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Daniel’s Training in Babylon

Getting ready for college? Consider these Seven Lessons from Daniel

THE CONTEXT

Daniel came from a noble background among the Israelites. He was handsome, well informed, a quick learner, and eager to grow and serve. He did well in his “schooling” in Israel and was now selected for a three-year training program in Babylon. Daniel would learn the language and literature of the Babylonians and if he performed in the top of the group and successfully went through the “college” he would be given a job in the King’s service.

PARALLELS TO COLLEGE LIFE TODAY

Daniel was probably a teenager when he left his parents, siblings, and home to move to a strange land. This was likely his first time to be far away from his family.
Daniel was not alone but had “roommates” and fellow students that joined him in “college.”
Daniel had to adapt to living in a new environment. There were new foods, new friends, a new language, new instructors, a new educational curriculum, a new name, and more.

LESSONS FROM DANIEL

1. Daniel maintained a positive attitude and viewed his training in Babylon as an opportunity to learn and serve the Lord. Daniel could have been sad or bitter. The Babylonians deported him from his home and later laid siege to and destroyed Jerusalem. Daniel could have viewed the Babylonians as his enemies. Instead, he adopted the attitude of a learner and a servant, trusting that God had a good plan and would protect and guide him throughout his studies.
2. Daniel identified temptations and sins that could affect his relationship with God and his ability to learn and live well. Daniel recognized that what he put into his body was important. He saw that the royal food and wine that all the other students were taking could defile him and prevent him from living in right relationship with God and others. (see also Proverbs 23:1-3)
3. Daniel resolved and resisted (v. 8). Daniel set personal goals based on his faith and made firm commitments and decisions. He chose to avoid temptations and resisted peer pressure.
4. Daniel reached out to others and formed a small group of believers to encourage one another in faith, to hold each other accountable (v. 10), and to pray for one another (2:17). He developed strong friendships that lasted even after “college.”
5. Daniel asked for permission and sought favor from the local leaders (v. 8-9). Daniel didn’t isolate himself, but he built relationships with the Chief Official, the Guards, the Commander of the king’s guard, and eventually with King Nebuchadnezzer, King Belshazzar, King Darius, and King Cyrus. Daniel respected their authority, but he didn’t shy away from his faith. He knew that God was His ultimate Authority. In Chapter two, verse 14 we see that Daniel addressed his supervisors with “wisdom and tact.”
6. Daniel practiced spiritual disciplines in order to grow in his relationship with God. He fasted (v. 12), prayed, and studied the Scriptures (Chapter 6). These things were so important to Daniel that he persisted even amidst intense pressure and the threat of death.
7. Daniel learned and grew in his unique talents and gifts. Daniel was faithful to God throughout his time in “college.” He learned and grew in “all kinds” of ways (v. 17). By faithfully developing and using his gifs, God eventually used Daniel to advise and influence four different kings. Daniel also prophesized the future kingdoms of Mede, Persia, Greece, and Rome and predicted the coming of the Messiah!

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER

How can you maintain a positive attitude and serve God while in college?
What temptations might you face as a student? How do you plan to deal with peer pressure?
What decisions and commitments is God calling you to make as you follow Him in college?
How can you avoid isolation and build healthy relationships with others (including classmates, those in your dormitory, and even your professors)?
Will you join (or help form) a small group of believers at your school? Why are small groups important?
What spiritual disciplines will you practice at college? How can you prioritize and grow in your relationship with God as a student?
Sometimes our teachers/professors don’t share our faith and may teach things that are contrary to what we believe. What lessons can we learn from Daniel about studying in an environment that can be hostile to biblical values and beliefs?
In what ways do you hope to learn and grow throughout your time at college?

OUR PRAYER FOR YOU

As you join college for the first time or start a new semester, may the God of Daniel bless you. May He watch over you, protect you, and deliver you. May God give you good friends and a joyful heart. May He keep you in good health and give you the physical and spiritual food that you need. May God grant you grace and the courage to walk with Him. May He guide you in your studies and help you to love Him with your whole mind, heart, and strength. May God bless you and grant you favor and success in all your efforts. And may God use you as a student for His eternal purposes. In Jesus name. Amen.

 

The Keeping the Faith program has been developed to equip parents, grandparents and other caring adults for intentional discipleship of their children. The program develops and provides videos, articles, recommended resources, a monthly newsletter, and we regularly post on Facebook and Instagram.
In addition, the program uses Aslan Academy groups. Aslan Academy Small Groups are centered around the Keeping the Faith guidebook. The guidebook addresses eight key themes for effective discipleship including: Mission, Biblical Parenting, Back to Basics, Application of Biblical Truths, Heart Change, Character, Spiritual Disciplines and Evangelism.

 

For more information about Keeping the Faith:

 

Call us at (703) 914-5602

Email us at [email protected]

 


Dave Chaves

Dave Chaves, Technology and Product Development Manager, has worked in nonprofit, Christian communications for over 10 years, including most recently with Five Talents USA. He holds a master’s degree from Georgetown University and an MDiv from Africa International University. He’s been involved in cross-cultural missions in East Africa for over 10 years and is an Associate Missionary with the Society of Anglican Missionaries and Senders.  Dave met his lovely wife Lucy in Kenya and they have four children. He is excited to be part of the CSLI team and to support communications and technology to further the ministry of discipleship.

 

COPYRIGHT: This publication is published by C.S. Lewis Institute; 8001 Braddock Road, Suite 301; Springfield, VA 22151. Portions of the publication may be reproduced for noncommercial, local church or ministry use without prior permission. Electronic copies of the PDF files may be duplicated and transmitted via e-mail for personal and church use. Articles may not be modified without prior written permission of the Institute. For questions, contact the Institute: 703.914.5602 or email us.

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