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The life of Daniel

EL CAJON, Calif. (BP)–Thomas Jefferson said the president’s most important duty is putting “the right man in the right place.” Well, meet Mr. Right — Daniel.

When his tiny nation was attacked in 605 B.C., 14-year-old Daniel was among a handful of promising youths hauled off to distant Babylon. There, he found himself in a pagan land, being educated and groomed to serve in the gentile court of egomaniacal King Nebuchadnezzar.


Daniel had the right God. But the Most High rules in the kingdoms of men. He gives them to whomever He chooses (Daniel 4:25). When we find ourselves in uncomfortable situations, we need to trust our God. He puts His people in the right place at the right time — and that includes you.


Daniel also had the right gifts. God endowed him with the qualities needed in his new circumstances — “good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace” (Daniel 1:4). He was handsome, healthy, poised and graceful with wisdom and a high I.Q.

The Lord gives each of us the background, personality, gifts and skills necessary for the job He wants us to do. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

Consider the story of Paul Woolsey, who grew up with a speech defect. When he became a missionary in India, his lisp enabled him to speak almost perfectly the language of the tribe he was among.


Daniel also chose the right friends. His three companions, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, were also his prayer partners. In Daniel 2, when a crisis threatened their lives, “Daniel returned to his house and explained…. He urged his friends to plead for mercy from the God of heaven.” They prayed and prevailed. It’s easy to be drawn to people who leave us weaker and pull us down. But as Henry Ford once said, “Your best friend is he who brings out the best that is within you.”


Daniel also had the right convictions. When he was expected to eat food that violated the laws of God, he purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself (Daniel 1:8). He had determined his moral standards in advance, and firmly stuck by them. Daniel drew the line at the king’s table because he couldn’t eat meat that violated the dietary laws God had prescribed in Scripture. He also knew the food on the king’s table had been offered to idols.

It’s interesting that Daniel didn’t protest when they changed his name or enrolled him in “Babylon University.” But when they wanted him to eat unclean food, he drew the line. Why? In the Old Testament, there is no prohibition against changing one’s name or learning what other cultures teach. But the Bible strongly prohibited eating what is offered to idols and eating unclean food.

Daniel drew the line where God had drawn it. When God said no, Daniel said no. Sometimes we argue about things God hasn’t emphasized while neglecting the things He has said. Daniel purposed in his heart to obey whatever the cost.


Daniel also developed right habits, especially in praying. In Daniel 6, his enemies could find nothing against him. So they passed an edict that prayers be offered to no one except the king for 30 days. When Daniel heard, he went home and prayed to God three times a day as he had done before. His lifelong habit remained unaltered even at the risk of death.

First we form habits, then our habits form us. It’s vitally important to establish habits of holiness that leave us stronger each day.

Does God expect us to live right in this wicked culture of ours? Daniel’s environment was far worse. Yet, he was a pure testimony to the grace of God. And you, too, can be a Daniel — God’s right person, in the right place, at the right time with the right God, the right gifts, the right friends, the right convictions and the right habits.
David Jeremiah is the founder of Turning Point for God and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, Calif. For more information on Turning Point, go to www.DavidJeremiah.org.

    About the Author

  • David Jeremiah

    David Jeremiah is the founder and host of Turning Point for God and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, Calif. For more information on Turning Point, go to www.DavidJeremiah.org.

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