One thing that isn’t in the book of Daniel is much about his life before he came to Babylon. We don’t know anything about his parents or his siblings. Scripture indicates that he was probably from a royal family.
The name Daniel means, “God is my judge.” This was a constant reminder to Daniel that even when he was far from home, God was his judge, and someday he would answer for the things he did in life.
What is a core? When you eat an apple you are left with a core… What is a value? What is a “core value?” A core value is something that a person bases their life on.
Daniel 1 – It appears that Daniel had learned as a child God’s laws about food. He knew that the food that was being set aside for the group of men he was in would defile him. Instead of digging his heels in throwing a fit, he asked that they do an experiment.
Daniel was faithful in the little things, later we’ll see Daniel was also faithful in the big things. The same thing tends to be the case for people today. If we can be faithful in the little things, we are building a foundation of faithfulness that will stand when things are very difficult.
Daniel 2 – The king had a dream. He wanted someone to interpret it for him, but he wanted them to tell them the dream and the interpretation. Daniel prayed and asked God to reveal the dream and its interpretation to him. God answered Daniel’s prayer. Daniel had full confidence that God had revealed the dream and its interpretation to him.
Daniel 3 – We see Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego not bowing down to the image. We don’t know where exactly Daniel was, but we can be sure that he wouldn’t have bowed down to this image either. Perhaps the king knew that Daniel wouldn’t bow down so he had him off doing something else in a far corner of the kingdom.
These young men feared God more than they feared the king and his fire. Nebuchadnezzar threw them into the fire and quickly became a believer that there was something special about these men. Also, there was a fourth man in the fire! He looked like the Son of God!
Commitment to God involves faithfulness in little things because bigger things are coming.
Daniel 6 – A trap was set for Daniel. Daniel knew that he was going against the king’s decree. Daniel continued his normal three times per day by the window, just like normal. There is a good chance that this started at home with his parents. At the very least it isn’t something that Daniel had started a few weeks earlier. God saved Daniel from the lions.
Core values are front and center in Daniel’s life. Everyone has core values. They may not be godly values, but it is important for us to have core values that are aligned with God’s values.
What can we learn from Daniel?
- Commitment to God involves faithfulness in little things. We don’t size things the way God does, we may see something as small, but God may see it as a big thing.
- Core values can be instilled in our children at home. Parents you’re working yourselves out of a job. Teach your children well.
- Be a person of prayer.
- God is our judge. Ultimately we will stand before God. God is holy and just. He is also merciful and loving – Matthew 12:20