Daniel 1:17
Index
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.

"God gave them knowledge and skill"

  • The instruction that Daniel and his three friends received was for them also a test of faith. The wisdom of the Chaldeans was allied with idolatry and pagan practices and mixed sorcery with science, and learning with superstition. From these things the Hebrew learners kept themselves aloof. How they avoided conflicts we are not told, but despite the corrupting influences they held fast to the faith of their fathers, as later tests of loyalty clearly show. The four young men learned the skills and sciences of the Chaldeans without adopting the heathen elements mingled with them. Among the reasons why these Hebrews preserved their faith unsullied may be noted the following: (4BC 761)
    • 1. Their firm resolution to remain true to God. They had more than a desire or a hope for goodness. They willed to do right and to shun evil. Victory is possible only by the right exercise of the will (SC 48).
    • 2. Their dependence on the power of God. Though they valued human capabilities and recognized the necessity of human effort, they knew that these things of themselves would not guarantee success. They recognized that in addition to this there must be humble dependence and full reliance on God's power. (CD 154)
    • 3. Their refusal to blunt their spiritual and moral natures by indulgence in appetite. They realized that a single departure from principle would have weakened their sense of right and wrong, which in turn would probably have led to other wrong acts, and in the end to complete apostasy. (CD 155)
    • 4. Their consistent prayer life. Daniel and his youthful companions realized that prayer was a necessity, especially because of the atmosphere of evil that constantly surrounded them. (SL 20)
  • Only by faithfulness in the little things can the soul be trained to act with fidelity under larger responsibilities. God brought Daniel and his fellows into connection with the great men of Babylon, that these heathen men might become acquainted with the principles of true religion. In the midst of a nation of idolaters, Daniel was to represent the character of God. How did he become fitted for a position of so great trust and honor? It was his faithfulness in the little things that gave complexion to his whole life. He honored God in the smallest duties, and the Lord co-operated with him. To Daniel and his companions God gave “knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” (Daniel 1:17).... As God called Daniel to witness for Him in Babylon, so He calls us to be His witnesses in the world today. In the smallest as well as the largest affairs of life He desires us to reveal to men the principles of His kingdom. (COL 356, 357)
  • God brought Daniel and his associates into connection with the great men of Babylon, that in the midst of a nation of idolaters they might represent His character. How did they become fitted for a position of so great trust and honor? It was faithfulness in little things that gave complexion to their whole life. They honored God in the smallest duties, as well as in the larger responsibilities.... As God called Daniel to witness for Him in Babylon, so He calls us to be His witnesses in the world today. In the smallest as well as the largest affairs of life, He desires us to reveal to men the principles of His kingdom. Many are waiting for some great work to be brought to them, while daily they lose opportunities for revealing faithfulness to God. Daily they fail of discharging with wholeheartedness the little duties of life. While they wait for some large work in which they may exercise supposedly great talents, and thus satisfy their ambitious longings, their days pass away.... In the life of the true Christian there are no nonessentials; in the sight of Omnipotence every duty is important. The Lord measures with exactness every possibility for service. The unused capabilities are just as much brought into account as those that are used. We shall be judged by what we ought to have done, but did not accomplish because we did not use our powers to glorify God. (PK 487, 488)
  • There is need of each one in every school and in every institution, being, as was Daniel, in such close connection with the Source of all wisdom, that his prayers will enable him to reach the highest standard of his duties in every line, that he may be able to fulfill his scholastic requirements not only under able teachers, but also under the supervision of heavenly intelligences, knowing that the All-seeing, the Ever-sleepless Eye was upon him. The love and fear of God was before Daniel, and he educated and trained all his powers to respond as far as possible to the loving care of the Great Teacher, conscious of his amenability to God. The four Hebrew children would not allow selfish motives and love of amusements to occupy the golden moments of this life. They worked with a willing heart and ready mind. This is no higher standard than every Christian may attain. God requires of every Christian scholar more than has been given him. Ye are “a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” (1 Corinthians 4:9). (FE 230)
