Locations of visitors to this page
Daniel: 100% The Real Deal
Scripture: Deuteronomy 31:14-18; Isaiah 39:5-7; Jer...
Track 1 of 12 in the Daniel: A Life Without Compromise series
Running time: 1 hour, 03 minutes
No man is of any use nor will he ever be of use if he is not a man or woman of high purpose when he is faced with temptation to do wrong. A person who overcomes and sets the standard on how to act is a very powerful person for God. Daniel was such a person and helped a nation stay on course and not lose their heritage.

Click above to listen in this window.
Right-click to download MP3. With one-button mouse, control-click.

Be sure to scroll down to read the transcript.

Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.

How would you describe your way of life? When someone looks back into history at our period of time, how do you want future generations to remember your way of life? Here is a thought to think about: The United States has a history but does it have a future? Before you get too patriotic and give me your answer, I want you to carefully ponder what we have done, what we are doing today and where all our actions are leading us.

All that we are going to study about concerning the book of Daniel goes back and starts with the three Kings of Israel; Saul, David and Solomon. Each king served as king for 40 years each. Solomon was the last king who reigned over a united monarchy. After Solomon, the kingdom divided in two with the northern 10 tribes moving their capital to Samaria while Judah and Benjamin kept their capital at Jerusalem. This division of the kingdom over the years led to a steady decline into sin and idolatry. We are talking about a time period in the 7th century BC.

To make the Old Testament make sense, I need to go back and understand where in time we are. There was Adam> Abraham> Moses>Samson> David> Daniel. Leading up to this time, God had sent several prophets such as Jeremiah and Isaiah who warned the nation that if they didn’t give up their sinful ways, a terrible day was coming where God would punish the nation.

Jehovah had been jealous over His people so much that when the nation started, God warned them of the consequences if they should fall away and serve other gods.

Deut 31:14-18 Then the Lord appeared at the Tent in a pillar of cloud, and the cloud stood over the entrance to the Tent. And the LORD said to Moses: “You are going to rest with your fathers, and these people will soon prostitute themselves to the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will forsake me and break the covenant I made with them. On that day I will become angry with them and forsake them; I will hide my face from them, and they will be destroyed. Many disasters and difficulties will come upon them, and on that day they will ask, ‘Have not these disasters come upon us because our God is not with us?’ And I will certainly hide my face on that day because of all their wickedness in turning to other gods.

The first chapter of Daniel includes that portion of the divine revelation which relates to the downfall of Judah at the hands of the Babylonians. Our time period is 600 BC. The northern 10 tribes have already been taken captive and have been moved north by the Assyrians. That takes place in the 700’s BC. Even though the captivity of Judah was a terrible thing, God would not let them come to total destruction because Christ would come from that tribe.

The captivity to Babylon was predicted in great detail in Isaiah and Jeremiah. Following are some examples of the prophecies:

Isaiah 39:5-7 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the LORD Almighty: The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your fathers have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the LORD. And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”

Jeremiah 25:8-12 Therefore the LORD Almighty says this: “Because you have not listened to my words, I will summon all the peoples of the north and my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon,” declares the LORD, “and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy them and make them an object of horror and scorn, and an everlasting ruin. I will banish from them the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, the sound of millstones and the light of the lamp. This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years. “But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt,” declares the LORD, “and will make it desolate forever.

In all, there were three separate invasions of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar and three different deportations. The first attack came in the year 606 BC. Jerusalem was not destroyed but some captives were taken. This was when Daniel was deported. Usually in this case, only the best were removed first. The second invasion was in the year 598 BC. Again, Jerusalem was not destroyed but the king and his mother plus all the vessels from the House of the Lord were taken and sent north. The third invasion was in the year 587 BC. This time the Temple was destroyed for the first time, the city was burned and the remaining vessels were taken along with the final deportation.

From Daniel 1:2, it appears that Daniel was talking about the first invasion in 606 BC. It is to be noted that when Nebuchadnezzar brought the vessels from the Temple to Babylon, he put them in his own temple in honor of his pagan god (probably Marduk). Obviously this was an act acknowledging that his god helped him win the trophies from Judah. This act will come into play later in Daniel.

