Daniel: chapter one.
In the book of Daniel, the first chapter, we discussed and learned many things of importance. To start off we talked of how the book of Daniel tied in to true education. We discussed how there is a large difference between being schooled and having education. School is a place. A place where knowledge is conveniently placed before apt pupils and forced down the throats of dull ones. It is a place that seeks to prepare for later life the students that will have to go and live it. But is a head learning all that is required to give a well-balanced life? Or is it only focused on one part of the life ladder. The ladder that I have alluded to is the three runged ladder of education. Education has three main points. The physical, mental, and spiritual. In the physical plain it’s all about what feels good. School? Who needs that? Mcburgers? That sounds nice. It’s all about getting through life in the nicest way possible. They are the followers, the go with the flow people. Then there are the intellectual people. The ones on that second rung. School is all that they are about. They are the leaders. They sit and think and come away with answers instead of questions. And then there is the spiritual. The rung that combines the other to in the harmonious development. Without the other two it would be rather incongruous, like a super exclusive monk or something. Like I was saying. The place ‘school’ has focused mostly on the second and first rungs. A head knowledge. Something that will make leaders in the world. But we need leaders other than in the world. We need leaders in the church and ones who will take stands for Christ. That is what true education is about. Not just developing one of the three areas, but a harmonious development of all three. In this area of our lives we have so many things swirling around in our lives. So many things that could so easily bring us down from the heights that God means we attain to. True education provides stepping-stones to success in Christ.
But true education can be kind of hard to find these days. Not many places offer it. But come to think of it, as long as you have a Bible you have true education. And most Christians have one, all though it’s getting shamefully less common that they read it. But when you do read it you will find true education, for the Bible says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Deut. 4:6. Christ offers it without money and without price. Bringing Christ into the life will develop the mind in a most amazing way. And you will learn how better to use your physical capabilities for the glory and honor of the one who made you.
In Babylon I don’t imagine that they had really and truly true education like we have at OH. Daniel and his friends got placed in the leading schools of the day where the Hebrew God was not acknowledged. But God himself was the teacher of Daniel and his three friends. They learned from Christ what really mattered in life. Yet without the other components of the three runged ladder, they would not have been of use where God needed them. Through His word and His servants He shed the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in their lives. They grew in knowledge and stature and favor with God daily because they allowed the Most High to be their first and best teacher.
But, that’s all good and well only, if you know what to do with all the information I’ve laid out. I think it’s time for some practical application. First of I would say that we need to be a lot more grateful for the opportunity that God has given us to be truly educated. Here at OHA we have everything laid on the line for us and yet… well, we still just don’t seem to have it together. What was really sad was a few remarks I heard the other day. The young person said this. “When I was sent here I wanted to bring something that wasn’t allowed. I was told I couldn’t do that because every one at the school I was going to where Christians, they would obey the rules. Then I got here and I haven’t found one person who always obeys the rules.” HOW SAD! I am Christ witness to some one who has not yet given their life over to Christ and some how I have failed. We as a school have failed. Another comment “I know I should be eating but I’m not going to eat what I don’t like. Every one here hates the food” ok, maybe its not what we are used to, but complaining won’t help, and its standing in the way of one young persons journey. They are destroying themselves and using us as an excuse. I’m not proud of myself. I have such an amazing opportunity, and some how I’m not being the Daniel I always meant to be. Not standing up for my faith. Where have I fallen by the wayside? Another comment I hear. “My parents didn’t send my brother here because they love him. Basically I’m the unloved one so I got sent to the prison.” What kind of picture are we painting? What is our life testimony? Apparently it still has a long way to go yet. And I’m glad that God can make something beautiful from our mistakes. If we don’t use the God given teachers, then God himself must be our sole teacher until we are ready to let the earthly ones take their place again. God has a place for each one of us and It is my responsibility that I learn what that place is and how Christ wants to use me in it. If we think that this is captivity, then what was Daniel placed in? and yet is the book of Daniel full of complaints? Is he discontented and melancholy? No. He put his earlier training to good use and became a mighty man for God. Oh that we would be an army of mighty men, of mighty youth, ready to do God’s bidding at a moments notice and be always on the alert for how God would have us live, just as Daniel was.