In chapter 1 of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, a world power at the time, besieged Jerusalem and conquered it. He took some of the brightest men from Jerusalem to be trained in Babylonian language and culture so that they could serve him. Among those taken were Daniel and three of his friends. They were to learn all about Babylonian ways and eat and drink of the kings choice food. Daniel requested that he and his friends be allowed to eat only vegetables and water in order to honor God. Daniel and his friends were blessed for their obedience, they remained healthier than the others and they became wise in all matters of culture and literature in Babylon. Daniel and his friends entered the king’s personal service.

Daniel 1:1

Nebuchadnezzar conquers Judah and establishes his reign over the kingdom.

Daniel 1:2

Because of their lack of obedience, God allows Nebuchadnezzar to conquer Judah. Nebuchadnezzar takes all of the items from the Temple and puts them with the items of his gods. This demonstrates Nebuchadnezzar’s complete control of Judah, not only of their land but of their God. The Jewish people are now forced to worship his gods.

Daniel 1:3-7

To completely conquer Judah, and to bring additional leadership to his court, Nebuchadnezzar took the best and the brightest of the Jewish people and forced them to learn Babylonian customs and to work for the Babylonian empire.

Daniel 1:8-13

Instead of eating the food of the Babylonians, which would be in violation of God’s law, Daniel trusts God and eats what He commanded. Because of this faith, Daniel and his friends are blessed by God.

Daniel 1:14-17

God allowed Daniel to be one of the chief’s favorite men so that the chief would let Daniel eat what his God commanded. Because of Daniel’s faithfulness, God bless him and his friends.

Daniel 1:18-21

One of the central themes of the book of Daniel is God’s continued sovereignty for his people who trust and obey Him. Because Daniel and his friends trusted God and only ate the foods He allowed, they were blessed with more strength and wisdom than any of their Babylonian peers.