Friday, May 30, 2008


Daniel 1

Judah had been given over to the Babylonians. Nebuchadnezzar Had besieged Judah and taken all of the choice young men. The way that Babylonians conquered was not genocide but to take all of the top men; the wisest, the strongest, the royal family, the most educated and to put them into service for the Babylonian kingdom. They would take them and indoctrinate them and teach them their languages and customs. They would give them homes to live in and choice food to eat in order to make them more compliant and loyal. They might have thought that life was better under Babylonian rule. But amongst the choice men of Judah were 4 men. Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.

Daniel        =        God is my Jugde
Hananiah        =        The Lord shows grace
Mishael        =        Who is what God is?
Azariah        =        The Lord helps

With names like these it is no wonder that they stayed loyal to the one true God. Their loyalty was not to Judah. It wasn’t to anyone but the God who called them to His service. And so they submitted to the worldly authority over them but their devotion to God and their loyalty to His way of life superceded the authority of Nebuchadnezzar. They learned the language and customs but they refused to eat the food.

I have never been captured by the enemy but it seems to me that the natural compulsion would be to rebel not submit. I would probably refuse to learn their language and ways. In the midst of it all I would not have any idea of what God is doing. I would probably ask the question “Why God?” or “Where are you?” But not these guys. They submitted to authority but not past the point of obedience to God. The Lord was teaching them and equipping them to affect this kingdom. Later on Daniel is called to interpret a vision. And as he did he gave glory to God and continued to point the people back to God. If he had refused to submit; if he had not learned the language how would he have been able to explain so articulately that it was for God’s glory. The king could not explain his own vision because he did not have the power of God working through Him.