From Lynda Lindsey
At the end of the time set by the king to bring them in, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service.
The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service. Daniel 1:5
In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom. Daniel 1:20
Daniel and his friends, taken into Babylonian captivity after Jerusalem’s fall, were among the best and brightest. Physically strong, handsome, well informed, and quick to understand, they were well qualified to serve their new sovereign. After a three year period of indoctrination and education into the Babylonian culture, a time calculated to wipe out their loyalties to Israel, they would be inducted into King Nebuchadnezzar’s service. Their given names, reflecting attributes of the one true God, were changed to reflect characteristics of the pagan gods worshiped by their captors. Everything from a new diet, to education, language, politics, culture, and religion was calculated to annihilate the past from their memory and make them grateful for new opportunities.
The Babylonian king, however, did not take into account one fact. Daniel and his friends had previously entered into kingdom service. Nothing could shake their loyalty to their Sovereign. Nothing. No amount of power, prestige, indoctrination or intimidation could undermine their allegiance. No threat of death, no fear of what man could do to them, no accusations leveled at them could make them compromise their faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were already servants of the Most High God and servants they would remain. Outward changes that didn’t compromise their obedience to God might be effected, but inwardly, at the core, they belonged to God and to God alone. They had unshakable trust in God; God chose to honor their conviction.
In matters not essential to their faith Daniel and his friends sought the good of the Babylonians. They brought God’s wisdom and knowledge to their work; excellency defined their efforts. They garnered the respect of many as they lived solely for God in a wicked, God-hostile land. When possible Daniel respectfully implemented workable solutions that didn’t dishonor God. When those options weren’t possible, Daniel and his friends courageously trusted God to see them through. We too are in the King’s service in a land that’s becoming more and more God-hostile. May our faith be just as steadfast.