Daniel 1:1-7 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god. Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring in some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility—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.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. Among these were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.

According to what Daniel writes, what was the plan of Nebuchadnezzar after taking the first set of captives to Babylon? Why would he do this? The most promising of his captures should server him. He selected those of royal linage, intellectually sound and physically fit to be enrolled in a training program that would eventually lead to them serving in the king’s court. It was the kings hope to convert the Hebrew captors to the Chaldean way of life. The period of time for training was 3 years (basic brain washing).

The Babylonians as well as the Assyrians all practiced the tactic of replacing the original nation of people with another conquered people. Also by taking the best from the nation back to the king, it made it hard for the remaining people to rise up against the conquering nation without any leadership people in place.

From what you read, any idea how old Daniel and his friends were when they were selected to serve the king? A conservative estimate is 17. They were probably around 14-19 in age. It is not known how many young people were selected by the king for his service. The scriptures will focus on just four due to their courage and faithfulness.

Do any of you have nicknames or had one when you were a kid? Why do we have them and what was the meaning behind the name? Why does the king change their names? Was there something wrong with their original names? What was the deal? It followed the pattern by the Babylonians to erase everything they could their heritage and their land.

Each name contained some form of the name of their God, Jehovah. Parents did this so that God would be honored each time their names were spoken. Nebuchadnezzar was about to change all that.

Daniel: God is my judge
Hamaniah: Beloved of the Lord
Mishael: Who is as God
Azariah: Yahweh hath helped

Belteshazzar: Bel’s prince (Patron god of Babylon)
Shadrach: I am very fearful
Meshach: I am of little account
Aben-nego: The servant of Nego

Daniel 1:8-16 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. Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel, 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.” Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 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.” So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days. At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.

This set of verses brings Daniel to a crisis in his life. What is the crisis?

What is Nebuchadnezzar trying to do here in these passages? Nebuchadnezzar can change the name of these young men but he can’t change the character of these young men. Nebuchadnezzar is very aware of the dietary laws the Hebrews practiced and how those laws interacted with their faith in their God. Not only is he trying to change their heritage, he is trying to change their heart. Nebuchadnezzar was able to deport Daniel but he didn’t have to surrender his love for his God.

So what was Daniels secret to not sinning? How did he overcome the temptation to defile himself and stay true to what God wanted in his life? He resolved not to defile himself.

No man is of any use nor will he ever be of use if he is not a man or woman of high purpose when he faced with temptation to do wrong. A person who overcomes and sets the standard on how to act is a very powerful person for God. Daniel was such a person and helped a nation stay on course and not lose their heritage.

Where do you think Daniel found this high purpose in life? How did he get it? I think he got it from the knowledge he received from the Holy Scriptures. In dealing with temptation, how does the Holy Scriptures help? When a person of purposes in his heart not to sin, how does God help? How did God help Daniel? God can and often does change the hearts of men for our own good. How did Daniel help Daniel?

Proverbs 16:17 The highway of the upright avoids evil; he who guards his way guards his life.

Daniel 1:17-21 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. At the end of the time set by the king to bring them in, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service. 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. And Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.

If you will notice that the scriptures tell us that Daniel and his friends grew in knowledge and understanding in all kinds of learning and literature. And Daniel developed the ability to see and interpret dreams. These were God given abilities that came after Daniel proved to God that he was someone God could use for his best interest.

As a parent, I would think reading and learning things of a foreign nation, especially a pagan nation would not be a good thing. To a Hebrew, Daniel probably learned about all their pagan gods, their way of life and their literature which was probably full of their pagan deities. But they would have learned many other great things. What would they learn and why was it important for them to learn all they did to their fullest degrees?

Daniel will soon become one of the most important prophets to the people of Israel. There are three important qualifications a prophet needed to have:

1. A resolute purpose to be holy, undefiled and separate from sin
2. The giving of himself diligently to his studies.
3. God gave them the ability.

How do you think Nebuchadnezzar plan with Daniel will eventually backfire on him? What was Neb. original plan? What was God’s plan? How do we see this same pattern in the New Testament? For this pattern to continue in the 21st century, what must happen and be present?