Highlights In Today's Reading:
Daniel's faith and God's protection. What a story! Daniel and his 3 friends, who were captives, remained faithful to God (Chapter 1). Daniel interprets a "strange" dream (Chapter 2). The power of God and His protection is seen in Chapter 3.
During the reign of wicked Jehoiakim (II Kings 24:1-4), Nebuchadnezzar finally conquered all of Palestine. Daniel and other selected Israelite captives were assigned new names which would identify them as citizens of Babylon. The king's intent was that these select men be taught to think and live like Babylonians. Daniel means “God is Judge,” but his Babylonian name Belteshazzar means “Prince of Baal.” As Daniel heard his new name called day after day, it was intended to remind him that the comfort, self-esteem, and high position he enjoyed in his new society were all the result of his being the “Prince of Baal.”
Daniel and other selected Israelite captives were also given a special three-year course of training to educate them in the language and customs of their new country. It seems that Nebuchadnezzar's purpose for this specialized training was to use these young leaders to influence the other captives to become loyal to their new country and their new god. One of the provisions of these "privileged" men was to eat the same kind of food the king ate. But, throughout his 69 years in heathen courts, Daniel remained true to God. Our God is also able in all temptations to keep you (us) from falling, and to present you (us) faultless (Jude 1:24).
The key to Daniel's victory is available to all who wish to submit to the King of kings. He welcomes the believer to receive His life more abundant. But to appropriate abundant life, one must face death to self-interest.
Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself (Daniel 1:8-16). There was no question in Daniel's mind as to who was King over his life. Daniel could refuse to eat the king's meat since there was something more important to him than feasting on all the delicacies that the king could put before him. Daniel was not concerned about losing recognition by refusing to eat the king's food.
He based his steadfast purpose on the Word of God. To partake of the king's food would not be acceptable, for it was prepared in violation of the Levitical laws of God. Regardless of how tasty, it would not be acceptable, for his life was controlled by One far greater than King Nebuchadnezzar.
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it (I Corinthians 10:13).
Thought for Today:
A Christian must be willing to die to self (selfish interests) in order to live for Christ.
As the Stone that smote the image (Daniel 2:35). The Stone is Jesus Christ (Acts 4:11; Ephesians 2:20; I Peter 2:4-8).
1:4 Children =b> Young men; 2:1 sleep brake from him =b> he was unable to sleep; 2:31 terrible =b> dreadful, awesome; 3:19 the form of his visage was changed =b> his facial expression was changed; 3:21 hosen =b> tunic or undergarments.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Bett Brown • Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Mr. Andrew Fuchs • Staff: Karen Hawkins • Government Officials: Rep. Joe Barton (TX) and Rep. Mark Kirk (IL) • Country: Fiji (813,000) in the southwestern Pacific • Major languages: English and Fijian • Religious freedom • 41% Hindu; 40% Protestant; 9% Roman Catholic; 8% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Cry out to God in humility (Psa. 9:12).
Optional Reading: Revelation 20
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Thessalonians 1:4