and in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom. and daniel was there until the first year of king cyrus.  [daniel 1:20-21]


every matter of wisdom

we are aware that daniel was not in this position before the king because he chose to be. he was taken from his homeland, placed in the palace and educated day in and day out as to why his people, and his God, were inferior and should be discarded. yet daniel chose to honor God in this situation, and used this position to God’s glory.

king nebuchadnezzar must have been surprised that daniel and the other jews with him were not only surviving, but thriving in this environment. He may have considered it a resounding success – he had educated these exiles in the ways of babylon.

yet their success and wisdom did not come from babylon or the king’s training – it came from hearts devoted to the one true God. psalm 9:10 tells us that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight”.  this was evident in these faithful young men, who were fully capable to being 100% submissive to God while thriving in this pagan situaion.


ten times better

what did daniel and the others know that the magicians and enchanters didn’t? what made them ‘ten times better’? the only answer, the obvious answer, is that these young men were filled with a power far greater than that of the magicians.

filled with God’s power, and diligent to learn all that they were taught, they were obedient to the king without betraying their God. they worked hard to study, and allowed their study to bring honor to God. the power of God is not always showy like that of a magician, but it is the power that brought the universe into being. this power resided in daniel, and if we are believers, resides within us as well through the power of the Holy Spirit. let us not take this for granted!


~ jason soroski