Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Daniel is Started today.

Today I start reading from Daniel. I'm actually looking forward to this. Have to admit, reading through Ezekiel the past bit did not enthuse me, I had to work hard just to want to read the passages given me. Yes, I know, bad attitude which is why I worked hard to get beyond it. Anyways, today we start Daniel.

What do I know of Daniel? Smart fellow. Loved God. Went through fire and a lion's den. Was respected enough to have enemies that plotted against him. Israelite. Other than that, don't know so much. Will be interesting to see what else I learn, expect though that I will learn more the God that he served than I will about the man himself.

So Daniel 1 can be found here. For those who don't know, I tend to read from the ESV translation of the bible. Why? I just like it and my hubbie recommends it. :)
Danie, originally from the tribe of Judah, taken from Israel by Ashpenaz on the orders of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. He was either part of the royal family or part of the "uppity-ups" of Israel. A good looking boy, smart, wise and who liked to learn.
3Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family and of the nobility, 4youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king’s palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans.
His named was changed to Belteshazzar.
Old King Neb had a plan. These youngsters would be given the same food he ate, would be trained in the ways of people, and at the end of three years they would come before him. You know, if you stop and think about it, what a good way to change a community into what you want it to be. Take the best and brightest of its young folk, put them right into your own culture, change their living arrangements, change their name, change their food and change what they are being taught. They will be influenced by it. They will change whether they want to or not, and thusly the society they are from will be change as well. UNLESS they have either a really strong will, or they have someone on their side.

Daniel said...No thanks.

8But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself.
This could have ended badly for Daniel. But here's the advantage of having God on your side.
9 And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs, 10and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, "I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king."
To ease the man's mind a test was proposed to him.
11Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12"Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king’s food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see."
At the end of the test period, Daniel and his buddies were in better shape then the rest of the youths. So they all had to eat in a manner that didn't spoil them. Hmm.... one less way for them to be influenced by the culture around them.

God helped the four youths : Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. he gave them "learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams." At the end of their training (so 3 years later), they were found to be the best of the best. And so they remained in that country.

And tomorrow we get to learn more! :)

So what did we learn of God today? He helps his people. Despite that outside plans of others, God will help his people remain true to him. He will help us succeed despite outside circumstances. Rather neat that. :)

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