Today, I began reading the first part of the book of Daniel, partly because I have been listening to different sermons the past week, and he keeps popping up throughout them. I figured that if God kept putting him as a common theme so many times in rapid succession, then maybe there was something specific that I needed to hear again. I went into this with the intent of reading very slowly to allow God to minister to me. The more I thought about what I had read, the more my heart was broken for God and the more I wanted to be like this great prophet. I only made it through the first six chapters before I had to stop to allow the Holy Spirit to cultivate the Word that I had read. My thoughts on what I read are what follows.
In the first six chapters, Daniel is promoted four times, each one with an increasing responsibility and authority granted to him by three separate kings. He is specifically mentioned in all but chapter 3. In chapter 1, we find out why Daniel enjoyed increasing favor with God and man. Daniel 1:8 says:
8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank. (NKJV, italics added for emphasis)
This is significant because it shows that Daniel refused to surrender his values and relationship with God (in this case eating food). This would be something that Daniel would exhibit throughout his time in exile. At the core of Daniel’s commitment was his determination that he would not compromise when given the opportunity, regardless of what the circumstances would bring.