“Daniel answered the king and said, ‘No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, but there is a God in heaven Who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days.’” (Daniel 2:27-28a)
Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, were four young men who were taken captive to Babylon during the first wave of the exile. Upon arrival in that great city, they and several others were set aside for special training. These men had been chosen to serve King Nebuchadnezzar himself. As time went on, Daniel and his friends gained prominent positions in the king’s court, and Daniel was one of Nebuchadnezzar’s most trusted wise men. But how did they attain that status? What was it that made them so special?
The book of Daniel provides several clues to the answer. Daniel 6:3 states, “Then this Daniel became distinguished … because an excellent spirit was in him.” Elsewhere, the queen of Babylon insisted that within Daniel was “‘the spirit of the holy gods.’” (Daniel 5:11) Those of us who know the One True God understand that this means God was with Daniel. It was He Who inspired Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who gave them the wisdom they needed to interpret strange messages and govern their provinces wisely.
And the four men knew this. It would have been easy for them to snatch the glory for themselves and become puffed up by the fame. But they didn’t. Instead, they took every opportunity they had to tell others about God. When Daniel interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams, he made sure the king knew it was God Who had given him the interpretation. When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego emerged unharmed from the fiery furnace, they praised God for their deliverance. Every time, they took a situation that could have brought them high admiration and used it to glorify their King.
While our circumstances may be different from those of these four men, we still serve the same God. He is still as glorious as before, and He is still worthy of our total admiration. Yes, it is extremely difficult to step out of the spotlight, to proclaim that anything good in us is not from us but from God. But when we take the glory for ourselves, we’re stealing it from its rightful Owner. Only God is worthy of it. Daniel and his friends understood this, and they were eager to show the world how awesome God is. They used whatever situation came their way to accomplish that goal. We must be the same way.