Daniel’s life is a story of God’s miraculous leading and providential guidance.
Daniel: The Blessings of Obedience
By Mark A. Finley
One of the key characteristics of God’s heroes of faith is a relationship of trust in His goodness that leads to obedience to His will. Obedience is not legalism; it is the fruit of faith. Daniel’s life reveals the blessings of one whose faith led him to obey God’s commands at the risk of his life. This month’s lesson will reveal lessons from one of God’s heroes of faith that we can apply daily to our own lives so that we too can receive the rich blessings God intends to bestow upon each believer.
1 - What tragic event occurred in Jerusalem in Daniel 1? Read Daniel 1:1, 2.
Daniel 1 begins with a defeat for the true God. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, attacked Jerusalem, overthrew Judah, and ransacked the Jewish Temple.
2 - What instruction did Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, give to one of his princes, Ashpenaz? Read Daniel 1:3, 4.
Nebuchadnezzar used a common strategy in times of war. When he overthrew Jerusalem, he instructed Ashpenaz, one of his commanders, to seize some of the most handsome, intelligent, and gifted young men as captives to be educated in the University of Babylon. It was the king’s intent to so “brainwash” these young men so they could be sent back as “puppet rulers” to represent Babylon in Jerusalem.
3 - How did Nebuchadnezzar attempt to shape the thoughts of these Hebrew teenage captives? Discover the king’s strategy in Daniel 1:5-7.
Nebuchadnezzar’s strategy included changing the names of these young Hebrews, awing them with the splendor of Babylon, inviting them to a banquet in honor of the Babylonian gods, and educating them in the most prestigious university in the land.
4 - What was Daniel’s response to the king’s invitation to eat his food and drink his wine? Read Daniel 1:8, 11-15.
Daniel “purposed in his heart” to serve God. The word “purposed” means “decided,” “determined,” or “chose.” The wise man said, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23).
5 - What was the result of Daniel’s faithfulness? Read Daniel 1:18-20.
6 - How did Daniel face a similar test at the end of his life? Read Daniel 6:5-9.
In the scheming of the princes we discover that jealously leads to envy, envy to lying, and lying to the willingness to put an innocent man to death. Cherished sin strangles all goodness. It leads people to do things they never imagined they would do.
7 - What was Daniel’s response? Read Daniel 6:10.
For Daniel, prayer was a way of life. He knew that if he neglected his prayer life he would lose his spiritual strength.
8 - How did God honor Daniel’s faithfulness? Find the answer in Daniel 6:21, 22, 25-27.
As a result of Daniel’s faithfulness, God shut the mouths of the lions, delivered Daniel from the lions’ den, and influenced the entire nation for the kingdom of God. Faithfulness to God, which leads to obedience, brings with it the blessings of heaven. It was true for Daniel; and it is true for each of us as well.