February 16, 2021 CAC Living Water Devotional : Topic – THE EXCELLENT YOUTH
LIVING WATER CAC DAILY DEVOTIONAL GUIDE
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
THE EXCELLENT YOUTH
Read: Daniel 1:1-21
Daniel 1:1-21 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.
And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes;
Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.
And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.
Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:
Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abed-nego.
But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.
And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.
Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.
Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.
So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.
And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat.
Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.
As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.
And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.
And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus.
As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams (Daniel 1:17)
Excellence is, “the quality of being extremely good” that every youth should strive to achieve in life. This will however come through not only prayers but by the necessary means of education, determination and achievement. Many people that history records that had these qualities were of immense blessings to themselves, their families, their nations, generations, and posterity… even the Church of God! Daniel and his 3 Hebrew friends were among the few privileged to have obtained the king’s scholarship in his days, so to say, to study in the best Babylonian Academia of their time. They were later to be described as having an ‘excellent spirit’ among their fellows! What is the secret?
Firstly, they were self-controlled. They chose not to give themselves to the
excesses of royalty found in the palaces-partying, gluttony, drunkenness, sexual perversion, impunity, etc. Secondly, they were focused, and purposeful in their hearts to do God’s bidding alone (v8).
Late Chief Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo (1909-1987) was said to have always been in the library studying to find solutions to his people’s problems as a student abroad while his contemporaries were into less profitable things. Little wonder he came out with a manifesto that revolutionised the then Western States of Nigeria, envied and copied till date.
Thirdly, ‘God gave these four youths great ability to learn, and they soon mastered all the literature and science of the time’ (Dan. 1:17 TLB). The God factor in all things cannot be over-emphasised, especially in our time, when disillusioned youths are fast losing interest in authentic spiritual things, classifying everything to be mere religion, and rather going for fake, adulterated, counterfeit of cultism. Beware!
1. Let us thank God for the teeming youth He has given us in our homes, churches, and the society, generally.
2. Pray for the spirit of excellence to come upon all our youths.
3. Pray for the love of God to fill the hearts of our youths, so that they would have and be demonstrating the wisdom of God in all they do.
EXTRA READING FOR TODAY: Leviticus 8:27 – 11:10; Matthew 27:28 – 27:49