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Lesson # Dan. 1:15-17
Study Material - Dan. 1:15-17
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
15 And at the end of ten days their appearance seemed better and they were fatter than all the youths who had been eating the king's choice food. 16 So the overseer continued to withhold their choice food and the wine they were to drink, and kept giving them vegetables. 17 And as for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams.
Now after the ten day trial, the overseer checked these four out and it appeared to him that they were healthier than all the others in his care. The overseer cannot see into their minds to se their true state of being. He can only see the external portions of their physical being. Thus it is with unbelievers or anyone negative toward God.
This world is hung up on the outward appearance of things. All of marketing in business or advertising of any type is based on this concept. The outward must look good and beyond that it needs to be associated with something desirable. We see the new car or new home ads with the family or the pretty girl, which suggests our inner desires for the things they represent. Home, family, security, happiness, prosperity, sex or whatever the association intends to convey in the ad.
So the overseer wanted to see healthy subjects because his life depended on it. If he departed from the prescribed menu and the men fell sick, then he would get blamed and lose his head. He has already stated this in his concern to Daniel. But the real health in these men was not on their bodies, but in their minds. The king would later test them and in this test their minds and discernment would be examined. But for now, nobody wants an ugly person working for them. Or at least that is the basic attitude of this world. Ever see a greeting person who was really ugly? If ten people apply for a job and they are all nearly equally qualified, who gets the job? The ugly ones? No. The good looking one. Because this world prefers to be associated with beauty and pleasantness and ugly people are considered other than that.
This is the flaw in this world, but not in doctrine. God looks on the soul and not on the outward appearance. The real you is not in what you wear, nor even in your appearance, but in what you think. Now your thinking affects the way you appear. If you are sloppy in your thinking, then your appearance might be tilted toward the sloppy.
God gave Daniel and his friends success in their studies, in literature, language, wisdom. And to Daniel specifically, an understanding of visions and dreams. All that we have comes from God. We have no credit in the way we are. We did not create our DNA arrangement, nor our IQ level. But all this comes from God. To some he makes smart, and others less so. To some he makes beautiful, and others less so. The world can't create anything, and even holds a prejudice of different sorts against those who do not fit into the popular mold. The majority sets the mold and the minority become the victims. Color or race are not the only criteria for determining your minority status. People at work or play may simply not like you, and that makes you the one with the short straw, so you are ostracized.
But God takes the situation, situations off all kinds, especially situations from which you have failed at miserably, and can turn them around into victories. Daniel was a captive. Humiliated by the invasion and his capture, and exported to a foreign land. He had nothing except that which was inside his soul. He had studied Bible doctrine and he knew it. He had concentrated on it and had a command of the scriptures. He was faithful to God in his spiritual life, and God was going to be faithful to him. The dreams and visions were going to be the key to the revelation of future events in history. Though God had placed Daniel in a precarious position, Daniel was to be used in a very remarkable way.
So it is with each of us. We may look at our individual lives and wonder what in the world God could possibly do with us. We have made mistakes, though we might not admit them. We have failed in our personal plans. We can't save the world. We can't change the politics of the region. We just struggle from pay day to pay day. What can God possibly do with us?? And the answer is in doctrine. You study daily and be consistent. You confess your sins to God regularly, even though you think you have been good these last couple of days, so you can remain in fellowship in accordance with Gods commands. You learn Bible doctrine and you grow up 'slooowly'. We cannot measure our spiritual growth each day, but God can. We can eventually see our life change over longer periods of time, and sooner or later your life will take shape right in front of your eyes. One day a little light might come on inside your head, and you'll make that brilliant statement 'wow', as you realize some tidbit of doctrine as it relates to your life.
Daniel would not have written this book if the events of his life had not taken place. God might even take some of us into strange environments. Probably not as dramatic as those of Daniel, but at least into situations that we never thought we would be in. All we have to remember is that all things work together for good. And no matter what happens in your life it is designed for your benefit, and probably for the benefit of many others whom you will never know. But so long as you are consistent in your Bible study, then you will benefit from whatever situation you find yourself in. The world might think it is tough, but God is far tougher.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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