Daniel 1:17—God gave these four young men knowledge and understanding in every kind of literature and wisdom. Daniel also understood visions and dreams of every kind.
Daniel, probably in part because of my given name, has always been my hero. In studying his Old Testament prophetic book that contains his story, there are at least five superb applications that ought to inspire us to be like him.
I. Determine to Be Holy.
Daniel is one of very few Old Testament leaders for which no sin is mentioned. This does not mean he was sinless but he refused to compromise with anything he deemed as unrighteous. First, as a young man he determined not to consume King Nebuchadnezzar’s food or drink that trainees were expected to ingest (1:8). Daniel was willing to be tested to show that his decision was better and he prevailed (1:12-15). Second, he upheld truth. At the potential cost to his own life, he delivered God’s fatal rebuke of impending death to King Belshazzar (5:22-28). Third, he maintained his spiritual walk (6:10), even though he knew his enemies would use it as a death sentence against him (6:6-9). Fourth, he confessed the sin of his people, including himself—though no evidence exists that he personally was culpable. Daniel refused to let sin gain any foothold in his life.
II. Understood Your Gifting
Daniel knew God gifted him with knowledge, understanding and the ability to understand visions and dreams (1:17, 2:19,21,22; 4:8,9,18). Every king from Nebuchadnezzar to Cyrus recognized Daniel’s gifting and superb leadership (1:19,20; 2:48; 5:11,12,14). From Romans 12 we know that within the Christian body there are different gifts given. It is vitally important that we know what our gifts are so that we can faithfully practice them for the furtherance of God’s kingdom.
III. Live Wisely
Daniel modeled tact, discretion and faith when his life was threatened (2:12-14; 6:17). He made no attempt to escape the trap his enemies set. Instead, he submitted himself to God’s protection. He valued prayer and habitually conversed with God (2:17,18, 6:10; 9:3,4,17-21; 10:12). Despite incredible positions of authority and recognition at the highest levels, he remained humble (2:30; 5:17; 10:12). Additionally, he took great care of his friends (2:49). His loyalty and desire to ensure their wellbeing made for a strong team.
IV. Glorify God
Daniel was quick and faithful to praise God for revealing dreams to him. He continually thanked God (2:19,20,23; 6:10; 9:4). He also ensured that each king he served knew that it was God at work (2:27-28,47; 4:18; 6:22). The beauty of continually glorifying God is that it keeps our focus off ourselves and on Him. This leads to His refreshing blessings.
V. Be Treasured By God
Daniel was found innocent and esteemed before God (6:22, 9:22,23; 10:11). To be described by the angel Gabriel as “treasured by God” is simply awesome! Imagine that Almighty God, perfect and omnipotent, would look upon a vulnerable human in this way and we see not only why Daniel’s prayers were heard (10:12), but also why he was so important. Let us also aspire to be treasured by God.
Role modeling depends, in part, on observational learning: learning that takes place not by being taught, but merely by watching what someone else is doing.—Steven M. Southwick & Dennis S. Charney in Resilience
©2018 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)