  • If the youth will consecrate their minds and hearts to God's service, they will reach a high standard of efficiency and usefulness. This is the standard that the Lord expects the youth to attain. To do less than this is to refuse to make the most of God-given opportunities. This will be looked upon as treason against God, a failure to work for the good of humanity.... Those who strive to become laborers for God, who seek earnestly to acquire in order to impart, will constantly receive light from God that they may be channels of communication. If, like Daniel, young men and young women will bring all their habits, appetites, and passions into conformity to the requirements of God, they will qualify themselves for higher work. They should put from their minds all that is cheap and frivolous. Nonsense and amusement-loving propensities should be discarded, as out of place in the life and experience of those who are living by faith in the Son of God, eating His flesh and drinking His blood. (MYP 41, 42)
  • All who learn the science of salvation must be submissive students in the school of Christ, that the soul-temple may be the abiding place of the Most High. If we would learn of Christ we must be emptied of every proud possession, that He may imprint His image upon the soul. It was because of a close connection with the living God that Daniel received true education, and knowledge, and understanding and wisdom. By abiding in Christ, by doing His will, by simple faith in His word, even the unlearned may have this knowledge. To these humble, trusting ones the Lord Jesus reveals that all knowledge not perverted by the wisdom and sayings of men leads heavenward. (Australasian Union Conference Record article "The Higher Education" July 12, 1899 by Ellen G, White)
  • When the four Hebrew youth were receiving an education for the king's court in Babylon, they did not feel that the blessing of the Lord was a substitute for the taxing effort required of them. They were diligent in study; for they discerned that through the grace of God their destiny depended upon their own will and action. They were to bring all their ability to the work; and by close, severe taxation of their powers, they were to make the most of their opportunities for study and labor.... While these youth were working out their own salvation, God was working in them to will and to do of His good pleasure. Here are revealed the conditions of success. To make God's grace our own, we must act our part. The Lord does not propose to perform for us either the willing or the doing. His grace is given to work in us to will and to do, but never as a substitute for our effort. Our souls are to be aroused to cooperate. The Holy Spirit works in us, that we may work out our own salvation. This is the practical lesson the Holy Spirit is striving to teach us. (4BC 1167)
  • God will help our youth as He helped Daniel, if they will make the unreserved surrender of the will to Him that Daniel made, and will appreciate the opportunities of growing in understanding. He will give them wisdom and knowledge, and will fill their hearts with unselfishness. He will put into their minds plans of enlargement, and will inspire them with hope and courage as they seek to bring others under the sway of the Prince of peace. Those who do as Daniel and his fellows did will have the co-operation of God and the angels. They will work out with carefulness the sum of their salvation, God working in them, to will and to do of His good pleasure. (4MR 125)
  • As in the case of Daniel, in exact proportion as the spiritual character is developed, the intellectual capabilities are increased. (4BC 1168)
  • God wants men to cultivate force of character. Those who are merely timeservers are not the ones who will receive a rich reward by and by. He wants those who labor in His cause to be men of keen feeling and quick perception. They should be temperate in eating; rich and luxurious food should find no place upon their tables; and when the brain is constantly taxed and there is a lack of physical exercise, they should eat sparingly, even of plain food. Daniel's clearness of mind and firmness of purpose, his strength of intellect in acquiring knowledge, were due in a great degree to the plainness of his diet in connection with his life of prayer. (4T 515, 516)
  • Read the history of Daniel. The Lord would have His people reach the highest round of the ladder, that they may glorify Him by possessing the ability He is willing to bestow. He has a treasure-house of knowledge from which we can all draw. Then let us realize our defects and improve under the instruction of God. Then the light and grace of God will be reflected to the world as the highest education, which sanctifies the receiver. (MM 200)
  • If the students who attend our colleges would be firm and maintain integrity, if they would not associate with those who walk in the paths of sin nor be charmed by their society, like Daniel they would enjoy the favor of God. If they would discard unprofitable amusements and indulgence of appetite, their minds would be clear for the pursuit of knowledge. They would thus gain a moral power that would enable them to remain unmoved when assailed by temptation. (CT 376)
  • The youth will not become weak-minded or inefficient by consecrating themselves to the service of God. To many, education means a knowledge of books; but “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (Proverbs 9:10). The youngest child who loves and fears God is greater in His sight than the most talented and learned man who neglects the matter of personal salvation. The youth who consecrate their hearts and lives to God are placing themselves in connection with the Fountain of all wisdom and excellence.... If the youth will but learn of the heavenly Teacher, as Daniel did, they will know for themselves that the fear of the Lord is indeed the beginning of wisdom. Having thus laid a sure foundation, they may, like Daniel, turn every privilege and opportunity to the very best account, and may rise to any height in intellectual attainments. Consecrated to God, and having the protection of His grace and the quickening influence of His Holy Spirit, they will manifest deeper intellectual power than the mere worldling. (MYP 190, 191)
