3Then the king commanded his palace master Ashpenaz to bring some of the Israelites of the royal family and of the nobility, 4young men without physical defect and handsome, versed in every branch of wisdom, endowed with knowledge and insight, and competent to serve in the king's palace; they were to be taught the literature and language of the Chaldeans. 5The king assigned them a daily portion of the royal rations of food and wine. They were to be educated for three years, so that at the end of that time they could be stationed in the king's court. 6Among them were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, from the tribe of Judah. 7The palace master gave them other names: Daniel he called Belteshazzar, Hananiah he called Shadrach, Mishael he called Meshach, and Azariah he called Abednego.
8But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the royal rations of food and wine; so he asked the palace master to allow him not to defile himself. 9Now God allowed Daniel to receive favor and compassion from the palace master. 10The palace master said to Daniel, "I am afraid of my lord the king; he has appointed your food and your drink. If he should see you in poorer condition than the other young men of your own age, you would endanger my head with the king." 11Then Daniel asked the guard whom the palace master had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: 12Please test your servants for ten days. Let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13You can then compare our appearance with the appearance of the young men who eat the royal rations, and deal with your servants according to what you observe." 14So he agreed to this proposal and tested them for ten days. 15At the end of ten days it was observed that they appeared better and fatter than all the young men who had been eating the royal rations. 16So the guard continued to withdraw their royal rations and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables. 17To these four young men God gave knowledge and skill in every aspect of literature and wisdom; Daniel also had insight into all visions and dreams.
18At the end of the time that the king had set for them to be brought in, the palace master brought them into the presence of Nebuchadnezzar, 19and the king spoke with them. And among them all, no one was found to compare with Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they were stationed in the king's court. 20In every matter of wisdom and understanding concerning which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom. 21And Daniel continued there until the first year of King Cyrus.
The devil is in the details. Have you heard this old saying? It is meant to convey the idea that while we may have a concrete end goal in mind for a project, the process of achieving that goal is going to take a lot of difficult, painstaking work along the way. It may seem like the devil is torturing us as we try to figure it all out.
However, today’s reading shows us that it’s really GOD who is in the details of our lives. God has an ultimate goal for Daniel, and God continues to act through small parts of Daniel’s life until that goal is reached. When Daniel is being trained to become a court official for King Nebuchadnezzar, he wishes to remain faithful to God by only eating and drinking what he knows God would approve, instead of eating the rich palace food. God sends a friendly palace official to help Daniel keep to his diet. God provides good health to Daniel and his friends, so that they appear more favorable to the king. God gives the young men wisdom and provides the opportunity for them to read and become well-educated. Daniel and his friends are then chosen by the king as some of his best advisors, which is what God had planned all along.
We can be certain that God is working in the details of our lives as well, whether we know it or not. God has goals in mind for our lives, and he will send people and circumstances to help us achieve those goals, just like he did for Daniel.
Dear Lord, thank you for caring enough about me to be in the details of my life. Help me to recognize your work in my life and be thankful. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Written by Melissa Roselle
Preschool Director of Daily Operations