Daniel 1:17-20 – As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. At the end of the time, when the king had commanded that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. And the king spoke with them, and among all of them none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Therefore they stood before the king. And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom.
When I was a boy, someone tried to teach me how to sew. Step one was threading the needle. I’ve always had big hands, and their relationship with a small needle was complicated. I rarely threaded the needle, but I was very good at sticking the needle in my finger while trying. Life has a lot of complicated needle threading.
The Bible is not about what used to happen, but instead about what always happens. Six hundred years before Jesus walked the earth, a young man named Daniel and his friends were taken captive as slaves from their homeland in Israel and forced to be brainwashed in the equivalent of an undergraduate program at a godless university. The demonic spirit of Babylon keeps running the same old playbook of indoctrination through education for the simple fact that it’s still working.
In an amazing testimony of resilient courage, Daniel and a few of his buddies navigate it all while getting good grades, earning the respect of people who despise their God, and not compromising. In this scene from Daniel we learn are three things we learn about how to live upright in our falling down world:
- You need the Spirit of God in you. Even the unbelievers can see this fact is what makes Daniel different (4:8, 4:18). How is your personal relationship with and sensitivity to the leadership of the Holy Spirit?
- You need godly friends around you. Daniel and his buddies stuck together even in the face of death which just goes to show that buddies are what you need for your battles. Do you have your buddies for your battles?
- You need to learn things you don’t believe. Daniel and his buddies got good grades in evil subjects with demonic curriculum. This just goes to show the importance of preparing our kids to live in this world by helping them learn to discern. Daniel learns how to conjure a demon, worship an idol, and be a witch. These are things they learn, but not things that they believe or ways that they behave. What things have you learned that you need to be careful not to believe or allow to influence how you behave?
In addition to this introduction to and overview of Daniel, you can find the corresponding sermons, daily devotions, men’s ministry resources, and hundreds of additional sermons and Bible teaching resources for free at markdriscoll.org or on the Mark Driscoll Ministries app.
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