Daniel 1 Bible Study

Daniel 1:9; “Now God had brought Daniel into favor and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.”

 

One can imagine the prevalent thought of the Babylonians when they thought of the Hebrew people.  The Babylonians were the supreme nation in the known world.  They were wealthy and powerful and they were conquering any nation that stood against them.  They were unstoppable it seemed. 

But the Hebrews?  Well, they were Jews.  They were a small insignificant people that basically amounted to a small dot on the map.  They were a conquered people.  They worshipped only one God while all the other nations had a multitude of gods.  They mutilated their boy children with circumcision.  They were strange and unbending.  They needed to get with the program and catch up with the rest of the known world.  They needed to adapt to and accept Babylonian culture and way of life or otherwise be exterminated.  At least this would have been the perspective of the Babylonian people.   Many of the captive Hebrews

most likely did choose to accept their new way of life and to embrace the Babylonian culture and way of life, including their pantheon of gods.  However, a remnant did not.

Daniel and the three Hebrew children made their minds up to remain faithful to the God of the fathers.  They trusted in Yahweh as the only true God and the Creator of all things.  And so, they set out to follow the laws set down by God through Moses.  Nevertheless, this presented a serious dilemma.  They were in Babylonian captivity and were being especially trained to serve in the court of the king of Babylon.  They were receiving intensive indoctrination and education into Babylonian culture and beliefs.  They were expected to stop being so Jewish and to start being good Babylonian servants.  This included eating a diet that seriously contradicted God’s law.

To cross the line or not to cross the line, that was question.  Daniel and his friends chose to take the road less traveled and to not defile themselves by eating the Babylonian meat that had often been sacrificed to idols.  They asked the eunuch to provide them an alternate diet that allowed them to remain true to Yahweh God.  Now, this could have gone very badly for them right from the start.  Some of the leaders in Babylon would have seen this unbending attitude as an act of rebellion.  Many of the Babylonians would have been both disgusted and offended by these Jewish brats who just could not get with the program.

Fortunately for Daniel and his friends, God had caused the eunuch to see past Daniel’s strange Jewish ways and to see something that he admired, respected, and favored.  And so, instead of persecution or worse, the eunuch was willing to listen to Daniel’s counsel and to try to appease Daniel and his three friends.  The rest is history.  Daniel and his friends, at the bottom of the Babylonian food diet, rose to the top of the Babylonian food chain in regards to both power and respect.

An interesting aspect to keep in mind is the eunuch himself.  He no doubt greatly respected these faithful Hebrews for staying true to the beliefs.  This was an awesome act of evangelism that had to have been observed by the eunuch.  One can hope that the eunuch saw past the emptiness of his own religious system and turned to following the God of the Jews.

 Believers who choose not to compromise their faith in Jesus Christ also have a strong effect on the populace in which we live.  Certainly, there are people in our lives who watch us closely knowing that we follow Jesus.  Our unbending obedience to God demonstrates to them that our faith means more than the various religious systems throughout all of humanity.  Being “salt and light” helps to ensure the attraction for unbelievers to want to know more about this Jesus who dramatically changes the lives of his followers for the better.  What eunuchs are closely watching your life?  Let us endeavor to follow Christ with meekness and fear and know that the results of faithful obedience are eternal rewards.

 


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