3 Powerful Lessons We (& Our Children) Need from Daniel

Reading through the book of Daniel in the mornings to the kids has given me a refreshing reminder of what a follower of God looks like. It’s easy to forget in our often self-defined versions of Christianity.

Here are 3 huge lessons we have learned so far:

1. Having the right to be angry or retaliate doesn’t mean we should.

Daniel and his 3 friends were literally kidnapped from their families and homeland, taken by force to a foreign (pagan) country to be slaves to the pompous king who had demanded them. Commentators believe Daniel might have only been around the age of 15. “Not fair” doesn’t begin to describe his situation. But we aren’t given any reason to believe Daniel acted disrespectfully to this injustice or toward his captors. In fact, we see clearly he acts wise toward them which is part of why he ends up in the favor of the king.

It’s easy for us to feel if we have been wronged we deserve to speak our minds, or retaliate or seek justice. And of course there is a time and place for that. But apparently Daniel had the wisdom to know that this wasn’t the time nor the place. And his exemplary behavior gave him favor with the king, allowing him to be a vessel through which God would show forth His glory to this pagan man.

2. Humility ALWAYS wins.

Daniel, though gifted, and handsome and “excellent in spirit” and possessing many great gifts, never takes credit himself. He is careful when the king praises him, to make it clear that God is the one who gives the ability and power to do great things. Again, the guy is 15 years old. It’s the height of ego for a young man. But he had been so impressed, maybe by the example of his parents, that the humble will be exalted and the proud will be brought low, that it was an integral part of his character. And we watch how Daniel’s humility and integrity promotes him all throughout the book.

Conversely, King Nebuchadnezzar is a proud king who gives himself credit for his great power and we are told that God debased him “until you know that God Most High rules over the kingdoms of men and gives the kingdom to whomever he wants.” Pride indeed comes before a fall.

3. God is looking for (and rewards) bold obedience.

Both Daniel and his three friends (who were delivered from the furnace) sets a powerful example of conviction in the face of potential disaster and what it looks like when we love God more than we fear man. God is certainly able. As I talk through this book with my children, I am preparing their heart to “be a Daniel.” More and more we are the minority serving God in the midst of those who hate Him (and so us) and we may see a time where our faith is really put to the test.

I want to have the faith and courage and humility of Daniel.

 

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2 Responses to “3 Powerful Lessons We (& Our Children) Need from Daniel”

  1. Sheri says:

    Thank you, Kelly! This was a great reminder. I struggle often with this thought, “If I take the path of humility, I’ll just get stepped on.” This thought may even have some truth if I am only looking through the lens of this present lifetime. Ultimately, though, in God’s kingdom, “humility precedes honor” and He is true to His Word. If we don’t see this manifested in our lifetime as Daniel did, we can be sure that in eternity, things will be quite upside down compared with our experiences here on earth.

  2. Kelly Crawford says:

    So beautifully said, Sheri.

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