Responding to SufferingHow do you feel when your life is interrupted by suffering and adversity?
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Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and
wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for
permission not to eat these unacceptable foods (v.8).
A chimera is a bizarre-looking character
found in Greek mythology. The fire-breathing
female is composed from the parts of a lion,
goat, and serpent. Recently, a religious leader used the
term chimera to describe the philosophy of education
in his native Sweden. The highly secular country has
told all its schools—including Christian ones—that they
must teach subjects in a “nonconfessional,” “objective”
manner. This leads to a chimera, for it means that the
significance Christianity has played in the culture must
be dismembered from education—the “head” of the
body being replaced by something entirely different.
Daniel experienced the challenges of being educated
in a society that didn’t hold to God’s commands (Daniel 1:4). Babylonian brainwashing had been foisted upon
them (v.5). But “Daniel was determined not to defile
himself” with the diet they tried to serve him (v.8). His
refusal to eat “unacceptable foods” resulted in Daniel and
his friends being “healthier” than the other young men, it
also revealed his strong commitment to God’s truth.
As we live in a “secular state” and are constantly
bombarded by messages and philosophies contrary to
God’s wisdom, we can imitate Daniel and his buddies.
Here’s what they chose to do:
• Learn, but discern—The young men were diligent in their studies, taking in
“every aspect of literature and wisdom” (v.17). But they chose God’s wisdom.
• Fearlessly follow God—Daniel spoke the truth to the king—even some
hard things about the future of his kingdom (Daniel 2:39). The king responded by
praising God (v.47).
Whether you’re in high school, college, or in the work force, choose to
follow Daniel’s plan: Pursue learning, but let God and His Word be your guide
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