This narrative also shows THAT YOUNG MEN CAN SERVE THEIR GOD BY SERVING THE STATE. But then, again, there are other cases, and these perhaps numerous ones, in which the instrumentality, or a large proportion of it, is clear, is defined, is not destined to be forgotten. . the only way we can advance in the truth is by maintaining a good conscience [cf. His is “one of the few, the immortal names, that were not born to die” And how came it to pass that he distanced all competitors and forged to the front, and in spite of all the machinations of men and devils stayed there so long, governing governors and swaying a royal sceptre over mighty empires? We know but little of him, either through sacred or profane history; but what we do know leads to the conviction that he was one of those rare men who are born for imperial rule. Any one of these five reasons had been of force enough to prevail with Daniel, and the other three to forbear. Thus these rulers sought to rub out the lines of cleavage of race and of religion which otherwise had split their peoples. You have heard how the experiment proposed by Daniel in respect to the food for the prescribed period was blessed by God. You cannot got the bloom of a genuinely triumphant life out of any other root. Godly he was early, and as a child, so was also his master Jeremiah, in whose works he was well read; [Daniel 9:2] Samuel; Timothy; Athanasius; Beza, who, among many other things, blessed God chiefly for this in his last will and testament, that at the age of sixteen years he had called him to the knowledge of the truth. Parkhurst.). Ceremonial purity was something that concerned only the most faithful Jews. But nothing can be deemed a trifle where principle is at stake. If this is so, it only proves conscientiousness is not a matter of years. I would like you to imagine for a moment that you are going to get married soon. Into these unusual surroundings four young lads from Judea were carried captive, and confined within the palace of the king. There are ways of resisting temptation which are almost as wrong as the sin to which the temptation would lead. Hence also we gather, that as each of us is endued more fruitfully with the grace of the Spirit, so should we feel bound to instruct others. Let all heroic souls who are willing to enlist upon such conditions fall into line beneath the banner of the cross. Moderation or self-control in all things was insisted upon to an extent hardly understood in the present day. But we can imagine the mental struggle that he found himself facing. 1. Sign In. II. With what relish does an epicure talk of a fine dish, or of rich wine, and with what pleasure does he partake of them! Daniel resolved, or as the KJV says 'Daniel purposed in his heart', not to defile himself. Yes, but read further in the record: “God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” Daniel and the magicians! 2. KJV 1611. He says the conscientious scruples of weak Christians, while they existed, were bound to be respected; but at the same time he admits that the scruples were weak. A man cannot become religiously expanded beyond the point where he continues to be ethically sound. Certainly a wide generalization shows marked superiority in favour of those nations commonly known as Christian, over those which are guided by the superstitions and excesses of heathenism. Well, I think that you have to prove that the old faith gives you a bright and cheerful spirit. He was true to a godly education.--Perhaps the low state of religion in his own land had served to increase in him the sense of responsibility for an absolutely true course in the matter now before him. Daniel 1:8 NIV - But Daniel resolved not to defile - Bible Gateway. what perfect peace, what profound rest, what sweet and serene assurance, is shed abroad in the soul of the faithful, since he honours his God, by trusting in Him! If there is anything that is calculated to stir moral indignation to its very bottom it is to see men and women, grown up, with intelligence, congenitally endowed with a conscience, professedly concerned for the weal of their times, and yet allowing practical questions that are crammed full of moral elements to be decided by considerations of usage or convenience or emolument that have no slightest relevancy to the distinct moral issue. The scene is the city of Babylon, the most magnificent of all the cities of antiquity. Misunderstanding, we have coined a proverb, “Among Romans do as Romans do.” If this proverb asks a youth to be divinely good if he is with the angels, it bids him become a demon if his companions happen to be devils. Elegance and luxury characterized the habits of the people. 10And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? These young men did not think, because they were well born and liberally educated, that they might therefore indulge their appetites without control. The virtue of temperance was seen to be a necessity for its development, but in a grander and nobler sense than had been foreseen by Aristotle and Lycurgus. The time for thought is at the beginning of life, and there is no period which so much demands, or so much necessitate, thoughtfulness as our early days.” I would that all young men would think so. It is too late to purpose in your heart not to do it after it is done. ), His conduct through life was all in beautiful accordance with his first recorded action. Faith was vindicated as it always is. This first law, heredity, deals with the fixed elements in the soul’s career. That is the greatest thing in the world--a heart that purposes always to serve God. (2) In that brief trial of his youth he laid the foundation of a robust, religious manhood. The man who stands for goodness stands in God. What? Though in Babylon he remained a good Jew, a diligent worshipper of the Lord God of his fathers, and observed all the forms he was able to observe in the circumstances. (C. We cannot estimate the value of his example in that luxurious, extravagant court. For quiet and comfort most people have occasionally to conform to customs that do not meet their own taste. 8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Thus, in Ezekiel 4:13: “And the Lord said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, whither I will drive them.” Hosea 9:3: “they shall not dwell in the Lord‘s land, but Ephraim shall return to Egypt; and shall eat unclean things in Assyria.” Rosenmuller remarks on this passage (“Alte u. neue Morgenland,” 1076), “It was customary among the ancients to bring a portion of what was eaten and drank as an offering to the gods, as a sign of thankful recognition that all which men enjoy is their gift. (Theodoret) (Worthington). “So also,” St. John says, “you will never render to God what love alone can render Him, so long as fear and its torments are found in you.” (1 John 4:18.) He would not let his religion bow to the world, but made the world bow to his religion. 