“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6
If you have been following along with us, you know that we are talking about Daniel. Who was Daniel? Well before I explain who Daniel was, I want to present you with the setting and timeline in which the book of Daniel was written.
If you were an Israelite, this was probably the worst time to be alive in the history of Israel. No exaggeration. This was the day the Israelites had dreaded for a long time, a day that had been prophesied by the prophets, a day that they had been warned about since previously sinning against God and refusing to repent.
So that is the scene. All the bad things that God said would happen are happening.
- They had been defeated by a Pagan ruler.
- They had departed to a pagan nation under a pagan ruler and were taken away in captivity.
- The holy vessels that were so important to them had been desecrated.
It happened exactly like God said it would happen. God had warned Israel for 490 years, and finally, His patience ran out. He had seen enough. That was the setting in Daniel chapter 1.
We don’t know too much about Daniel’s early life. We know that he was born into an unidentified family and most scholars believe this family was of Judean nobility of some sort, simply because he was among the first selection of Jewish captives taken to Babylon.
At the time of the exile, Daniel was around 15 years old. I imagine that a transition like this one would have been extremely intimidating for any teenager in his position. Most teenagers would have probably just fallen into line and given into the temptation of turning away from God and worshipping the false gods of the Babylonians, but that wasn’t the case for Daniel and his friends.
Instead, they chose courage. Why? Because they were committed to being faithful to God. If you are going to be committed to God, courage is required. And we see what that looks like in Daniel’s story. Daniel could have easily caved to the culture and done what everyone else was doing, but instead, Daniel overcame those temptations and demonstrated what it looks like to live a life of courage.
If you are going to be committed to God, courage is required. Are you ready?