Daniel 1

 

Scripture

Daniel 1:17-20

17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.

18 At the end of the time set by the king to bring them into his service, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service. 20 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.

Observation                                      

Daniel was selected to take part in training to enter the king’s service. The fact that he was selected meant that he had to meet certain criteria – young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed and quick to understand (v4); and, once selected, they were to be taught the language and literature of the Babylonians (v4), be able to eat and drink “from the king’s table,” and be trained for 3 years (v5).

Understanding

It sounds like it was quite special – in the eyes of society, at least – to be selected and deemed “qualified” to serve in the king’s service. And one of the “perks” of being selected was to take part in the royal food and wine.  But despite being chosen for the king’s service, Daniel did not lose sight of his being chosen for the King’s service…the one true King, that is.  It would have been easy to go along with and take part in what was approved, expected and encouraged by the king and his officials; but Daniel chose to be obedient and set himself apart – seeking “permission not to defile himself this way” (v8). 

As Christ-followers, we may find ourselves in situations that the world sees as “important” but we recognize is nothing compared to what God has called us to…or find ourselves in positions of servitude for Kingdom purposes that the world would consider inconsequential. In short, our priorities and motives differ from that of the world. 

Yet, in faithful obedience, we find God’s favor – which is ten-fold greater than that of the world.

[As a side note…it’s likely that with taking in more nutritionally sound food and abstaining from alcohol, Daniel and company were of clearer mind, healthier, etc. They had better/healthier habits…all which would lead to better results compounded after the 3 years of training. So, it would make sense that they would be much better off than their counterparts; yet, the glory is still God’s – because it came out of obedience to God. Rightfully so, it started and ended with God.]

Life Application

Dear God, may we place the cause of Christ greater than any worldly “perk” or status. May we remember why we are here – to know you and make you known, to further your Kingdom.  May we be willing to stand against the grain, set ourselves apart in faithful obedience to You, finding ourselves in the center of your will.  And, God, to You be the glory – for any earthly or heavenly reward!

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– Rei

*PS Honestly, the first thing that stood out to me were verses 12-16, from which I momentarily concluded that we should all be vegetarian! 🙂  But…I love double-doubles a little too much. Mmm…In-N-Out!  Happy end of fast everyone! 😉