Daniel was wise
Daniel, a God fearing man, devoted to the faith but serving in a palace that defiled God with certain practices. What struck me about Daniel was his wisdom in how he got out of these types of practices. For example, through his good judgment and communication skills Daniel’s wisdom came from how he conversed with the kings officials. He never argued or rebelled when the officials told him what he had to do. Instead he simply spoke to them in wisdom and tact by offering other solutions to their assertions.
Daniel chapter 1 – wise with the king’s officials.
Daniel and the other wise men went through significant training prior to serving the King. During their training one aspect was to eat off the King’s table of meat and wine, supposedly to make them healthy and strong. However to Daniel, and Israelite customs, eating this way was sinful and dishonouring to God. Why? Well, the king’s food offered the first portion of the slaughtered meat to idols and a portion of the wine to a pagan altar. Since Daniel never made exceptions that trumped serving God, he presented another option to only eat vegetables and water instead. He created a test for 10 days to only eat his way and after the ten days the king’s officials were to judge his health and strength. Instead of letting his feelings of fear and emotions of worry dictate his decisions, Daniel used wisdom to solve problems.
“Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.Daniel 1:12-16
At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.
Wisdom in conflict
Proverbs 3:7, “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil”. This was Daniel… nothing feared him more than his fear for the Lord. He did not allow what he could SEE stop him from believing in what God saw. More importantly, He knew what God saw by believing in His law and making choices based on his knowledge of Him.
Similarly to Daniel’s situation Jesus also faced what he could not eat, which would have defiled His own beliefs in God. The Devil tempted Jesus with bread to trick Him into serving His immediate satisfaction rather than His eternal one.
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”Matthew 4:1-4
How did Jesus combat the devil… He did it with scripture, the ultimate truth. Wisdom speaks truth and asks, what does the Bible say about this?
What wisdom looks like for us
Daniel, known for his outstanding gifts in language and literature brought about favour from the kings. However, he never took credit for the gift of wisdom he had. Instead he handled it with honour unto God for he knew it came from Him. For us, living in wisdom means stewarding the gift God has uniquely given to us for His glory. What does that look like for you? For me, its motherhood and using wisdom to best parent my daughter to know Jesus. To act in a way that is pleasing and accepting to the Lord and in difficult matters turning to God in prayer.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.James 1:5
Wisdom is understanding how to live in faith amidst our unpleasant feelings and difficult troubles. Many times in the book of Daniel you see him distraught and troubled with emotions but continually turning to God for understanding, hope and mercy. No hero is without fault or weakness. We are God’s children, His heroes of the faith based upon our testimony of how He first saved us. But the saving does not stop there. The Holy Spirit is also our Hero of HEROES and he is always ready to help us (John 14:26). God’s mercies are new every morning and I praise God for that because boy do I need it every morning!
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.Lamentations 3:22-23