I can’t believe school is already back in session. As I continue through the Bible this year, I am now in the book of Daniel. It’s so good that I must pause. And so, each week, I will be scribing some of my findings. It’s been so fun to explore the scriptures and continue to learn about these prophets from so long ago who are still influencing us today. Let’s begin. I’m going to share all of chapter 1 and make notations through the chapter. Think of it like when you watch a movie from the director’s cut.
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 gave (the NIV used the word delivered) Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the articles of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god. Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans.
(Daniel 1:1-4 NKJV)
The strongs concordance said it this way דָּנִיֵּ֣אל (dā·nî·yêl)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1840: Daniel = 'God is my judge' 1) the 2nd son of David, by Abigail the Carmelitess 2) the 4th of the greater prophets, taken as hostage in the first deportation to Babylon, because of the gift of God of the interpretation of dreams, he became the 2nd in command of the Babylon empire and lasted through the end of the Babylonian empire and into the Persian empire. His prophecies are the key to the understanding of end time events. Noted for his purity and holiness by contemporary prophet, Ezekiel 2a) also, 'Belteshazzar' ( H01095 or H01096) 3) a priest of the line of Ithamar who sealed the covenant with Nehemiah.
I want to stop here and let you see that these young men were taken. This was not of their choosing. BUT GOD!
And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king.
Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego.
Names matter in the Bible, so I’m going to share both the before and afters:
Daniel means “God is my judge.” Belteshazzar means “lord of the straitened.” (It may seem like from the notes above that Daniel was a descendant of King David. He was not; it’s a different Daniel.)
Hananiah means “God has favoured.” Shadrach means “royal or great scribe.” I love that, for I identify with this title as a royal scribe and one of my responsibilities as a daughter of the King.
Mishael means “who is what God is.” Meschach means “guest of the king.”
Azariah means “Jehovah has helped.” Abednego means “servant of Nebo.”
But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies (Daniel was known for his purity and holiness), nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Now God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs. And the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my Lord the king, who has appointed your food and drink. For why should he see your faces looking worse than the young men who are your age? Then you would endanger my head before the king.” So Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.” So he consented with them in this matter, and tested them ten days. And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies. Thus the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables. As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. Now at the end of the days, when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm. Thus Daniel continued until the first year of King Cyrus.
The Request - to not follow the crowd.
The Test - no delicacies; only veggies and water
The Evidence - increased understanding and wisdom in all visions and dreams.
The Results - the king found them 10 times better than all the others.
Have you ever been challenged to try something new or been challenged by another to push past what you knew?
Every January, we do a ten-day fast as a church body, and it’s always so interesting to see what struggles pop up. For, you have to cut out refined flour, sugars, caffeine, desserts, dairy—basically all the good stuff. At first, some people get headaches from the caffeine withdrawals. Others feel sick, fatigue. So many different side effects of the fast, but if you hold fast to see it through, all the symptoms fade. You actually start to have more energy and see that you can have the self-disciple to follow through with something that seems less than desirable to our flesh.
I’m wrestling with doing it again this month, for I have had more health issues this year. And so, I’m trying to really take it serious and modify my diet to what I am finding gives my body fuel to thrive, not just survive. It inspires me to read this story of Daniel who was convicted in his heart to follow what he had been taught that challenged the standard in that land. At the end, he and his friends were ten times more equipped to handle any and all problems that the king brought to them. I don’t know about you, but I need all the help I can get in this time of our daily lives.
Welp, stay tuned next week for another story from Daniel. You know so much more happened in this book, so Buckle up! 🔥 🦁🙏🏼
Until next time,
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Be a Sender