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February 16, 2020 | Doug Sauder
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“At the end of the time, when the king had commanded that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. And the king spoke with them, and among all of them none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Therefore they stood before the king.”—Daniel 1:18-19 (ESV)
As we go through the Book of Daniel, we’re going to see that the King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, had no problem killing people that didn’t meet his expectations. At the time, he was the most powerful man on the planet, and that power was predicated on the fear he had instilled all around him on account of his ruthlessness. That’s the man Daniel and his friends are being interviewed by here! Can you imagine the ordeal of being examined by him?
Babylon had made a considerable investment in these young men at this point. They had been snatched from their homeland because they showed potential as leaders. Building on this foundation, they were provided with the best training Babylon had to offer. Could their promise be repurposed to serve their new kingdom? It was time to stand before Nebuchadnezzar and receive his verdict: “And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom. And Daniel was there until the first year of King Cyrus” (Daniel 1:20-21 ESV).
Not only did they pass the test, they excelled and outshined all of their contemporaries in the kingdom! And we know why. It wasn’t because they were inherently better than everyone else or because of who had trained and tutored them. All of that played a part, but the underlying and overarching reason Daniel and his companions stood out as being ten times better than everyone else is because of the Lord’s favor upon their lives!
God was determined to use these men; He was determined to promote them because, as we will see in the days to come, it was their heart to promote God. In the midst of an oppressively dark and pagan culture, they were determined to glorify the true and living God . . . which they did.
If our heart is to do the same, to shine for the sake of our Father in heaven, then He will move on our behalf and open the opportunities for us to do so. What that looks like exactly is up to His wisdom and creativity. “Promotion” may not look like what we expect it to. But rest assured, He will elevate our lives as we elevate Him.
DO: Why did Daniel and his friends stand out as they did when examined?
DISCOVER: What is the basic principle we take away from this?
DISPLAY: What is your motivation for promotion in life? Pray about how the Lord can use you wherever you are in life.