DANIEL – Thriving in Babylon – Marthinus Steffen – 11 August 2019

Today, Marthinus asked the question: What has God invested in Daniels life, which ushered in such an extent of wisdom?

What does wisdom look like?

– Skills

– Spiritual insight

– Reasoning and logic

Perseverance is the spiritual ability to see the other side of the mountain.

“Wisdom isn’t simply intelligence or knowledge or even understanding. It is the ability to use these to think and act in such a way that common sense prevails and choices are beneficial and productive.” – Dr P C D Maiaweng.

Daniel’s foundations

His reliance on God (Daniel 2:28)

– His tact (Daniel 2:14)

– His reliability and lack of negligence (Daniel 6:4)

– The realization that he was part of a much larger picture (Daniel 10:1-3)

How do we experience victory in our personal Babylon?

Daniel serving under king Nebuchadnezzar

He was an intelligent king and perspicacious. He had good insight into the characters and abilities of people and knew how to use them and promote them to serve well. He was also the first king to give women certain rights and privileges.

Daniel had distinction abilities, was obedient to God and not offended by the culture of Babylon.

In Daniel 1:8 he asks for permission not to be besmirched by the foods of the Babylonians. In Daniel 2:16 he asked for extra time and in Daniel 3:16-17 he knew how to wisely answer the king.

The above sketches an appropriate picture of how we should be and act in life. We are in the fire but not of the fire.

Daniel serving under king Belshazzar

Belshazzar was the son of Nebuchadnezzar.

Read Daniel 5:7-8.

Daniel’s reputation and attitude

He had insight and wisdom (Daniel 5:11-12)

He refused any gifts from the king (Daniel 5:17)

 

Daniel serving under king Darius (Daniel 6 and 9)

Daniel’s reliability brought him favour.

Daniel prayed regularly and worshipped God (Daniel 6:11)

He was prosperous (Daniel 6:29)

Daniel serving under king Cyrus

Cyrus was known as a bridge builder between nations

Daniel’s heart was knitted together with God’s heart (Daniel 10:11-12)

Summary of wisdom in my life

QuestionsNebuchadnezzarBelshazzarDariusCyrus
With whom do I work?StrategistAdministratorEntrepreneurBridge builder
What do I contribute?TactTruthFaithfulnessInsight
How do I act?ExcellenceRespectfulTrustRelationship

 

Wisdom is God’s given ability to act, talk, think, work, and make decisions wisely and its results are for the goodness of the person, the organization, the people and the glory of God.

 

The Book of Daniel provides a hopeful picture of how God’s people can survive and even thrive in a hostile environment by remaining faithful to God. God, according to the Book of Daniel, cares deeply about the everyday lives of individuals and societies in a broken world. God intervenes directly in daily life, and also gives Daniel miraculous gifts that make it possible to thrive under an oppressive regime. Yet by no means does the Book of Daniel promise worldly success as a reward for faithfulness. Rather, it promises both suffering and reward in mortal life, and thereby demonstrates that faithfulness and integrity are the keys to living well in this life as well as in the coming kingdom of God.

Daniel and his friends model many practical applications for workplace Christians: engaging with culture, adopting lifelong habits that build faithfulness and virtue, sharing in fellowship with Christian co-workers, adopting a modest life style, forming friendships with non-believers, showing genuine humility, taking a principled stand in workplace situations, embracing challenges we know we cannot meet without God’s help, bringing salt and light to our workplaces, working with excellence and diligence in whatever our jobs are, anticipating suffering as a result of Christian faithfulness in the workplace, and persevering until God brings his kingdom — and our faithful labour — to fruition. We cannot know in advance whether our faithfulness to God’s ways will result in worldly success or failure, any more than Daniel’s friends could know whether they would be saved from the fiery furnace or burned up. But, like them, we can acknowledge that serving God in our work is what truly matters. Daniel and Work Bible Commentary / Produced by TOW Project

 

 

 

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