The 3 Hebrew boys and Daniel

While Joseph was sold by his brothers into slavery, three Hebrew boys Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego together with Daniel were forcefully carried into exile from Judah by the Babylonians. How could God allow such a terrible thing to happen? Well, the people had sinned, and this was a punishment for their sin.

When these Hebrew boys were carried to Babylon, they did not allow bitterness, anger, and resentment to prevent them from working with God. They chose to obey God under this new reality of becoming servants to a pagan king. They could have easily allowed their circumstances to cause them to reject God and fit into their new environment, but they, just like Joseph, refused to defile themselves with the king’s choice foods. Can you imagine the audacity of these boys refusing to eat what was presented to them by the King of Babylon? They were able to refuse to eat this food because they understood that God was the ultimate person in charge, and they had to obey him.

I mentioned these four Hebrew boys because even in captivity, they rose to prominence because they walked with God, obeyed his laws, and made use of their gifts. Because they identified problems and provided solutions, they were promoted to positions of leadership.

Daniel, for example, was so good with dreams that he could tell the dream and interpret it. We know this because King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream one night that troubled him so much that he woke up the next day and called his wise men to help him with the interpretation. The catch was that the person to interpret the dream had to start by telling him what the dream was.

The Chaldeans answered the king, and said, “There is not a man on earth who can tell the king’s matter; therefore no king, lord, or ruler has ever asked such things of any magician, astrologer, or Chaldean. It is a difficult thing that the king requests, and there is no other who can tell it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with fl esh.” Daniel 2:10-11 (NKJV)

This was an impossible task, and the wise men told the king that only the gods could perform such a task, and it was not possible because the gods did not live among them. Here, you have the wise people of the land unable to solve a problem, and the king is getting agitated. He was not going to take no for an answer and proceeded to issue the following decree that sealed their fate:

“For this reason the king was angry and very furious, and gave the command to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. So the decree went out, and they began killing the wise men; and they sought Daniel and his companions to kill them.” Daniel 2:12-13 (NKJV)

King Nebuchadnezzar was not somebody to joke with, and he wasted no time calling for the elimination of these people who claimed to know everything about dreams. This was when Daniel was called to save the day. Again, we see the power of knowing your gift and providing solutions. Daniel was not a Babylonian, but he served God and this made all the difference. He did not allow the fact that he was in captivity to prevent him from using his gift to serve his captor. This way of doing things does not fi t with the narrative of vengeance, hate, anger, and bitterness. If Daniel had these heart issues, it would have prevented him from rising up to the occasion. He saved the day by telling the king his dream and the interpretation. The king rewarded him as follows:

“Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts; and he made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief administrator over all the wise men of Babylon. Also Daniel petitioned the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego over the affairs of the province of Babylon; but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.” Daniel 2:48-49 (NKJV)

When individuals identify and use their gifts, they rise up to the top. Unfortunately, many have decided to use skin pigmentation to determine who gets to the top because some believe that the color of their skin can hold them back. Daniel could have allowed the fact that he was not a Babylonian and a captive to prevent him from rising to the top, but he understood the power of using his gift because that is what matters the most.

As we draw the curtain on this chapter, it is important to understand that no matter where you are, what you have been through, and what other people have done to you, God can still make a way for you. Light can’t be defeated by darkness, and it is not a good idea to fight darkness with darkness because it just does not work.

While our natural tendency may be to seek vengeance and allow hate, bitterness, and resentment to lead us, we must resist this temptation. Like Joseph, we have to see the hand of God working in all circumstances for us.

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