God

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

  1. The book directly states that Daniel was the human author (Daniel 10:2, 12:4-5)
  2. The author shows a remarkable knowledge of Babylonian and Persian customs and culture.
  3. 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
chapters 7-12: prophetic

The linguistic approach:

chapter 1-2:4a: introduction (in Hebrew)
chapters 2:4b-7: Aramaic (referring to Gentiles)
chapters 8-12: Hebrew (referring to Jews)

The Empire

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.

The Requirements

  • 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



The Regimen

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

New Lifestyle

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.

New Loyalty



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)

New Identity

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.

Daniel’s Stand

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

  • Food
  • Worship
  • Integrity
  • Prayer
  • Wisdom

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

On Worship

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.

On Integrity

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.”

On Prayer

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.

On Prayer

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.

Daniel Continued

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?

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