“As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.”
I enjoy a good comic book movie like the Avengers or Captain America. In these movies it is clear who the stars of the story are, usually Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man or Chris Evans as Captain America. There is no mistaking who the film is about but often in life I get confused about who the star truly is.
In Daniel 1, we are greeted with a familiar story of four young men who were chosen by a foreign king to join the ranks of the elite. In order to be part of the chosen few, the Babylonian Empire required that they be men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, competent for understanding, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. Wow! I know that list would have disqualified me from serving in the king’s palace! Getting chosen by the Babylonians for this crucial role was like being chosen in the NFL draft, winning The Voice, becoming a supermodel, and winning Jeopardy. These guys had incredible potential and fit what Babylonian society defined as “top tier” people in society. You would think that chapter one is about these amazing young men, but it’s not. It’s about God.
Daniel clearly conveys that he, along with his companions, would not defile themselves on the king’s food and chose to eat nothing but vegetables and drink water for ten days. At the end of that time period, they looked healthier and better nourished than the other young men who ate the royal food. Perhaps this story is about how we should incorporate Daniel’s diet into our life (not a bad thing!). But no, it’s not about eating vegetables rather than Uno’s Pizza. It’s about God, and that’s the point not only of the book of Daniel but the entire Bible. God is always the star of the story. In chapter one, it is clear that God gave Daniel and his companions favor before the royal officials.
It is God who gave them their incredible health, knowledge, and understanding. The meteoric success of Daniel and his companions in a foreign land is about God and his favor. Our lives must be lived seeking the favor of God who is always the Star of the story. Are you living as if the story of life is about you or that it is about the creator and sustainer of all things?
Take time today and pray that you would live your life for the Creator God in all circumstances.