Studies in Daniel – God’s Purposes

TITLE: Studies in Daniel – God’s Purposes

SUBJECT: Passage Study

PROPOSITION: In this lesson we will look at the first chapter of the book of Daniel and note God’s purposes, namely, that there was: 1) Divine Change, 2) Divine Constancy, and 3) Divine Counsel.

OBJECTIVE: That we understand God’s purposes can be accomplished even under difficult circumstances.


1. Read: Daniel 1:1-7

2. About the Text:

1) The book of Daniel centers around the life of the prophet Daniel.

2) This book is set in the land of Babylon after the captivity of the southern kingdom, Judah.

3) It begins somewhere around 606 B.C.

4) The book spans the period of Babylonian and Persian rule.

5) Daniel was likely a very young man when he went into captivity.

6) At the end of the book, he is an old man.

7) The book spans his lifetime.

8) The book contains 12 chapters and is divided into two sections: historical (1-6) and prophetic (7-12).

9) It contains the message to God’s people that God is in control (Daniel 4:32) and that the righteous will overcome all things (Daniel 12:3).

3. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.

DISCUSSION: We learn from Daniel chapter one that the purpose of God involved . . .

I.   Divine Change (Daniel 1:1-7)

1. The nations of Israel and Judah had been disobedient to God for years.

1) Jeremiah 6:16 records their attitude: “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”

2) Amos 5:26 “But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves.”

3) Consider Isaiah 6:9-11 “And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate.”

2. God used his prophets to tell them they would go into captivity.

1) Jeremiah 13:19 “The cities of the south shall be shut up, and none shall open them: Judah shall be carried away captive all of it, it shall be wholly carried away captive.”

2) Amos 5:27 “Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the LORD, whose name is The God of hosts.”

3) Zechariah 14:2 “For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.”

3. God promised captivity and now they were in it.

1) Consider 2 Kings 24:11-16

2) 1 Chronicles 6:15 “And Jehozadak went into captivity, when the LORD carried away Judah and Jerusalem by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar.”

3) 2 Chronicles 26:31 “To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.”

4. This is the circumstance in which we find Daniel and his friends.

1) They are in the midst of change.

2) Change of location.

3) Change of people.

4) Change of personal purposes.

5) It was all accomplished by God to punish the nation of Israel.

II.  Divine Constancy (Daniel 1:8-16)

1. Yet there is a constancy with Daniel and his friends.

1) They do not want to change to the king’s diet.

2) They knew the law of God regarding what was clean and what was not clean to eat.

3) Leviticus 11 contains all the laws in that regard.

a. Restrictions on land animals (Leviticus 11:1-7).

b. Restrictions on water creatures (Leviticus 11:9-12).

c. Restrictions on winged creatures (Leviticus 11:13-19).

d. Restrictions on insects (Leviticus 11:20-23).

e. Crawling animals that were unclean (Leviticus 11:29-31).

4) Nebuchadnezzar certainly wasn’t going to abide by these restrictions, but Daniel and his friends would.

5) This constancy came from God.

6) It was there way to be obedient to God in a foreign land when everything else was taken away from them.

2. With Daniel and his friends there was a trial period.

1) This came about because the chief of the Eunuchs did not want to displease the king.

2) So Daniel recommended a trial period.

3) They went for 10 days on pulse/vegetables and water.

4) The word “pulse” denoted leguminous plants such as peas, beans, and peanuts.

5) It also may have included foods that were sown, such as wheat, barley and other grains.

6) These were foods high in protein and carbohydrates.

7) So they were able to sustain Daniel and his friends and help them to grow.

8) They passed the trial period and went on such a diet indefinitely.

9) Thus they were able to satisfy the king’s wishes and be obedient to God as well.

3. Daniel and his friends remained true to God’s word even in the conditions they were in.

1) Paul thus wrote to the church in Thessalonica, “That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.” (1 Thessalonians 3:3).

2) He said to the church at Colossae that they would be unblameable before God, “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister” (Colossians 1:23).

III. Divine Counsel (Daniel 1:17-21)

1. God gave them knowledge.

1) We recall that God did similarly with Solomon.

2) 1 Kings 4:29 “And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore.”

3) 2 Peter 1:21 “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

2. They were 10 times better than all the rest.

1) Deuteronomy 4:6 “Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.”

2) Psalm 119:98-100 “Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.”

3. They were thus made to give counsel to the king.

1) We recall the Joseph was in a similar situation.

2) He was set before Pharaoh.

3) He demonstrated his wisdom as well and became second in all the nation.

4) Such is the course of all who follow God’s ways.

5) Acts 9:15 “But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel”.

6) God’s wisdom will always lead to success.


1. Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

2. The purpose of God involved . . .

1) Divine Change

2) Divine Constancy

3) Divine Counsel

3. Invitation