“Now God granted Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials.”
God’s favor is the rich reward of obedience.
God delights in granting special grace and favor to those whose hearts are set on pleasing Him. For example, “Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord” and was spared the ravages of the Flood (Gen. 6:8). Joseph found favor in His sight and was elevated to prominence in Egypt (Gen. 39–41). God granted Moses and the children of Israel favor in the sight of the Egyptians, and they were able to plunder Egypt in the Exodus (Ex. 11:3; 12:36).
When Daniel chose to obey God by not defiling himself with the king’s special diet (Dan. 1:8), he demonstrated great courage and integrity. God responded by granting him favor and compassion in the sight of Ashpenaz, the commander of the king’s officials. The Hebrew word translated “favor” speaks of goodness or kindness. It can also include a strong affection from deep within. “Compassion” means a tender, unfailing love. Together these words tell us that God established a special relationship between Ashpenaz and Daniel that not only protected Daniel from harm in this instance, but also helped prepare him for his future role as a man of enormous influence in Babylon.
Today God’s favor is the special grace He grants His children in times of need. It is especially evident when their obedience brings persecution. The apostle Peter wrote, “This finds favor [grace], if for the sake of conscience toward God a man bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly…. If when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor [grace] with God” (1 Peter 2:19–20).
Daniel knew that refusing the king’s special diet could lead to serious consequences, but he was more interested in obeying God’s Word than avoiding man’s punishment. He had the right priorities, and God honored his obedience, just as He will honor yours.
Suggestions for Prayer: Let the prayer of Moses be yours today: “Let me know Thy ways, that I may know Thee, so that I may find favor in Thy sight” (Ex. 33:13).
For Further Study: Read Genesis 39. What were the results of God’s favor upon Joseph?
1:9 God honored Daniel’s trust and allegiance by sovereignly working favorably for him among the heathen leaders. In this instance, it prevented persecution and led to respect, whereas later on God permitted opposition against Daniel which also elevated him (Da 3, 6). One way or another, God honors those who honor Him (1Sa 2:30; 2Ch 16:9).
1:9 God gave Daniel favor God influences the disposition of foreign palace officials
1:9 God gave Daniel favor. This is a specific answer to Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the temple in 1 Kin. 8:50.
 MacArthur, J. (1997). Strength for today. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.
 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Da 1:9). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
 Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Da 1:9). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
 Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2015). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (2015 Edition) (p. 1464). Orlando, FL: Reformation Trust.