Commit to Purity and Reap Greater Competence
King Nebuchadnezzar carried off articles from God's temple to the temple of his god in Babylon. He brought young Israelites without defect showing aptitude for every kind so they could learn the language and literature of the Babylonians and be qualified to serve the king's palace after three years. Daniel resolved not to defile himself with royal food and wine. God caused the official to show favor, but was afraid he would look worse than other young men his age. After a ten-day test of vegetables and water, Daniel looked healthier and better nourished than the others who ate the royal food. God gave Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning before entering the king's service. The king found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in every matter of wisdom and understanding. Daniel also understood visions and dreams. He remained there until the first year of King Cyrus (Dan. 1:1-21). Commit to purity and reap greater learning and competence in your work.
Ask God for Wisdom During Crisis
Nebuchadnezzar threatened to kill the magicians and astrologers if they were unable to tell what he dreamt. After they said it was too difficult, Daniel spoke to Arioch, commander of the king's guard, with wisdom and tact asking why the king issued a harsh decree. Daniel went to the king and asked for time to interpret the dream. After Daniel explained the matter to his three friends, they prayed to God for mercy. During the night the mystery was revealed. Daniel praised God for His wisdom and power in setting up kings, removing them, giving wisdom to the wise, knowledge to the discerning, revealing deep and hidden things and knowing what lies in darkness. He praised Him for giving wisdom, power and making known the king's dream (Dan. 2:1-23). Ask God for wisdom and power during times of crisis.
Communicate God's Revelation with Humility to Unbelievers
Daniel told Arioch not to execute Babylon's wise men as he would interpret the dream to the king. Daniel said to the king that no wise man could explain the mystery except the God in heaven who revealed mysteries and future events to Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel did not take credit but said God wanted the king to know the dream's interpretation. The gold head was Nebuchadnezzar who ruled over all mankind and animals. After him, an inferior kingdom would
arise, next a bronze kingdom to rule over the earth and finally a fourth strong as iron to crush the others. The feet and toes consisted of baked clay and iron representing a divided kingdom with strong and brittle elements that would not remain united. God would set up a kingdom to crush and end all others, but would endure forever itself. It represented the rock cut out of a mountain without human hands that broke to pieces the iron, bronze, clay, silver and gold (Dan. 2:24-45a). Communicate God's revelation with boldness, wisdom and humility to unbelievers.
Credit God for Wisdom Leading to Influence
After Daniel said the great God showed the king future events with a trustworthy interpretation, Nebuchadnezzar fell prostate before him, paid honor and ordered an offering and incense presented to Daniel. The king said that Daniel's god was God of gods, Lord of kings and revealer of mysteries. He placed Daniel in a high position, lavished many gifts, made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of the wise men. At Daniel's request, the king appointed his three friends adminstrators over the Babylon while he remained in the royal court (Dan. 2:45b-49). Credit God for wisdom and power leading to promotion, provision and influence.
Refuse Idol Worship While Trusting God During Stress
Nebuchadnezzar made a 90-foot-high gold image for everyone to worship, otherwise people were thrown into a blazing furnace. Some astrologers noticed Daniel's three friends not serving their gods or worshiping the gold image. Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego told the king they would not defend themselves as God could rescue them while inside the blazing furnace. Even if He did not, they would not serve Babylon's gods or worship the gold image. The king was furious, ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter, commanded the three men to be tied and thrown in the furnace. The fire killed the men who carried them. The king saw four men walking in the fire unbound and unharmed with the fourth looking like the son of gods. The three men came out unharmed with no singing or scorching on their heads or robes and without smell of fire on them (Dan. 3:1-27). Refuse worshiping idols and trust God during stressful circumstances.
Watch Unbelievers Praise God Because of Believers' Sacrifice and Miracles
Nebuchadnezzar praised their God who sent His angel and rescued His servants. They trusted in Him, defied the king's command and were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own. The king decreed that anyone who said anything against their God would be killed since no other god could save in this way. The king promoted Shadrach, Meshacha and Abednego in Babylon (Dan. 3:28-30). Watch unbelievers praise God because of believers' sacrifice and related miracles.
How have you trusted God during a temptation, crisis or stressful circumstances? What was the benefit?