  • There are lessons for us to learn at this time from the experience of those who labored for God in past generations. How little we know of the conflicts and trials and labors of these men, as they fitted themselves to meet the armies of Satan. Putting on the whole armor of God, they were able to stand against the wiles of Satan.... These men who in the past gave themselves to God and to the uplifting of His cause were as true as steel to principle. They were men who would not fail nor be discouraged; men who, like Daniel, were full of reverence and zeal for God, full of noble purposes and aspirations. They were as weak and helpless as any of those who are now engaged in the work, but they put their whole trust in God. They had wealth, but it consisted of mind and soul culture. This every one may have who will make God first and last and best in everything. Although destitute of wisdom, knowledge, virtue, and power, we may receive all these if we will learn from Christ the lessons that it is our privilege to learn.... In this time we have opportunities and advantages that it was not easy to obtain in generations past. We have increased light, and this has come through the work of those faithful sentinels who made God their dependence, and received power from Him to let light shine in clear, bright rays to the world. In our day we have increased light to improve, as in times past men and women of noble worth improved the light that God gave them. They toiled long to learn the lessons given them in the school of Christ, and they did not toil in vain. Their persevering efforts were rewarded. They bound themselves up with the mightiest of all powers, and yet they were ever longing for a deeper, higher, and broader comprehension of eternal realities, that they might successfully present the treasures of truth to a needy world.... Workers of this character are needed now. Those who are men in the sight of God, and who are thus recorded on the books of heaven, are those who, like Daniel, cultivate every faculty in such a way as best to represent the kingdom of God in a world lying in wickedness. Progress in knowledge is essential; for when employed in the cause of God, knowledge is a power for good. The world needs men of thought, men of principle, men who are constantly growing in understanding and discernment. The press is in need of men to use it to the best advantage, that the truth may be given wings to speed it to every nation, and tongue, and people. (MYP 33, 34)
  • Why did Daniel and his companions refuse to eat at the king's table? Why did they refuse his meats and wines? Because they had been taught that this class of food would not keep the mind and the physical structure in the very best condition of health to do God's service.... They were very careful to keep themselves in touch with God. They prayed and studied, and brought into their practical life strictly conscientious, humble minds. They walked with God as did Enoch. The word of the Lord was their meat and their drink. “And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.” (Daniel 1:20).... In the light of this Scripture history, all the testimony of man as to the advantages of a meat diet, or of a great variety of food, should not have the least weight with any human being. When the children of faith shall with earnest prayer dedicate themselves to God without reserve, the Lord will honor their faith and will bless them with a clear mind. of that order that you will educate those who are connected with you to make excuses similar to those that you have made for the indulgence of eating the flesh of dead animals? (MM 276, 277)
  • The experience of Daniel and his youthful companions illustrates the benefits that may result from an abstemious diet, and shows what God will do for those who will cooperate with Him in the purifying and uplifting of the soul. They were an honor to God, and a bright and shining light in the court of Babylon.... In this history we hear the voice of God addressing us individually, bidding us gather up all the precious rays of light upon this subject of Christian temperance, and place ourselves in right relation to the laws of health. (CD 155)
  • He who gave wisdom and understanding to Daniel is willing to give wisdom and understanding to all who place themselves in the same relation to him that Daniel did. None need have a superficial education. (The Youth's Instructor article 'A Lesson from Daniel's Experience' September 6, 1900 by Ellen G. White)
  • What a privilege it is to labor for the conversion of souls! Our calling is high.... To fit us to do this work, He will strengthen our mental faculties as verily as He did the mind of Daniel. As we teach those in darkness to understand the truths that have enlightened us, God will teach us to understand these truths still better ourselves. He will give us apt words to speak, communicating to us through the angel standing by our side. (Ev 172)
  • The case of Daniel reveals to us the fact that the Lord is always ready to hear the prayers of the contrite soul, and when we seek the Lord with all our hearts, He will answer our petitions. Here is revealed where Daniel obtained his skill and understanding; and if we will only ask of God wisdom, we may be blessed with increased ability and with power from heaven. (ML 110)
  • The Lord regarded with approval the firmness and self-denial of these Hebrew youth, and His blessing attended them. He “gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams” (Daniel 1:17). (SL 22
