So today was a catch-up day. In the busy-ness of yesterday, I didn’t get a chance to really sit down and read the passages for yesterday, so today was reading all of Daniel 1-4 along with the end of 1 John. But it was Daniel that really spoke to me this morning. Much of the first four chapters of the book deal with the boldness and the wisdom of Daniel and three others from Judah. They first have a boldness to refuse to eat the foods that the others being trained in the service of King Nebuchadnezzar. Their refusal leads to others seeing that they were actually better off eating in a different way than the rest of those being trained. There is also the story of the fiery furnace where Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are delivered from the flames they were to be killed in. But even with all that, what stood out to me was the wisdom of Daniel throughout the first few chapters.
Chapter two describes a crazy dream that the King had, one that he not only demanded an interpretation from his wise men but also that they told him the dream that he had! Talk about an impossible task! Long story short…Daniel is given wisdom to share and interpret the dream for the King. But what I loved was Daniel’s response when the insight is given to him…2:30 and following says:
So Daniel praised the God of heaven, saying,
“Let the name of God be praised forever and ever,
for wisdom and power belong to him.
He changes times and seasons,
deposing some kings
and establishing others.
He gives wisdom to the wise;
he imparts knowledge to those with understanding;
he reveals deep and hidden things.
He knows what is in the darkness,
and light resides with him.
O God of my fathers, I acknowledge and glorify you,
for you have bestowed wisdom and power on me.
Now you have enabled me to understand what I requested from you.
For you have enabled me to understand the kingʼs dilemma.”
Daniel then goes to interpret the dream for the king and, in doing so, not only pacifies the king but also saves the lives of those that the king was going to execute for not being able to do what he asked.
Wisdom is in very short supply. I have been doing a lot of reading about elders and wisdom over the last few years and I am reminded over and over again that there is a big difference between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is something that can be obtained, wisdom is imparted and developed. Knowledge can be facts, wisdom is truth. Not that knowledge is a bad thing…far from it. But wisdom is something that goes beyond.
Our kids get a comic strip and a brief reflection each morning in their lunch boxes for school. This was a Peanuts comic that was up on gocomics.com this morning – I loved it but even more so because it spoke to the fact that we don’t have all the answers and all the knowledge. But the One whom we serve has that knowledge and more importantly the wisdom that we need. And like Daniel, asking for wisdom is a powerful and necessary prayer to lift up.
After all, the writer of Proverbs 8:11 (among MANY other passages in Proverbs that say similar things)…For wisdom is better than rubies, and desirable things cannot be compared to her.