The faithful remnant in captivity: "the secret of the Lord" there
Chapter 1 sets before us
the royalty of Judah, formerly established by God over
His people in the person of David, falling under the
power of Nebuchadnezzar; and the king, Jehovah's
anointed, given up by Jehovah into the hands of the head
of the Gentiles, on whom God now bestowed dominion. That
which was announced by Isaiah (chap. 39: 7) falls upon
the children of the royal seed; but God watches over them
and brings them into favour with those that kept them.
This was especially the case with respect to Daniel; The
two characteristics of the faithful remnant in captivity
are prominently marked in this chapter:firstly,
faithful to the will of God, although at a distance from
His temple, they do not defile themselves among the
Gentiles; secondly, their prayer being granted,
understanding is given them, as we see in chapter 2 in
Daniel's case, even the knowledge of that which God alone
can reveal, as well as His purpose in that revelation.
They alone possess this understanding, a token of divine
favour and the fruit of their faithfulness through grace.
This is the case with Daniel in particular, whose faith
and earnest fidelity marks out the path of faith for his
companions. This did not interfere with their subjection
to the Gentiles, whose power was the ordinance of God for
the time being. But this is a most important element: the
place of true knowledge, of intelligence of the divine
mind, what is called the secret of the Lord, in the days
of Babylonish corruption and power, is the thorough
keeping oneself undefiled by the smallest contact with
what it gives, with the meat with which it would feed us.