Daniel and his gang of merry men (Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah) were to be assimilated into the Babylonian civilization. These men were to be taught the language and culture while being fed from the king's table for three years. However, Daniel made a resolution not to defile his traditions, culture, and beliefs concerning his "Holy Diet" and refused the food from the king's table. Instead, he asked for only veggies and water. Because of his loyalty to God's law, God displayed His favor on Daniel and The Boyz. No difference in physicality could be determined from those that were eating at the king's table than those that were eating at Veggie World. In fact, "At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead." (Daniel 1:15-16)
The Scripture verses that summarizes this event are Daniel 1:8-9 -
- "Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel,..."
Notice Daniel's spiritual maneuvering or positioning as soon as he is in the Babylonian house.
- He resolved.
- He stepped out and asked.
- He received immediate favor.
So, immediately, these young men of Judah had the opportunity to show their loyalty to God's precepts, standards or Word and they came through in flying colors with Daniel leading the way. As a result of their steadfastness to God's Word "these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning." (Daniel 1:17) In addition, "In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom." (Daniel 1:20) However, specifically "Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds." (Daniel 1:17) And Daniel would use this gift several times to calm the king from bad or perplexing dreams, deliver messages from God, or simply show God's greater power wielded through him and his Crew because they were in perfect position to do so.
Daniel took the initiative in his situation(s).
Joseph lived his troubles-to-triumphs out of a "I still must be about my Father's business" attitude/perspective. This is because in every predicament he found ways to continue working with what God had given him at that point in his life.
Esther and Mordecai watched, waited, and capitalized on their opportunities as they arose.
The similarities between all three lives are (1) availability, (2) advancement of their people, The Jews, and (3) The Formula. However, all three of these blend together to harmonize beautifully.
Daniel, Joseph, and Esther in some form or fashion all made themselves available to God and to man. Right off the bat, because he abstained from unclean food and made himself available to be used in captivity, Daniel's position saw great favor personally, for his three friends, and for the Jewish people. His following of The Formula - (Obedience + God's Favor = Being confident in your perfect position) - made Daniel a young man mature beyond his years and a man of God positioned for The Lord's Plan of Action instead of assimilation.
Joseph's willingness to obey God from "Go", but especially when life started getting rough, saw God's favor send him all the way to second in command of Egypt and savior of his people during a time of great famine.
Esther's readiness is heard after Mordecai's encouragement when she says, "'I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.'" (Esther 4:16) Even though God's name is not mentioned in this book, you can see God as the one moving the Chess Pieces - those who make themselves available to His plan. For if Esther didn't make herself available and didn't obey when instructed - "relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish." (Esther 4:14)
I encourage me as I encourage you - get alone with God and pray a prayer of availability unto Him. Even though He knows your strengths and weaknesses, your gifts and talents - lay them all out on the table, wait for His instruction, and obey. From then forward, if you continue in this groove with God, you and I will know or have a Holy confidence that we are in perfect position.