As my pastor continued his series on courage, he shared with us the story of Daniel. Yep, he’s awesome, and I managed to exptrapolate of few thoughts of my own on the first 3 chapters of this book by the very same name:
Just to give you a little background, the nation of Israel is seized by the powerful King Nebuchadnezzar, he brought captives from many conquered lands to serve in his government, it was his custom to choose the best and the brightest, and among this cream of the crop were Daniel and his friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. They start off chapter 1 by distinguishing themselves as set apart, honoring the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, by refusing to eat from the king’s table–food that was most likely sacrificed to idols, they prove that just by standing by their convictions that they are not only just as capable but even more so that the other youths who do take of the king’s offerings.
Moving on to chapter 2, the stakes get a bit higher, we’re talking life or death here, and in fact, throughout the rest of the book of Daniel, we’re talking life or death…but Daniel, as well as his friends are up for the challenge. Nebuchadnezzar has a very disturbing dream, but instead of just calling his magicians, sorcerers, etc. just to interpret it, he commands that they tell the king exactly what the dream was and interpret it. Impossible? Certainly. But for the God who is the revealer of dreams and mysteries? Not a problem. Not only does Daniel tell the King exactly what the dream was, he translates it in great detail. Amazing, simply amazing. I want to share more tomorrow on Chapter 3, but I wanted to give you all some thoughts to chew on, some take-aways, that might help you with something you may be facing right now. In fact, I want to issue a challenge: how many of these can you implement this week?
I’d love your feedback!
1) Daniel was willing to go against the grain (1:8)
2) Spoke with those in authority with wisdom with tact (2:14)—whew, it’s taken a couple of years (10-15, still working on it..) for me to get this one down
3) Daniel asked to approach the one in authority (2:24b) who was already in a bad mood
4) Used his God-given gifts (1:17)
5) Enlisted the prayers of his friends (2:17)
6) Thanked and praised God for his revelation (2:20)
7) Confidence–God had given him this message, now it needed to be told (2:24 and 2:45b)
8) Gave credit where credit was due: to God (2:28)
9) Compelled those in authority to give all credit, glory and honor to the “God of gods” (2:37). How powerful is that? Here is the pagan king, worshiper of idols, grumpy, ruthless, and very, very powerful recognizing that Daniel’s God, is “a Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries” (2:47)
9) Assigned his godly friends to positions of leadership all over Babylon–you may say it’s favoritism, I say it’s common sense and wisdom. He knew his friends were God-fearing men capable of great things…
More to Come…