...but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; They will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
ISAIAH 40:31

A Blog for Kids and Everyone.

This is a journey through God's word. The Bible is so amazing! There are a lot of great stories. Some that we know well and some will surprise us. We will have a lot of fun as we color, watch short cartoons and tell funny stories.

Friday, December 8, 2023

The Book of Daniel (Chapters 1-2a)

 We are now in the book of Daniel. There is a lot more to the Daniel story than"the lion's den". The timeframe is pretty much the same as the book of Ezekiel which we just finished. Daniel was one of the young men who was taken from Jerusalem when the Babylonians first attacked the city and plundered it. Three of his friends were also captured with him. We know them by their Babylonian names, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. The king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, was a very prideful, and eccentric man. He would shower someone with praises and honor one minute, then have them and their families executed the next. It is important for us to know that he was feared not only by his enemies, but also by his friends and all the people in Babylon.

Chapter 1 begins: Nebuchadnezzar ordered his chief of staff to bring some of the young men who had been captured in Jerusalem to him. He wanted only the strongest, healthiest, good-looking, smartest, and wisest young men to be brought to the palace. "Train the young men in the language and the literature of Babylonia for three years. Give them the same food to eat that is served by the royal kitchen. Then I will select a handful of these men to serve as my royal advisors." Nebuchadnezzar ordered.

Daniel and his three friends were some of the young men selected for the king's program. Their names were changed to Babylonian names and they were stripped of their Jewish identity. When mealtime came around, all the other young men were more than happy to indulge in the amazing spread of food and wine that was laid out before them. But Daniel and his buddies knew that this kind of food was not acceptable to eat by Jewish law (which God stated way back in the book of Deuteronomy).

So rather than defile themselves, Daniel called over the chief of staff and asked for permission NOT to eat the unacceptable food. The chief of staff had gained respect for Daniel, but he responded in fear of the king. "The king has ordered that you eat this food. If you become pale and weak, he will have me beheaded!" Daniel was wise and responded with grace. "Test me and my three friends for ten days by giving us only vegetables and water. Then you can observe our condition and make your decision." So the chief of staff agreed.

It would have been so easy for Daniel and his three friends to indulge in the king's food. After all it was just food. But Daniel knew that honoring God begins with little things. He knew all too well about the story of Adam and Eve and the forbidden "food" in the garden. Doesn't the devil test us in "little things" all the time?  He knows that once we start bending away from God just a little bit, eventually we will fall completely away. We are tempted all the time. But just like Daniel, we have to already have "purposed in our hearts" not to stray. In other words, plan ahead of time not to give in, and not when temptation strikes.

After ten days, the chief of staff looked over all the young men. He was particularly interested in Daniel, Meshach, Shadrach, and Abed-Nego. They were healthier and looked better nourished than all the other young men who had been dining on the king's food. Their minds were also sharper! So for the three-year training period, Daniel and his friends ate vegetables and drank water. They didn't have to defile themselves by eating the king's food and then they were brought before Nebuchadnezzar. Out of all the young captives that were trained, none impressed the king as much as Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego. So they became advisors to the king. And they did a fantastic job.

One night Nebuchadnezzar had a troubling dream. He didn't know what it meant, so he brought in his magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers and demanded that they tell him what his dream was, and what it meant. "Tell us what the dream was, and we will tell you what it means." One of the enchanters spoke up nervously. But Nebuchadnezzar got angry and said that anyone could make up a story to fit his dream, but telling him what he dreamt, now that would take special knowledge.

The king got so fed up with all their stalling techniques, that he ordered all his magicians, enchanters, astrologers, sorcerers and, advisors to be killed at once. As advisors to the king, Daniel and his three friends were on the execution list. When the commander of the king's army showed up at Daniel's door to kill him, Daniel politely and respectfully asked him why. The commander explained, and Daniel asked for a meeting with the king to tell the king what his dream meant. Daniel asked the king for time to seek God. He immediately went to the home of his friends and asked them to pray that God would reveal the king's dream to him and the secret of what it meant.

Daniel knew that only God alone could reveal this to him. He also knew that God worked in the king's heart to give him some time. After all, the king was ready to kill his magicians and enchanters on the spot. Are there times when you need wisdom? or knowledge? In James 1:5 it says "If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking". If you are facing a situation remember these two things, 1. God is working in hearts and behind the scenes. 2. God will give you the wisdom you need to make a Godly decision.

 Next time we will find out Nebuchadnezzar's dream and what it meant.

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