Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Great People Of the Bible- Week #10- Daniel


Daniel's early life demonstrates that there is more to being young than making mistakes. No characteristic wins the hearts of adults more quickly than wisdom in the words and actions of a young person. Daniel and his friends had been taken from their homes in Judah and exiled. Their futures were in doubt, but they all had personal traits that qualified them for their jobs as servants in the kings palace. They took advantage of the opportunity without letting the opportunity take advantage of them.

Our first hint at Daniel's greatness comes in his quiet refusal to give up his convictions. He had applied God's will to his own life, and he resisted changing the good habits he had formed. Both his physical and spiritual diets were an important part of his relationship with God. He ate carefully and lived prayerfully. One of the benefits of being in training for royal service was eating food from the king's table. Daniel tactfully chose a simpler menu and proved it was a healthy choice.

While Daniel limited his food intake, he indulged in prayer. He was able to communicate with God because he made it a habit. He put into practice his convictions, even when that meant being thrown into a den of hungry lions.

Here is a Bible character who, unlike many of the others, had to live in a hostile culture that made no pretense of serving the Revealed God of Israel. In this way he closely parallels the modern Christian. All who have ever felt conspicuous because of a conviction will find Daniel a fellow pilgrim.

Do you hold so strongly to your faith in God that whatever happens you will do what God says? Such conviction keeps you a step ahead of temptation; such conviction gives you wisdom and stability in changing circumstances. Prayerfully live out your convictions in everyday life and trust God for the results. Look what happened to Daniel.

Read Daniel 1:1-21
-Why was Daniel initially taken into King Nebuchadnezzar's court?
-How are Daniel and the other Israelites described?
-How were Daniel and his friends equipped to fulfill the king's expectations of them?
-Why did Daniel refuse the rich foods and wines provied by the king?
-How did he obtain official permission to maintain his conviction?
-Why was it important to obtain permission not to eat the king's food?
-Why did he not simply refuse it or despose of it without the officer's knowledge?
-How did God honor Daniel's commitment to personal purity?

Read Daniel 2:27-49; 4:19-37; 5:5-30
-When Daniel interpreted Nebuchadnezzar's first dream (ch.2), the interpretation was a favorable one. How did Daniel demonstrate his personal integrity in the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's second dream (ch. 4)?
-What risks did Daniel take in offering the second interpretation?
-Nebuchadnezzar's son Belshazzar called Daniel to interpret the "handwriting on the wall". What details show that Daniel gave an honest and accurate evaluation of the message?
-What risks were inherent in this interpretation?
-What did his refusal to accept Belshazzar's gifts reveal about Daniel's personal character?
-Both in his personal practices and in his interaction with foreign kings, what principles did Daniel adhere too? What do they demonstrate about Daniel's character? About his relationship to God?

-Although many Christians now days don't live in exile or under service to foreign powers, they often face circumstances that challenge their personal beliefs and actions. What circumstances do you face in daily life that challenge your faith? Have you had any recent successes (or failures) of personal integrity when you have been tempted to compromise? How can Daniel's example of integrity be an encouragement to you?


Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Hit Counter