2 And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. When we behold that good and great man (as he truly was, notwithstanding his sad fall) hesitating to commit that act of recantation, which is so dark a stain upon his character, the poet makes him exclaim: “What am I, Cranmer, against whole ages?” He is plied with countless authorities; his tempters make it appear that all the world is against him. (P. H. I. (Deuteronomy 10:12.) Conscience conditions every step of our Christian expansion. Joseph was the first distinguished man of his house, and we may say that Daniel was the last man of great eminence. They well perceived that the king’s love and provisions were not single and sincere, but that he meant his own profit, to assure himself the better of the land of Judah, and that they might forget their religion. NIV. When everything is thus fixed by law it cannot be moved, nothing can go wrong, everything moves on towards its accomplishment, doing its work, filling its place, never losing its way. He was a youth, but he had already learned “to be sober-minded,” to act with humility, caution, and prudence. The next thing is, that the life must be winning. This greatness of soul, shown by the abstinence of the boy Daniel, was attested and exhibited through a long and illustrious career. “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; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia 1:2 Hebrew Shinar and put in the treasure house of his god. Because of the subtlety of the temptation--It was a matter of great self-gratulation to Daniel that he has been selected to fill a high place in the service of the king, and that the king had complimented him by directing that he should be fed with meat and drink from his own table. But the intimation of the divine record confirms the famous reply, that “Even if God does not need man’s learning, still less does he need man’s ignorance.” When God was about to lead his enslaved people out of Egypt, by his providence he sent Moses into Pharaoh’s household to learn everything that Egypt knew. That is a great discovery. Now, youthful piety is never without its difficulties; and many instances occur to us in which it has been; as in the case before us, severely and acutely tried. This was the severest mode, and was only adopted after repeated rebellions. (17-21) Commentary on Daniel 1:1-7 (Read Daniel 1:1-7) Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, took Jerusalem, and carried whom and what he pleased away. Believe me, it is the highest wisdom, the noblest policy. ... No entry exists in Forerunner Commentary for Daniel 1:8. Happy the man who faithfully follows their example! God hath given us all things richly to enjoy, and amusement has its place and use. It is in the heavens above you. You may be Holy Ghost filled, but I must tell you, sin can break resistance. 3. There was the temptation of self-interest. It is through the sensitive conscience considered as the soul’s open eye that we first come into range with Divine things. The intellectual training which they received from the Chaldean sages was of necessity in the highest degree perilous to a continued belief in the God of their fathers. I answer, — Daniel abstained at first from the luxuries of the court to escape being tampered with. Gorgeous splendour of dress and dwelling and equipage met the eye at every turn. And then the test must be boldly put. We are sent into this world not to evade contempt, not to “get on” (as the phrase goes), not even to avoid calamity, not even to “account life dear” unto ourselves; but to finish our Divinely marked course, the particular “ministry we have received,” to “testify the gospel of the grace of God.” We have no hesitation in quoting such expressions as these when speaking of Daniel; for that he had a course to run, a service to humanity and God to perform, a testimony to bear, is at once evident the moment we think of his history, and his singularly elevated position as an evangelical prophet, a harbinger to prepare the Saviour’s way. Another point that we shall have to prove, is that the old faith promotes holiness of life. Daniel Rainbow Missions, Inc., Rainbow Missions, Inc.; revision of the American Standard Version of 1901, Ed. That he would not defile himself with the portion of the king‘s meat - Notes, Daniel 1:5. Hence Daniel and his friends regarded what was brought from the royal table as food which had been offered to the gods, and therefore as impure.”. This is the more reason why you shouldn 't give place to the devil Ephisians 4:27 . So this action of the Jewish boy, trifling in itself, was really great in its motive and spirit. It is half the battle. They scrupulously maintained the moral and religious principles that had been imparted to them in their earlier education. It makes a great difference to me whether he thinks well of me or not.” Some would have said Daniel should have been thankful for his mercies. It may be thought a small matter, after all, on which those Hebrew youths felt so keenly and insisted so earnestly--whether or not they should share in a repast of which a portion had been laid on the altar of Bel or Nebo. Of the fellow-captives of Daniel only three were found like-minded. It is easy for Him to “illumine what in yon is dark.” It is an old saying, that to pray earnestly is to study well. ), Such scruples as those of Daniel and his friends may seem trivial when viewed in the light of Christianity. Show me the young person who observes the restrictions of God’s law conscientiously, and I will show you one who gives promise of that faith which endures unto death. Daniel knew these delicacies would too much gratify and pamper the flesh, and therefore he would prevent the defilements which too often do arise from delicious fare, Deuteronomy 32:14,15 Eze 16:49 Hosea 13:6 Romans 13:13; so that those who fare deliciously would practise this. But this ancestral element is fixed and unchanging. We may think of Joseph in the house of Potiphar, and of Moses in the court of Pharoah, and of Samuel with the sons of Eli, and of Obadiah in the palace of Ahab, and of Hezekiah under the tutelage of Ahaz. The scene of this heroic resolution was Babylon. We may imagine these youths duly installed in the palace of the Chaldean priests, and engaged in that curriculum of study which was to result in making them wise and learned in all the arts and sciences then known and cultivated. When they perceived the object of his snares, then it became both a pollution and abomination to feed on those dainties, and to eat, at the king’s table. So, instead of losing God by fooling with his duty, God became nearer to him, and duty a more impressive and superb reality by its discharge. Education counts for something, and any young man is a fool who in such an age as ours neglects to avail himself of the splendid equipment which may so easily be his. The advantages of temperance. For more than seventy years afterwards Daniel lived in Chaldea, an honoured servant of Jehovah. Of thinking is totally false more truthful and more godly than those about them human kindness wherever! 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Both facts were important stop an instant and absolute acceptance of the eunuchs heathen.
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