Then the king ordered the chief of his court officials, to bring in some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility- Among these were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego. Daniel 1:3, 6-7 NIV
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King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon chose some of the best and brightest young men of Judah to serve in his palace. Although they were treated well in comparison to other captives, they were not free to do as they pleased. In spite of this, these four young men refused to eat food that their Jewish law prohibited. They could have been killed for this, but God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel. (1:9)
The guard the official appointed over them allowed the four to refrain from eating the king’s food for ten days. Daniel and his friends obeyed God at great risk, and God honored their obedience. At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. (Daniel 1:15)
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Lord, help us to raise sons and daughters who, like Daniel and his friends, will stand up for what they believe. Help our children to have courage and do right even when it would be easier to do wrong. May our lives set an example that they can follow.
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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 NIV