  • The Lord will co-operate with all who earnestly strive to be faithful in His service, as He co-operated with Daniel and his three companions. Fine mental qualities and a high tone of moral character are not the result of accident. God gives opportunities; success depends upon the use made of them. The openings of Providence must be quickly discerned and eagerly entered. There are many who might become mighty men, if, like Daniel, they would depend upon God for grace to be overcomers, and for strength and efficiency to do their work. (MYP 147, 148)
  • Daniel and his three companions had a special work to do. Although greatly honored in this work, they did not become in any way exalted. They were scholars, being skilled in secular as well as religious knowledge; but they had studied science without being corrupted. They were well-balanced because they had yielded themselves to the control of the Holy Spirit. These youth gave to God all the glory of their secular, scientific, and religious endowments. Their learning did not come by chance; they obtained knowledge by the faithful use of their powers; and God gave them skill and understanding.... True science and Bible religion are in perfect harmony. Let the students in our schools learn all they possibly can. But, as a rule, let them be educated in our own institutions. Be careful how you advise them to go to other schools, where error is taught, in order to complete their education. Do not give them the impression that greater educational advantages are to be obtained by mingling with those who do not seek wisdom from God. The great men of Babylon were willing to be benefited by the instruction that God gave through Daniel, to help the king out of his difficulty by the interpretation of his dream. But they were anxious to mix in their heathen religion with that of the Hebrews. Had Daniel and his fellows consented to such a compromise, they would, in the view of the Babylonians, have been complete as statesmen, fit to be entrusted with the affairs of the kingdom. But the four Hebrews entered into no such arrangement. They were true to God, and God upheld them and honored them. The lesson is for us. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:23). (4BC 1167-1168)
  • We have before us the case of Daniel and his fellows, who made the most of their opportunities to obtain an education in the courts of Babylon. When tested by those who questioned both their faith and their knowledge, they were able to give a reason of the hope that was in them, and, as well, to stand the examination as to their knowledge in all learning and wisdom; and it was found that Daniel had understanding also in all visions and dreams, showing that he had a living connection with the God of all wisdom. “In all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.” Daniel's history is given us for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come. “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him.” Daniel was in close connection with God.... The close application of those Hebrew students under the training of God was richly rewarded. While they made diligent effort to secure knowledge, the Lord gave them heavenly wisdom. The knowledge they gained was of great service to them when brought into strait places. The Lord God of heaven will not supply the deficiencies that result from mental and spiritual indolence. When the human agents shall exercise their faculties to acquire knowledge, to become deep-thinking men; when they, as the greatest witnesses for God and the truth, shall have won in the field of investigation of vital doctrines concerning the salvation of the soul, that glory may be given to the God of heaven as supreme, then even judges and kings will be brought to acknowledge, in the courts of justice, in parliaments and councils, that the God who made the heavens and the earth is the only true and living God, the author of Christianity, the author of all truth, who instituted the seventh-day Sabbath when the foundations of the world were laid, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted together for joy. All nature will bear testimony, as designed, for the illustration of the word of God.... When we aim at a low standard, we shall reach only a low standard. We commend to every student the Book of books as the grandest study for the human intelligence, as the education essential for this life, and for eternal life. But I did not contemplate a letting down of the educational standard in the study of the sciences. The light that has been given on these subjects is clear, and should in no case be disregarded. But if the word of God which giveth light, and giveth understanding to the simple, had been welcomed into the mind and the soul-temple, as a counselor, as a guide and instructor, the human agent living by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, there would have been no need of reproof because of the backslidings of the students after the blessing of God had come to them in rich rays of divine light, to glow in heaven's holy fire upon the altar of their hearts. Many allowed amusements to have the supremacy. This was not the course that Daniel pursued in obtaining the education which revealed through him the supremacy of heavenly wisdom above all the wisdom and knowledge of the highest schools in the courts of proud Babylon. God opens the understanding of men in a marked manner if His words are brought into the practical life of the student, and the Bible is recognized as the precious, wonderful book that it is. Nothing is to come between this book and the student as more essential; for it is that wisdom