Daniel 1:17-21 Best of the Best

It should be no surprise that a group of young men who showed such strength of character in their early years apply the same self discipline to their studies.  At the end of the three year training period Daniel and his friends undergo testing, apparently for the wise advisor guild or some such.  They excel, beating the assembled wisdom of all other contenders.  The young men ace the interview with Nebuchadnezzar and instead of being shipped out to some outpost in the hinterland, they are appointed to his personal body of advisors.  Even within this group they surpass their competition and quickly gain the ear of the king.  We do not know the fate of Hananniah, Mishael, or Azariah, but we do know that Daniel serves the Babylonian crown until its destruction.  He then serves the conqueror, Cyrus.  Such a transfer of bureaucracy from one regime to another is hardly uncommon.  Every government needs someone who knows where the tax records are kept.

God tells us that the first step of wisdom is fear of the Lord.  Daniel and company had exhibited that holy awe and reverence for God.  It is their continued focus on Him that allowed them to supersede competing advisors.  In the same way the start of our wisdom is a fear, a respectful awe of God.  When we take Him seriously, God gives us the ability to navigate our lives with greater respect for others and for ourselves.  We become less likely to treat people as things and less likely to pretend that the wrong we do affects only ourselves.
Without Wax,
Dr. Dwight