Monday, August 27, 2018


August 27, 2018
Daniel 1:20  "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."

The book of Daniel opens with a very brief background story. The background story basically states that a bad king came and carried off people and religious artifacts. The end. The Bible does not waste any time with too many details sometimes, because apparently those details were, and are, not important. The Bible does get in, rather quickly, to some details about Daniel's interactions with the bad king. Since the book of Daniel is about Daniel, focus for a few minutes on the person of Daniel. He was an exceptional human being. The exact age of Daniel is unknown, but he wasn't carried off by the bad king when he was in his mid-40s. No, Daniel was likely carried off into Babylon when he was a late teen, early 20s at most. By today's standards, maybe he was college age.

At any rate, Daniel was put into the kings service. He was basically a slave, and required to serve the bad king. This bad king, Nebuchadnezzar, gave instructions on a three-year indoctrination process. They were going to assimilate Daniel and the others, brainwash them, teach them the language, and integrate them as part of the empire. They wanted Daniel for his demonstrated intellect and that is exactly what they got, sort of. Several years into program, Daniel was doing exceptionally well. He was learning the language, putting his shoulder to the study, learning the culture, and figuring it out rather well. What is really impressive with Daniel is that he, despite the intense indoctrination, was able to maintain his dedication to the Lord and kept his Jewish beliefs, heritage, and traditions. Despite the strong foreign influences, Daniel remained true to his God; He was a Jew straight through to his core. He was able to learn the new culture, beliefs, language, and even religion, without it affecting his own.

Before Daniel was through his three-year program installed by the bad king, Daniel was called upon in service to interpret the kings dream. While the dream is critical to the whole of the Bible, to Daniel, it was part of what the Lord asked of him. Daniel interpreted the dream, as instructed by the Lord, in exceptional service to the bad king. It is a wonder what motivated Daniel internally to excel in this forced foreign program of integration. It is amazing to see this young man work so hard and diligently for his earthly master. He didn't try to overthrow the government; He didn't try to escape. He didn't even lay down and give a half-hearted effort. Daniel served the bad king, as a slave, exceptionally well. 

And though he was not complete with his three-year program, still a college aged man, he was called upon in an exceptional feat before the king in not just interpreting the dream, but telling of the dream when the king kept it a secret. The king was so impressed with Daniel, so impressed with the Lord inside of Daniel, that Nebuchadnezzar placed him in charge of all the wise councilmen of the entire nation. This man, Daniel, barely at the age of graduating college, was the lead wise counsel in all the land. What made Daniel so exceptional?  Was he truly just blessed with intelligence and wisdom? Could you attribute 100 percent of it to the Lord just giving all the insight to Daniel? You can attribute the Lord's blessing of intellect, in that he had the aptitude to learn. But Daniel had to put in the exceptional work, with exceptional dedication not only to study but to prayer and dedication to the Lord. Exceptional intelligence is more common than most will admit. Exceptionally hard work and prayer and dedication to the Lord is what made Daniel exceptional. Even more exceptional is Daniel's ability to be within a culture and not let it affect his dedication to the Lord.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Daniel 1&2

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