The book of Daniel is filled with stories we all have known and heard since we were in Sunday school. We see the powerful ways God works by saving Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the fiery furnace - literally stepping out completely untouched by the flames. We see the miracle of the lion’s mouths being shut as Daniel was unjustly thrown into the pit. There is so much we can learn about the characteristics of God and what it looks like to be a faithful servant of God.
“And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the kind inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all the kingdom.” Daniel 1:20
The book of Daniel opens up with King Nebuchadnezzar taking the people of Jerusalem captive. Nebuchadnezzar was looking for men who were “without blemish, of good appearance, skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge…” to basically conform them to Babylonian culture. Nebuchadnezzar had a list of exactly what he wanted. He was looking for specific things to qualify who he would spend the next 3 years investing time and energy into (Praise God that this is not the way He works! God is the one who qualifies us - not the things we do, how we look, or how smart we are).
Daniel and his 3 friends did not want to conform to the Babylonian way of life. They believed and trusted in God and they were not going to defile themselves with the ways of this culture. So they simply asked their guard if they could eat their vegetables and water instead of the food that the king wanted to give. God showed them favor through the guard and he allowed a trial period to see the difference between what they received and the others. After the trial period, they were better in appearance all the others. Daniel and his friends were committed to God and He acted on their behalf. God gave them “learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” The king found that in “every matter of wisdom and understanding, the king found them to be 10 times greater than all the others.” Wow. That's pretty amazing if you ask me. They acted in faith, going against what the king ordered, trusting that God was going to bless them and show up. As they sought the Lord and walked out their faith, He gave them all the wisdom the king was looking for. Wordly wisdom was not the answer, Godly wisdom always has victory.
In Chapter 2, Nebuchadnezzar has a troubling dream and no one can seem to interpret it, “…there is not a man on earth who can meet the king’s demand…no one can show it to the kind except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.” Nebuchadnezzar was angry, he decreed that everyone be destroyed. Daniel asked the king’s captain to appoint a time and that he would interpret the dream. This is a huge step of faith, because God had not yet revealed the dream. He went straight to his friends and they just started praying and God answered. He gave Daniel the interpretation of the dream and Daniel responded with praise. There is so much we can take from that, but we have to recognize the faith, the prayer, and the praise as God rewarded their steadfastness in the midst of what seems to be impossible circumstances. We serve a God of the impossible and we should take great comfort in that!
Daniel did not rely on his own self-knowledge, but he sought God in all wisdom and power. He accepted the wisdom God gave him with humility, not ever taking credit for it himself. As God revealed mystery after mystery, God was glorified and His name was made known.
Let us put away worldy wisdom and seek Godly wisdom in all things.
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