which, brought into the practical life, makes men wise through time and through eternity. God is revealed in nature; God is revealed in His word. The Bible is the most wonderful of all histories, for it is the production of God, not of the finite mind. It carries us back through the centuries to the beginning of all things, presenting the history of times and scenes which would otherwise never have been known. It reveals the glory of God in the working of His providence to save a fallen world. It presents in the simplest language the mighty power of the gospel, which, received, would cut the chains that bind men to Satan's chariot.... God can and will do a great work for every human being who will open the heart to the word of God, and let it enter the soul-temple and expel every idol. Summoned to the effort, mind and heart take in the wonderful disclosures of the revealed will of God. The soul that is converted will be made stronger to resist evil. In the study of the Bible the converted soul eats the flesh and drinks the blood of the Son of God, which He himself interprets as the receiving and doing of His words, that are spirit and life. The Word is made flesh, and dwells among us, in those who receive the holy precepts of the word of God. The Saviour of the world has left a holy, pure example for all men. It illuminates, uplifts, and brings immortality to all who obey the divine requirements.... Let the Bible be received as the only food for the soul, as it is the very best and most effectual for the purifying and strengthening of the intellect. (FE 373-380)
  • In His gospel, God speaks not merely to benefit the growth of the mental capacity of man, but to instruct how the moral senses may be quickened. This is illustrated in the case of Daniel and the three Hebrews. They kept the fear and love of God ever before them, and the result is recorded.... (FE 339)
  • We are dependent on the Bible for a knowledge of the early history of our world, of the creation of man, and of his fall. Remove the word of God, and what can we expect than to be left to fables and conjectures, and to that enfeebling of the intellect which is the sure result of entertaining error. We need the authentic history of the origin of the earth, of the fall of the covering cherub, and of the introduction of sin into our world. Without the Bible, we should be bewildered by false theories. The mind would be subjected to the tyranny of superstition and falsehood. But having in our possession an authentic history of the beginning of our world, we need not hamper ourselves with human conjectures and unreliable theories.... Wherever Christians are, they may hold communion with God. And they may enjoy the intelligence of sanctified science. Their minds may be strengthened even as Daniel's was.... (MM 89)
  • It was God's purpose that these youth should become channels of light in the kingdom of Babylon. Satan was determined to defeat this purpose. He worked upon the minds of the youth who had refused to be God's representatives, causing them to be jealous of Daniel and his companions. At Satan's suggestion they laid plans to entrap those who were making such steady, rapid advancement in knowledge. There were those who tried to deceive and mislead Daniel and his companions, who tried by flattery to induce them to enter into wrong. But they failed signally, because these youth had on the armor of light. They fastened themselves to the promise, “Let him take hold of My strength that he may make peace with Me, and he shall make peace with Me.” (Isaiah 27:5).... They knew that they must keep the eye of the mind single to the glory of God, that they must seek wisdom and strength and grace from on high. They must not allow themselves to be led, by smiles or frowns, to yield to the sophistry of Satan. They knew that no human power could be to them wisdom and righteousness and sanctification.... Satan was trying to compass their destruction. Nothing but the wisdom and strength and firmness and heroism which God could give would enable them to maintain their position in the way of holiness. They knew that they were not yet fully acquainted with the character of Satan's enmity. They would have to watch unto prayer; for they were ignorant of the obstacles they would have to meet and surmount. They knew that barriers would rise to bar their way, that embarrassment would surround them on every side.... They made a faithful study of the Word of God, that they might know the divine will. By faith they believed that the One whom they served would communicate to them His will; and in answer to their faith, God opened His Word to them. The Old Testament was to them a light shining in a dark place. They made the Word of God their textbook, looking upon it as the foundation upon which they must build character. They had only the Old Testament.... The youth of today have increased light. The Bible teaches the whole duty of men, women, and children. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” Divine wisdom came to Daniel and his companions as they studied the Word. They knew that this Word was their authority, and that it demanded their obedience. The truth was to them of the highest importance; for it placed their duty before them in a clear light.... Satan often cast his shadow across their pathway to obscure their view of divine light and darken their faith and confidence in God. But they would not yield, and the Lord gave them wisdom and power to prevail with Him in prayer. As they followed the course of study outlined for them in the courts of Babylon, they made it their aim to become statesmen who would never sacrifice principle. They knew that they were in an enemy's country, under the power of the Babylonian king, and they were obedient in all things save where they were asked to sacrifice principle. (4MR 127-129)
