In this, my first book, I explored, paragraph by paragraph, the historical, prophetical and practical messages found in the book of Daniel in the Bible. This study should prove valuable to those looking for a study that takes only one initial assumption, the Bible is the inspired word of God, without error.
The book is brief in length but rich in content. The first half of the book deals with historical issues while the latter half is involved with both history and prophecy. The greatest feedback from readers of the book revolves around the practical applications that occur at the end of each chapter. I have tried to do justice not only to the material being covered: but also to demonstrate from the life of the prophet Daniel applications we can apply today.
If you are curious how relatable someone that lived in the Old Testament period could be to those of us today, you may become pleasantly surprised. One of the exceptional aspects of the book of Daniel is that we see his life not as a snapshot but at length. We see how he dealt with life, adversity, government leaders, intrigue and plots. In addition, we see how he dealt with these events as a young person, middle aged and as a senior. The perspectives develop while the truth remains a powerful constant!
Consider the following sample from the book
“Daniel: A Commentary of Prophecy”
We see that in the case where Daniel and the three children were commanded to eat of the king’s meat and drink of the king’s wine, Daniel and the others were not going over to the king’s way. What the king had requested was not in keeping with what Daniel’s KING of kings had set forth. Daniel believed in his God and wished to obey God’s law and thus knew God’s will concerning personal defilement. Daniel decided in his heart that he would obey God rather than man.
Daniel takes this matter to the prince of the eunuchs and explains his concern to him. The eunuch however felt that if he did what Daniel suggested that Daniel truly would begin to look weak, as would the three others. Once that this would happen the eunuch would have his head cut off. Daniel responded as a gentleman, a man of honor. To some this might not sound like a great quality, but it is. A person will never be won to Christ by a rude or crass behavior under the guise of “boldness”. There is such thing as “holy boldness” and there is such a thing as rudeness, these are two different things, they are different. While being an effective witness it is possible to take a stand without taking offense. Daniel never gave up his stand, but he did use tact. He suggested that the eunuch put the four on a trial of ten days. What if this didn’t work? Actually, Daniel never even planned for failure, he simply trusted God!
The eunuch agreed to this plan and so Daniel and the others did not eat the king’s food but only pulse and drank water. Now consider what the pulse was. Pulse was a mixture of pea, bean and possibly something like lentils. It would be in the form of a vegetable porridge. Why is this so important? Daniel was not even going to eat any kind of meat. The diet was without meat and thus they could not say that they had anything like the king’s meat nor could any be mixed in without Daniel knowing this. It’s too easy as believers, to compromise our walk while trying to “fit-in” in this world. Daniel could have simply tried for a substitute. But by accepting a diet that could not be confused he provided an easy way to detect compromise, even without his knowledge, there would be no doubt that God was working in their lives. The testimony was clear, not of Daniel, but of Daniel’s God.
After ten days were up, Daniel and the three looked better than those that had eaten of the king’s food and drink. Understand that the issue here was not a question of diet. It was not a question of being a “meat eater” versus a vegetarian lifestyle. The question was obedience. Moreover, in each of our lives, regardless of the challenge or opportunity, the question is always obedience. We can chose to be faithful and know success regardless of our circumstance. Alternatively, we may chose to compromise and know frustration, regardless of the circumstance. Thus we find that the eunuch takes the king’s food and drink from Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah.
We find here that God rewarded these four by giving them wisdom and skill. Daniel was also given the ability to understand visions and dreams, which shall be displayed in passages yet to come. Nowhere do we find that any of the other captives refused the king’s food and drink. It would have been easy for these four to feel isolated and even captive among the captives. Consider in your own life the reaction of others, both saved and unsaved, who don’t understand you when you remain faithful in a moment of opportunity. Your commitment to faithfulness will make others uncomfortable for the simple reason that they recognize their unfaithfulness through your stand. But remember two important lessons. First, that it is not a challenge, it is not a persecution, it is an opportunity to witness to others about the value of obedience to your God. A lost world may not understand your stand, but they do appreciate a stand and they recognize one who will not compromise.
After the time that the king had established, they were brought before him. We find that the king talked with them at great length finding out what they had learned and seeing how they were physically. The king was greatly impressed. He compared them not only to the other children but too the “wise men” of his kingdom. Those that were in the kingdom no doubt had only the power of the wicked one, “I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.” (I John 2:13-14). Daniel and the three had the power of the Holy One. The king saw the difference.
The chapter closes by stating that Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus. This first year carried great importance with the Jews as seen in Ezra 1:1-2, “Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.”
(This portion was used by permission from the book, “Daniel, A Commentary of Prophecy”)
Copyright 2010 © Charles Lyons