Daniel 1 is a study in how God cared for His people in the midst of judgment and great challenge. The writer of Daniel lets the reader know that God is sovereign. He actually delivered Judah into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar (1:2). He also protected Daniel and his friends in spite of their exile to Babylon. He inspired Daniel to creatively offer some alternatives to his captors that allowed him to practice his Jewish faith even in Babylon.
God honored Daniel‘s faithfulness. Daniel refused to be totally assumed into the pagan culture of the Babylonians. His refusal to share the meals of the pagans was an expression of his sense of purity. Daniel knew God had called him to live a life of purity. He would not compromise in spite of the pressure exerted externally by the cultural expectations of his captors. God gave Daniel favor at this point and honored his desire to remain pure.
Today, as followers of Jesus, we face similar challenges to Daniel. We have cultural expectations imposed upon us as well. How do we handle these cultural pressures that often tempt us to compromise our faith as believers? How do we express our desire to remain pure and answer God’s call to purity?
We can learn from the first chapter of 1 Peter some valuable lessons as we consider the answers to these questions.