Daniel Chose to obey God

Daniel 1:1-20

King Jehoiakim was the king of Judah when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon captured Jerusalem. God allowed the king of Judah to be captured, along with vessels from the house of God. Nebuchadnezzar took them back to Babylon. The king ordered one of his chief officials to bring young men from Jerusalem who were from royal families to the palace. The king wanted young men who were smart, good looking with no physical defects, and able to serve the king. They would be educated for three years, learning the language and literature. The king would even provide royal food and drink for them daily.

Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah were among the young men chosen to live at the palace. But the chief official changed their names to Babylonian names. Daniel knew the king’s food and drink was unclean for Jews. He made the choice not to eat or drink it. Daniel asked the official for permission not to defile himself. The official had shown kindness and understanding to Daniel. But he worried if the king saw that the faces of Daniel and his friends had become thinner than the other boys, his own life would be in danger. Daniel asked the guard to test them by giving them vegetables and water for ten days. After that time the guard could compare their appearance with those who were eating the king’s food. The guard agreed to this test.

At the end of ten days, Daniel and his friends looked healthier than the other men. So the guard continued to give them vegetables instead of the king’s food. God blessed the four young men. He gave Daniel and his friends knowledge and understanding. Daniel could understand visions and dreams. After three years, the official presented them to the king. The king found that no one in his entire kingdom was as knowledgeable and wise as Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah.

In the 1980s and 90s (maybe when some of your parents were kids), a series of books called Choose Your Own Adventure were popular. In these books, at the end of each chapter, the reader was presented with two choices. Choosing one option would lead you to turn to a certain page to continue reading. Choosing the other would lead you to a different page. Based on your choices, the book’s storyline may end quickly or carry on for a longer adventure. You helped decide how the story unfolded.

In these books, there were choices to make. These choices weren’t difficult, though. They were meant to be entertaining. Not all choices we are faced with are easy. In fact, some choices are actually quite challenging to make.

Daniel and his friends faced a very difficult situation. When presented with food and drink from the king’s kitchen, they had a hard choice to make. They knew the food given to them was considered unclean and eating it would be disobeying God. Daniel and his friends could have chosen the easier path to simply eat the food given to them. Instead, they chose to obey God. They asked for vegetables and water instead. God rewarded their faithfulness. He gave strength and wisdom to these men for their obedience to Him

How did Daniel and his friends know what God wanted them to do? They had spent time listening to Scriptures that contained God’s laws for the people. How do we know what God wants us to do? We have the Bible, God’s Word. As we read and study it, we learn more about what God desires for us. If we look in His Word and ask God for direction, He will help us know what to do

Choosing God’s way won’t always be easy, but it will always be right.


1. What challenging decision did Daniel and his friends face when they were taken to Babylon?

2. What did they ask the official over them to provide for them?

3. How did God reward them for their obedience?

Pray: God, help us look to Your Word for direction in the many choices we face. No matter how difficult it may be, help us obey You. Give us courage to choose Your ways every single day.

Karine Chan