Text: Daniel Chapter 1 and Chapter 2
As you study the book of Daniel, you will note that Daniel and his friends were tried and tested. They passed the test as they did not let anyone or anything defile them.
Many of us face tests and trials on a regular basis. Some of us fail the tests without realizing we were being tested. Then there are some of us who are very alert and are able to identify the tests. They endure it and successfully pass it and, in the end, got a promotion.
This article focuses on Daniel Chapter 1 and Daniel Chapter 2.
Punishment (Daniel 1:1-6)
Sometimes in life, we experience pains, trials and many issues because of the sins of our forefathers. Jerusalem was being punished for their sins and as a result Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon was able to besiege Jerusalem. The King then ordered his chief of court officials to bring some Israelites to Babylon. Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah were among those Israelites chosen. Being forced to move from your home against your will is a punishment in itself. The punishment was worth it because Daniel and the other three Israelites were promoted just like Joseph was promoted when his brothers sold him.
Purity and Perseverance (Daniel 1: 7)
Daniel resolved he will not defile himself with the royal food and wine so he refused to participate in the consumption of the royal food and wine.
How many of us have compromise our relationship with God by doing the things of the world? Sometimes it looks impossible that you will get out of the situation and so you give in. Sometimes things look so good and become very tempting and you fall for it. Sometimes, you think you will not get caught so you take the risks and do things contrary to your beliefs.
Daniel and his friends were even given new names and had to study the literature of Babylon. That did not move them. Some of us are given fancy names and titles and we focus so much on these titles that we end up not focusing on God.
Remain Pure. Persevere as you go though the tests. Do not give up and focused on God.
Preferential Treatment (Daniel 1: 8 – 16)
Daniel and his friends received preferential treatment from the guard as Daniel was able to convince the guard to test them for 10 days by giving them vegetables to eat and drink rather than the royal food and wine. At the end of 10 days, Daniel and the three other Israelites looked more healthier than those that ate the royal food. This is favour and preferential treatment from God.
God indeed provides preferential treatment to his believers. Do you remember the plagues in Eqypt? None of the plagues affected the Israelites as they were given preferential treatment.
Trust God. Pass the Test and see the favour that God will grant to you.
Proficient (Daniel 1: 17-18)
While we are going through this life journey of tests and trials, one of the greatest things that we can ask God for is wisdom to deal with these tests and trials. Too many of us spend our time asking for material things. There is also a lot of wisdom in the Word of God. Study it.
God provided Daniel with knowledge and understanding and Daniel was very proficient in understanding visions and dreams. The king found Daniel and the other three Israelites ten times better than magicians and enchanters in the whole Kingdom
You too can become wise and proficient and deal with your tests appropriately. In the end you will pass your test.
Prophecy (Daniel 2: 1-47)
In the second year of King Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar had a dream and he was so troubled that he could not sleep. The King summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers so that they can tell him what he dreamed and to interpret the dream. The astrologers could not tell them his dream. The king was upset so he ordered the execution of all wise men of Babylon including the execution of Daniel and his friends. This too was a test and trial for Daniel and friends.
Daniel requested additional time from the King. During the night, the God revealed the mystery of the King’s dream to Daniel. Daniel was able to reveal the dream and interpret it for the King and consequently the execution of the wise men was halted. Daniel and his friends passed the test of not being executed. They sought the Lord and the Lord provided help to Daniel. Seek the Lord at all times during your trials and he will provide you with help. After all, the battle is not yours but the Lord’s.
The king was so pleased that God was able to use Daniel to prophesy the future. The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.” (Daniel 2:47)
Promotion (Daniel 2:48)
Promotion comes from God, not from man. Daniel and his friends were not from Babylon but they were promoted to top positions in the Province of Babylon. This can only be from God.
Daniel was made ruler over the entire province of Babylon and the wise men. The other three Israelites were appointed administrator over the province of Babylon.
As noted in the aforementioned, Daniel and his friends were tested and tried. However, they refused to bow to the indoctrination of Babylon food and customs. They persevered, they believed in God, they remained pure, they passed the test, they received preferential treatment and eventually were promoted.
As you go through your trials and test, remember the story about Daniel and his friends. The same God that allowed Daniel and his friends to pass the test, is the same God that we serve today and will serve tomorrow.
Be Pure, Be Persistent, Persevere, Seek Wisdom and Study the Word to become Proficient. In the end, you will pass the test.