Daniel 1: Daniel’s Remnant


Series: Daniel

Title: 1. Daniel 1: Daniel's Remnant Standing for the right. #faithfulness


  • 2016-08-13: White Rock Lake

  1. Introduction:
  2. Timeline of the final years of Judah’s independence
    1. Josiah
      1. Reigned 31 years
      2. 2 Kings 22:2: A good king
      3. The last good king repairs the temple and restores the worship of God for the final time (2 Kings 23), Restores the Passover
      4. Nevertheless, Judah’s downward slide was by then irreversible: 2 Kings 23:25, 26: Josiah was among the best ever kings, but probation had already closed for Judah.
      5. Dies in battle against Pharaoh Neco (Egypt was then a major power, and Babylon was then an up-and-coming power)
    2. Jehoahaz (2 Kings 23)
      1. Son of Josiah, reigned 3 months
      2. Evil king
      3. Taken captive by Pharaoh Neco
      4. Judah is now under foreign control
    3. Jehoiakim
      1. Another son of Josiah, but from a different mother than Jehoahaz
      2. Appointed king by Pharaoh Neco, who changes his name from Eliakim in order to demonstrate that Jehoiakim is subservient to Neco
      3. Reigned for 11 years
      4. Evil king
      5. During his reign, the geopolitical balance of power shifted; Egypt lost to the Babylonian general Nebuchadnezzar
      6. For three years, Jehoiakim served Nebuchadnezzar before rebelling; The rebellion was put down at the command of God
    4. Jehoiachin
      1. Evil king; reigned three months
      2. Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Jerusalem; eventually Jehoiachin surrendered
      3. 10,000 captives from the highest echelons of society were taken captive to Jerusalem; presumably, Daniel and his friends were among this group of captives.
      4. Articles from the temple were also taken to Babylon (featured in Daniel 5)
      5. Jehoiachin himself was imprisoned in Babylon until he was eventually released 29 years later by Nebuchadnezzar’s successor, Evil-merodach (see 2 Ki. 25:27-30)
    5. Zedekiah
      1. Uncle of Jehoiachin, appointed by Nebuchadnezzar.
      2. Evil king, reigned 11 years (Daniel would have been in Babylon by this time; Jeremiah tried in vain to advise Zedekiah)
      3. Eventually rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar; Nebuchadnezzar executed his sons in front of him and took him to Babylon in chains, finally ending the Davidic dynasty
      4. Most of the remaining inhabitants were carried into exile (the third and final deportation); only a remnant remained through the Babylonian captivity.
  3. About Daniel: Daniel 1:1-7
    1. Book: Two halves: narrative and prophetic, each with its own internal timeline; two languages: Hebrew and Aramaic.
    2. Story begins about 605 BC.
    3. Name
      1. Means “God is my judge,” and in fact divine judgment is a theme of his book
      2. Babylonian name has a disputed meaning. Suggestions include “Bel (Marduk) protect his life,” “protect the king”
      3. Name change was to erase their Jewish identity; in Daniel’s case, the name change failed to stick.
        1. Ill: Japanese colonization of Korea: Name changes.
    4. Who was he?
      1. Of noble birth, well-educated, matching all the qualifications set forth.
    5. The plan:
      1. Daniel et al. were to be educated in the classical Akkadian language of the Babylonian elites, a language considerably more difficult than the Aramaic that was used as an everyday language.
      2. Eventually, Daniel and co. were to become officials in the Babylonian administration.
  4. The conflict
    1. Dan. 1:5: The king assigned them the choicest foods; this was a high honor to bestow to captives
    2. Vv. 8-13: Daniel, the leader, chose to follow God
      1. Three lessons from Daniel’s stand
        1. Obedience: Obeying God was so important to Daniel that he was willing to risk insulting the king, and risk not only his life, but also the life of the chief of the eunuchs and possibly even the lives of all the Israelite captives. How seriously do we take obedience to God?
        2. Influence: It appears from the text that Daniel was the only one of the captives who was initially willing to take a stand. His three friends seem to have gotten their courage from Daniel. How seriously do we consider our influence on others?
        3. Remnant: Out of all the people who were in the training program (100+?), only 4 took a stand; the rest were assimilated into obscurity. The remnant motif is frequent throughout scripture. Are we willing to stick out and be part of a remnant? Not just a part of the remnant church, but also living a remnant lifestyle and following a remnant culture.
    3. Vv. 14-21: The results of their faithfulness
      1. God’s laws are given for good reasons
      2. Faithfulness brings blessings (not always in an obvious form)
      3. Daniel’s faithfulness enabled God to work mightily through him in the following years to accomplish His purposes.
      4. We don’t know the results of faithfulness, but we know that it’s important.