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I. We see here how national sins are ever followed by Divine retribution.
II. We see here most admirably illustrated the duty of adhering in all circumstances to that course of conduct which in our consciences we believe to be right.
III. We have in this history an illustration of the value of temperance in eating and drinking.
IV. We may see here how God's hand is in all His people's concerns.
W. M. Taylor, Daniel the Beloved, p. 1.
References: Daniel 1:1 . R. Payne-Smith, Homiletic Quarterly, vol. v., p. 378. Daniel 1:3 . iii. 16-27. J. Wells, Bible Children, p. 173.Daniel 1:3-5 . Parker, Ark of God, p. 198. Daniel 1:3-8 . J. R. Bailey, Contemporary Pulpit, vol. iv., p. 235.Daniel 1:6 . Preacher's Monthly, vol. iv., p. 237. Daniel 1:6 , Daniel 1:7 . Ibid., vol. vi., p. 229.
I. The respect which honest and open minds, even worldly or heathen minds, cannot help entertaining for spiritual principle or power. Nebuchadnezzar was a man of imperial capacity. 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. He was a man not unmindful of the duties of a ruler as well as the enjoyments; a man reverent too, and pious towards the only gods he had ever heard of, or, before he came across the greater spirit of Daniel, had a chance of knowing. It was something beyond the ordinary habit of an Eastern monarch to train captive youths to occupy places about his person and court. His distinguished consideration for the Hebrew captive children, shows that he was a seeker of wisdom, of guidance, could any man show it him. The one great secret of power, of living and lasting power, is godliness.
II. Daniel's way of getting and doing good was other and higher than the king's. Nebuchadnezzar had no higher notion of the way to foster the growth of mind and character than to feed it daintily. Daniel knew that mind and character had to be fed; he fed them on the bread of God. His resolution was one of the wisest ever taken by a young man in this world. The grounds on which it rested were: (1) ceremonial; (2) physical; (3) moral. Every man must study, as Daniel did, the relation of things indifferent in themselves to his own life. One man may adopt a mode of life, allow himself certain pleasures, trust himself in certain places, where another, honestly desirous to live soberly and godly, would not be safe for an hour. Let every man mark what is helpful, what is hurtful in the thousand indifferent things which he handles, and scenes which he frequents, day by day. And then let him build his bulwarks; and remember that the keeping of that is in most cases the keeping of the soul.
J. Baldwin Brown, Aids to the Development of the Divine Life, No. 12.
I. What were Daniel's temptations to abandon a life of abstinence from strong drink? (1) He was tempted by his youth. (2) He was tempted also by the usages of his social rank. (3) He was tempted by the courtesies of official station. (4) He was tempted by his professional prospects. (5) He was tempted by his absence from home and native land.
II. Observe what was the young nobleman's conduct in the trial. (1) He was true to his faith in abstinence from the use of wine. He had a principle of his own on the subject, and adhered to it. (2) He was true to the education of his childhood. (3) He was true also to the principle of temperance as a religious virtue. (4) He calmly trusted the consequences of his procedure to God.
III. What were the results of Daniel's fidelity in his own experience? (1) By his temperance he gained a healthy body. (2) In that brief trial of his youth he laid the foundation of a robust, religious manhood. In this early and brief fragment of his life, he settled the future of his professional career as a prophet of the living God.
A. Phelps, The Old Testament a Living Book, p. 174.
References: Daniel 1:8 . G. T. Coster, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xviii., p. 70; Clergyman's Magazine, vol. xi., p. 147; Homiletic Magazine, vol. v., p. 118; Preacher's Monthly, vol. vi., p. 233. 1 J. G. Murphy, The Book of Daniel, p. 82.
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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Daniel 1". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 12 / Ordinary 17