  • We ask students and teachers to look at these representative youth in wicked Babylon. Under most trying temptations, they placed themselves in a right position. We read of these “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.” They placed themselves under the supervision of Heaven, and the purest and most complete education was given them by God because they consecrated themselves daily to Him, and sought Him in prayer. Three times a day their supplications were offered in faith, that they should have the things they asked for, and God heard them. He co-operated with them, and they co-operated with God. It was a mutual work. (4MR 129-130)
  • The Bible will instruct the Christian how he ought to behave before the world. Young men who desire to give themselves to the work of the ministry, or who have already done so, should put their minds to the task of searching the Scriptures. They should cultivate habits of self-control and simplicity. Like Daniel, they should avoid luxurious living, that their bodies may be in health, and their minds may be unclouded, and God will put his impress upon them as he did upon his servant of old.... God gave Daniel wisdom, for he prayed for it in faith, and then he lived out his own prayers. He avoided everything which would weaken physical or mental power, and then committed his soul and body unto God, to be used for his glory. Let the servants of God fill the mind from the treasure-house of his word, that they may bring forth things new and old to feed the famishing flock of God. God's word is like a mine full of precious ore, and its truths will be the wealth of the mind. “Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.” The riches of this mine are open to all; its treasures are inexhaustible. Precious gems of truth lie beneath the surface, and every hour's search will be fully repaid. Store the mind with the principles of the gospel of Christ; seek with painstaking effort for the hidden wealth of God's word. All heaven is watching to see what man will do with the precepts and promises of Jehovah. (The Review and Herald article 'The Need of a Deeper Knowledge of God' by Ellen G. White, December 3, 1889)
  • Read the Old and New Testaments with a contrite heart. Read them prayerfully and faithfully, pleading that the Holy Spirit will give you understanding. Daniel searched the portion of the Old Testament which he had at his command, and made the word of God his highest instructor. At the same time he improved the opportunities that were given him to become intelligent in all lines of learning. His companions did the same.... (FE 357-358)
  • Daniel was closely connected with the Source of all wisdom, and this knowledge was to him more precious than the gold of Ophir. He kept his religious training on an equal with the advantages which were given him of becoming a wise and learned man. He worked with his entrusted capital. He was aroused by the situation in which he found himself in the king's court. He co-operated with God in the use of every power which had been given him, that he should not be second in anything. And we read, “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." Daniel was connected with God, and the secrets of the Most High were opened to him; for He is with them that fear him. “And the king communed with them, and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they stood before the king.” And in all matters of wisdom and understanding that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm. Continual growth in religious wisdom and intelligence did not in any sense disqualify these youth for the faithful, intelligent discharge of the important duties assigned them in the kingdom of Babylon. (4MR 121-122)
  • You remember the experience of Daniel. He received wisdom and understanding because he placed himself in right relation with God. God has intelligence for you, just as He had for Daniel. He has knowledge for you that is far above all human knowledge. If you stand where Daniel stood, you will gain a progressive education, and a progressive education means a progressive sanctification. Such an education will prepare you to inherit the kingdom that from the foundation of the world has been prepared for God's faithful ones. As you strive to obtain a knowledge of God, He will commune with you as He communed with Daniel and his companions, and will give you power that will prevail. (Australasian Union Conference Record article 'A Testimony to Students' by Ellen G. White, January 15, 1903)
  • The Lord has often chosen for His colaborers men who have had opportunity to obtain but a limited school education. These men have applied their powers most diligently, and the Lord has rewarded their fidelity to His work, their industry, their thirst for knowledge. He has witnessed their tears and heard their prayers. As His blessing came to the captives in the courts of Babylon, so does He give wisdom and knowledge to His workers today. (MH 150)
  • And the natural powers are enlarged because of holy obedience. From the study of the words of life, students may come forth with minds expanded, elevated, ennobled. If they are, like Daniel, hearers and doers of the word of God, they may advance as he did in all branches of learning. Being pure-minded, they will become strong-minded. Every intellectual faculty will be quickened. They may so educate and discipline themselves that all within the sphere of their influence may see what man can be, and what he can do, when connected with the God of wisdom and power. (8T 323)
