The story of Daniel reveals the secret of campus ministry. You want to reach out to campuses because of the powerful impact it has not only on the lives of individual students, but also on the worlds they will enter after their formal education is completed. These students have the ability to influence not only the world as we know it today, but also the society of the future and future generations.
David’s story began with a study of human learning. Following that, he was given the gift of divine visions. The Babylonian army captured David and other members of the “seed-royal.” Daniel and his friends were educated in Chaldean literature while in Babylon so that they could serve the government.
Why capture the youth?
Let’s take a break right there. What was the first thing they did after seizing these Jerusalem youth? Were the young men tortured? No. They mentioned them in Chaldean literature. The goal was for them to learn about Babylonian culture through education. They hoped that by educating these captives, they would be able to change their loyalties. The Babylonian rulers recognized the significance of this power pillar.
The young men of Jerusalem were taken away by King Nebuchadnezzar to be trained for service under him. These young men were chosen using stringent criteria. They were not to have any physical flaws. They should have a pleasing countenance, be wise in all things, be well-read in knowledge, understand science, be quick and sharp, and be able to give a ready account of their country.
Why did Nebuchadnezzar select such young men? The king decided to train these young captives because they would be pliable and tractable, forgetting their people and assimilating with the Chaldeans. The king knew what he would use them for; they had to be capable of standing in the king’s palace, not only to attend to his royal person but also to preside over his affairs.
The best time to teach
They are supposed to be wise and knowledgeable young men, but they need to be taught more. It is important to note that those who want to do good in the world when they grow up must learn while they are young. That is the learning age; if that time is lost, it will be difficult to recover. It does not appear that Nebuchadnezzar intended for them to learn the forbidden arts of the Chaldeans, such as magic and divination. If he did, Daniel and his companions would not defile themselves with them. If men were skilled, faithful, and fit for his business, it didn’t matter what religion they practiced as long as they had some faith.
They must be educated in the language and laws of the country, as well as in history, philosophy, and mathematics, as well as in the arts of husbandry, war, and navigation, in order to be qualified to serve their generation. We can see the Babylonians’ regard for education. We also see how education can be a genuine public service by providing an excellent education to the youth.
Daniel and his friends were well-versed in the Lord’s Law. They would not be swayed by Chaldean education. These young men had already established themselves in the world. They even politely refused to eat the king’s meat and were determined to survive on vegetables and water (Daniel 1:8-16).
After a while, the eunuchs’ master noticed that they were healthier than the other captives he looked after. They were also found to be ten times wiser and more knowledgeable than the kingdom’s magicians and enchanters.
God endowed these four young men with knowledge and comprehension of all types of literature and learning. And Daniel could comprehend all kinds of visions and dreams.
The chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar at the end of the time set by the king to bring them into his service. The king spoke with them and discovered that none were equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, so they joined the king’s service. The king tested them in all areas of wisdom and understanding, and found them to be ten times better than all of his kingdom’s magicians and enchanters. Daniel 1:17–20
The next generation
When you begin reaching out to young people for the Lord as soon as possible, they will be rooted in His Word until they reach adulthood. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it,” King Solomon says (Proverbs 22:6). Daniel and his friends were living examples of this proverb. Despite being brought to a foreign land and exposed to a different culture, they did not deviate from the ways they were taught. They clung to their faith even at the risk of their lives.
We are bombarded with messages that mix the truth with lies, both on campus and in the culture around us. The news comes from information channels such as schools and the media system, which have been powerfully advancing the enemy’s kingdom. What are the Christians doing about it?
The sacred-secular divide has grown wider as secular culture has moved further away from Christianity, almost impenetrable.
The traditional evangelistic approach to communicating the Lord’s message to the world is being challenged. The point we’re trying to make here is that before we can deliver the news, we need a platform for it to be heard and received with open hearts.
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