Be Not Conformed – Daniel 1

By John Bellingham on April 22, 2018
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Be Not Conformed!

Daniel 1


I.  God Gave…. Exile (vv. 1-7)

1)     The Rise of Babylon

  1. A heritage of wickedness and pride – Genesis 11
  2. A powerful and brutal Empire
    1. 612 BC – Destruction of Nineveh
    2. 605 BC – Defeat of Egypt and Assyria at Carchemish under Nebuchadnezzar II

2)     The Fall of Judah

  1. Judah had broken covenant with God (cf. Deuteronomy 28;  Isaiah 39)
  2. Timeline of Judah’s decline:
    1. 702 BC – Hezekiah foolishly shows the treasure house to Babylonian officials
    2. 687-645 BC – Manasseh reigns as Judah’s most evil King;  Judah reaches a spiritual low point
    3. 640-609 BC – Revival under King Josiah
    4. 609-598 BC – Return to wickedness under King Jehoiakim;  Judah becomes an Egyptian vassal
    5. 605 BC – Babylonian invasion of Judah;  Daniel and other children of nobility are taken into exile
    6. 598 BC – Babylonians kill King Jehoiakim and take his son Jehoiachin (aka Jeconiah) into captivity
    7. 586 BC – Babylonians destroy Jerusalem and the Temple – 70 year exile begins  (cf. Psalm 137)

3)     God’s Sovereignty Affirmed

  1. From a human perspective, Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians are responsible for the exile (v. 1)
  2. From a divine perspective, God is responsible for the exile (v. 2; Deut 28:62-67)

4)     The Plight of Daniel and his Friends

  1. Isolation – cut off from all godly influences
  2. Indoctrination – free education in the ‘University of Babylon’
  3. Compromise – pressured to defile themselves contrary to God’s Law
  4. Identity Theft –new Babylonian names that replace ‘Yahweh’ with the names of Babylonian deities


– History is simply the outworking of God’s sovereign purpose and plan.   There is nothing that happens in this world that falls outside of the sovereignty of our God – He is in control, even when our world seems to be out of control!

– From one perspective the exile was God’s punishment for Israel’s sin.   From another perspective it was an opportunity for Israel to fulfill her missionary mandate!   (cf. Jeremiah 29)


 II.  God Gave…. Favour (vv. 8-16)

1)     The Faithfulness of Daniel (v. 8)

  1. Daniel and his friends were probably 14 years old
  2. Daniel was the product of a godly home
  3. Daniel had counted the cost of discipleship
    1. As a captive there were certain things he could not control (ie. forced education, new name etc. )
    2. As a faithful follower of Yahweh, there were certain boundaries he would not cross (ie. eating food that had been offered to idols)

2)     The Faithfulness of Daniel’s God (vv. 9-16)

  1. It was a miracle of grace that Daniel was not executed for his religious and moral scruples
  2. It was a miracle of grace that Daniel and friends were ‘fatter in flesh’ as a result of eating vegetables


– The true hero of this book is not Daniel, but Daniel’s God who is faithful to us even when we are not faithful to Him

– Never underestimate the value of instilling God’s Word into your children from a young age, and never underestimate the power of God to guide and protect your children by His grace

– As ‘exiles’ in ‘Babylon’, we Christians must learn how to be in the world, but not of the world.   Like Daniel we must learn to be ‘wise as serpents’ and ‘harmless as doves’ (Matt 10:16)


III.  God Gave… Influence (vv. 17-21)

1)     God gave the skills needed to accomplish their mission

2)     God sovereignly placed Daniel and his three friends in a position of great authority and political influence

3)     God sustained Daniel’s ministry for over 70 years!  Empires will rise and fall, but God’s Kingdom is eternal.



– Not all of us have a job like Daniel, but all of us have a job to do!    Will you be faithful to use the gifts and influence that God has given you?    Will you be faithful to do what God has called you to do during this temporary exile in ‘Babylon’?

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