Dan. 1:1-21; 2:1-23.
In this seminar, we are going to have a Case Study of four youths that excelled above their equals in their day. Those youths of Bible days were Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
When King Nebuchadnezzar conquered Judah and Jerusalem in 605 B. C., and other nations, the Babylonian empire grew so fast that he did not have enough of his own educated men to run the government. He then took good-looking, healthy, well-educated young men to Babylonin order to teach them the culture and language of the Babylonians, so as to make them useful in the king’s royal service. Among them were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (Dan. 1:3-6).
In order to enter into the service of the king, they needed to have Babylonian citizenship, and so were given Babylonian names. Despite these new names, these four Jewish young captives resolved to remain loyal to the one and true God, their new status notwithstanding (Dan. 1:7-13). At the final examination after the three years training, Daniel and his three friends excelled above their equals (Dan. 1:17-20). Their castrated condition was never a discouragement to them. Despite their hopeless status, they determined to excel above their equals, such that when they and other wise men of Babylon faced death sentence by the king, for not being able to tell and interpret his dream, they laboured in prayer to get the answer in order to avert the danger. By this, they once more excelled above their equals (Dan. 2:14-19), proving the unfailing promise of the Living God (Deut. 28:1,13)..
What was the secret behind the excellent performance of these four young men?
* their reverential fear of God (Dan. 1:8; Pro. 1:7; 9:10; Ps. 119:97-100).
* * their trust in the God that answers prayer (Dan. 2:14-20; Ps. 65:2).
* their trust in the God that is faithful to His promises (Dan. 1:10-20; Deut. 28:1,13).
What lessons have the youth in this seminar learnt from these four castrated Jewish young men?
In addition to reverential fear for God, prayer and faith in the unfailing promises of God, the youth of these last days who wants to excel must have strong determination. He or she has to prove it through hard work, doing what his or her equals don’t do, that means going the extra mile.
Can you give some examples?