Life-Study of Daniel, by Witness Lee


"The king told Ashpenaz, the chief of his eunuchs, to bring some of the sons of Israel, including some from the royal seed and from the nobility, children in whom was no defect, who were good in appearance, who showed insight in all wisdom, understanding in knowledge, and apprehension in thought, and in whom was the ability to stand in the king’s palace" (Dan. 1:3-4). Among such sons of Israel were some young overcomers whom God used to gain the victory over Satan’s devices. Satan might have thought that God had been defeated and that on earth there no longer was the worship of God. The elect of God had been defeated, and God’s purpose on earth had suffered loss. However, God was not disappointed, for He still had some overcomers—Daniel and his companions. In His sovereignty He had arranged for these young people to be taken to Babylon, where they were His overcomers. If God had not had these overcomers in Babylon, He would have been totally defeated. But because of their presence in Babylon, He was not defeated and could boast to Satan that even in Babylon He had His overcomers.

A. Nebuchadnezzar’s Devilish Temptation

Daniel 1:3-7 describes Nebuchadnezzar’s devilish temptation.

1. Seducing Daniel and His Companions
to Be Defiled in Partaking of His Unclean Food,
Food Offered to His Idols

The first temptation that came to mankind concerned eating (Gen. 3:1-5). In principle, all the temptations that come to us are related to eating. Nebuchadnezzar’s devilish temptation was first to seduce Daniel and his three companions, the four brilliant young descendants of God’s defeated elect, to be defiled in partaking of his unclean food, food offered to idols. Nebuchadnezzar provided Daniel and his three companions with the choice food to eat. To Daniel, that choice food was actually the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That tree is something attached to Satan and even one with Satan, but the tree of life is something attached to God and one with God. To eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is to become attached to Satan; to eat of the tree of life is to become attached to God. When Daniel and his companions refused to eat Nebuchadnezzar’s unclean food and chose instead to eat vegetables, they were actually rejecting the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and taking the tree of life. Thus, even in Nebuchadnezzar’s palace there were the two trees.

The choice food was defiling, not clean, for it had been offered to Nebuchadnezzar’s gods. For Daniel and his companions to eat that food would have been to take in the defilement, to take in the idols, and thus to become one with Satan. If they had done this, God would have been finished and would have had nothing on earth for Himself and His interest. Then Satan could have boasted and said, "God, You have been completely defeated. You have nothing on earth to represent You and to be one with You." God had been defeated in His elect. Now if their descendants in the captivity, the younger generation, had followed in the steps of their fathers, God would have been fully defeated. But Daniel and his companions were for God. They were attached to God, they cleaved to God, and they were one with God because they took God in.

To eat Nebuchadnezzar’s choice food is to take Satan as our supply and to become one with Satan. I am concerned that you may be eating the choice food provided for you by today’s Nebuchadnezzar. If we are careless in our eating, in our shopping, in where we go, and in what we do, we may take in something related to idols, something demonic. We are what we eat. If we eat godly food—that is, if we eat God-food, God as our food—we will be one with God.

(Life-Study of Daniel, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)