2006-06-23 - Daniel
Daniel's situation certainly points out the benefit of a secure government position. One minute you have job security, good pay, and good benefits, and the next minute,, your boss is threatening to put you to death. Don't tell me civil service is a good deal. The only time I want to be a civil service employee, is when it is in the Millennial kingdom, Christ's government.
Introduction: The theatre house lights go out, and the curtain draws back, revealing the action of our narrative. Chapter One could really be identified as a prologue introducing the heroes of the story: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. These four young Judeans had been taken into captivity. And, unfortunately for them, they were reaping the consequences of the sins of their people.
" ... Judah has gone into exile. She dwells among the nations; she finds no resting place. The LORD has brought her grief because of her many sins" (Lamentations 1:3, 5).
The difference between these young men and the Judeans in general was their commitment to God. If the nation as a whole had walked in obedience as these men did, there wouldn't have been an exile.
As part of our initial observation of the four, we saw that Daniel was their spokesman. And the first time he spoke out was over the issue of assimilation. The king of Babylon desired to educate these men in the ways of the empire, co-opting them for service. And one of the specific ways used was to feed them from the king's table. But Daniel asked for the opportunity to show that the four young men would be better off abstaining from the king's food and living on a simple diet. And after ten days the evidence proved him out.
The second test was an exam after three years of studies in the cultural, social, and legal aspects of Babylonia. The quartet passed with flying colors, doing better than any other graduates. Additionally, Daniel became know as a specialist in dream interpretation.
To be continued.
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