A Nugget from New Life Network
(by Dr. Larry Ollison)
Scripture for the Day (July 12, 2018)
Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God; And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3:22-24)
In the year 605 BC, a young man (actually a teenager) named Daniel was deported to Babylon. Daniel was not alone. Thousands of captives had been taken from Judah to Babylon. The treasures of Solomon’s palace and the temple were also transported. The Babylonians had subdued all the provinces ruled by Assyria and had consolidated their empire into an area that covered much of the Middle East.
In order to govern this mass kingdom, slaves who had been educated or who possessed exceptional skills were used by the Babylonian government. Only the sharpest minds, only those with wisdom and understanding were placed in leadership roles. Daniel was one of those men. He was selected along with three of his friends for the leadership training program. “Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm” (Daniel 6:3).
Here we are told that Daniel impressed the king of Babylon so much that the king even considered putting Daniel as the governor over the entire kingdom. Isn’t that amazing? Remember, Daniel was a slave. Daniel was a captive from a conquered kingdom. But, even though he was a captive and the normal way of thinking would be that he couldn’t be trusted, in Daniel’s case, it was just the opposite. Daniel was extremely trusted.
What was it about Daniel that made him different from the other captives? What was it that gave him more favor with the king than all the other governors of Babylon?
The answer is in the verse we just read. The Bible says that Daniel distinguished himself above the governors “because an excellent spirit was in him.” Daniel had an excellent spirit. What does this mean? Well, let me give you an example.
Because Daniel was favored over the other governors, they became jealous and devised a plan to trick the king into executing Daniel. King Darius fell for the plan and Daniel was scheduled for execution. Now, the method of execution
prescribed in this plan was for the convicted person to be thrown into a den full of lions. You can imagine this is not a pretty sight.
When the execution time came, the king gave the command for Daniel to be cast into the lions’ den. A stone was placed at the mouth of the den and the king himself sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signet rings of the other governors. The next day, the king went to the den of lions and he cried out with a loud voice to Daniel. He asked Daniel how he was doing. Keep in mind that the king had spent the night in the palace and Daniel had spent the night in a pit full of hungry lions. We would expect Daniel to curse the king, but he didn’t. Daniel 6:21 says, “Then Daniel said to the king, ‘O king, live forever!‘” Can you believe that? Even after all that he had gone through, Daniel still had an excellent spirit. He had a good attitude. He was not affected by the things around him.
That’s the way we are to be. We must have an excellent spirit. As Christians, we must have a positive attitude. Once a man asked me, “Do you believe in positive thinking?” Well, I definitely don’t believe in negative thinking! Positive thinking is better than negative thinking. However, positive believing is even better.
Remember, Daniel was distinguished above everyone in the kingdom because an excellent spirit was in him. Distinguish yourself today.