There are those who desire to favor and impress everyone with whom they come in contact. Then there are those of the opposite persuasion; they could care less what others think! It does not take long to determine what conclusion might be reached when you watch the interaction between two such individuals.
While reading the Book of Daniel, I was not caught up in the “Lion’s Den” or the “Firey Furnace”, or even Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams. What impressed me most were the early verses of Daniel 1. “Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his officials, to bring in some of the sons of Israel, including some of the royal family and of the nobles, youths in whom was no defect, who were good-looking, showing intelligence in every branch of wisdom, endowed with understanding and discerning knowledge, and who had ability for serving in the king’s court; and he ordered him to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans….Now among them from the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.” (1:3-6)
To be certain that they would adapt to Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams and ideas, they even changed their names to be more in keeping with the “Chaldeen” idea’s and language. What they could not change was the hearts of these Israeli young men. They were Heroes! Young men who were immovable! 1) They had Favor and Tender Love with the prince. 2) Comeliness and Health of features. 3. Knowledge/Skill / Understanding/Wisdom. 4. Pre-eminence of God and Christ. (I must inject that they rose from their trying moment, and with that, they had the attention of all within the King’s surroundings, as well as the king himself.)
Folks, those were the characteristics that caught the attention of the King. He called upon them on numerous occasions to assist him; several developments brought attention back to these young men and he called for them to assist in his understanding of his dream.
We all need constant reminding that these were “young men”! With all the problems that beset us these days, how refreshing to see young men of such noble character. There was a day when it was not rebellion in their character, but rather submissiveness to things that lead to positive accomplishments. That does not mean that our old-timers were always right, nor does it mean that something of violence should be tolerated; what it does mean is that that new things should be equal to the old, or that they should enhance newness of improvement in their enactments. Change is inevitable, but be sure it is accompanied with the positive end as to its adoption.
The disciples of Jesus were, like Daniel, Shadrech, Meshach and Abednego. With the message of the Cross, the Resurrection and the Return of Jesus for His own, they “turned the world upside down”. (Acts 17:6) Their message was filled with positivity! It is the motivational factor that we need to emphasize in this hour; there was likeness then and its likeness needs duplicating.