  • The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (Proverbs 9:10). It lies at the foundation of all knowledge and wisdom. When Daniel was in the court of Babylon, what was it that enabled him to stand as a rock amidst all the subtle and overwhelming temptations of the king's court? He had his eyes on the precepts of God, and he was determined to be a loyal subject of Heaven. He purposed in his heart that he would not indulge in the luxuries of the King's table, but that he would keep his faculties in the best order, and his mind in a condition to appreciate eternal and spiritual truths. And when the king inquired of him, he found him ten times wiser than all the astrologers and wise men in his court; for God gave him understanding and wisdom. (The Signs of the Times article 'The Fruits of Faith' by Ellen G. White, March 4, 1889)
  • Temporal things are not to engage our whole attention, or engross our minds until our thoughts are entirely of the earth and the earthly. We are to train, discipline, and educate the mind so that we may think in a heavenly channel, that we may dwell on things unseen and eternal, which will be discerned by spiritual vision. It is by seeing Him who is invisible that we may obtain strength of mind and vigor of spirit. This is the way in which Daniel received strength. He was called to act a part in the first place in the kingdom of Babylon, and proved himself a noble statesman in all his connection with the court. He lived a noble life, and presented a worthy example. His eye was fastened on things unseen and eternal. He realized that he was fighting in the sight of the heavenly intelligences, and his dependence was in God. (The Signs of the Times article 'Seek Those Things Which are Above' by Ellen G. White, January 9, 1893)
  • We may have the presence of Christ with us, as had Daniel in Babylon. God gave him wisdom in all knowledge, and he had understanding in all mysteries. But we may be as was Daniel. The Source of Wisdom is open to us. We may come to God, we may grow in wisdom. (The Signs of the Times article 'Seek Those Things Which are Above' by Ellen G. White, January 16, 1893)
  • Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” (Jeremiah 9:23-24). Divine knowledge must be combined with human education in order that the gospel may not be hid. The apostle says, “The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (2 Corinthians 4:4). God has given us warning that we shall not lean to our own understanding. If we do, we shall be in constant danger of being misled and misdirected by the god of this world. Those who know Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour have the privilege of being educated and trained in a higher school than that of men, and of being tutored under higher wisdom than that of finite beings. They may come under the tutorship of the greatest Teacher the world ever knew, and partake of the same knowledge that he gave to Daniel. Those who are humble in heart, those who feel their need of higher wisdom, and do not rely upon their own finite judgment, but search earnestly to know the will of God, may draw from the source of all knowledge, and obtain grace, prudence, discretion, and judgment. They will realize the fulfilment of the assurance of God's word: “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” (Psalms 119:130). Those who are meek and lowly in heart, will learn of Christ, and find rest unto their souls. (The Youth's Instructor article 'Be Not Wise in Your Own Conceit' by Ellen G. White, September 19, 1895)
  • Daniel placed himself in the channel of heavenly light, where he could commune with God in prayer. God co-operates with the human agencies who place themselves in this channel. Increased light is constantly shining from heaven upon those who seek for divine wisdom. Those who do not choose to place themselves in this channel meet with terrible loss. (The Youth's Instructor article 'Lessons from the Life of Daniel' by Ellen G. White, August 6, 1903)
  • Daniel's God turned the [capture] of his people into a triumph of the faithful remnant in Babylon. Thus He demonstrated that He is the only true source of wisdom and power.... "God gave" points to God's full control over the events [here] described and it stands in contrast to [Nebuchadnezzar] "appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank." (Daniel 1:5). (ZS 66)
  • The last part of [Daniel 1] presents the results of the young men's three-year study in Babylon and of their trust in God. This verse says that God gave them outstanding success. The same God who had "given" Jerusalem... into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 1:2) and the same God who had previously "given" favour and sympathy to Daniel before the king's official (Daniel 1:9) is [the same God] who "gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom" to the young Hebrews.... Among the Babylonians, wisdom was the ultimate goal to achieve, whether in one's life or in one's academic career. Marduk, or Bel, the patron god of the city of Babylon, was the god of wisdom. But the Hebrew young men believed (knew) that only the Creator God could dispense wisdom. The One who is the source of virtues such as wisdom is the prime importance, not the virtues themselves. In the same way, learning is not an end in itself... "The Greeks learned in order to understand, the Hebrews learned in order to revere!" (Abraham Joshua Heschel). (ZS 68)

"Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams"

  • While Daniel's three friends were, like him, endowed with exceptional mental qualities, and equaled him in loyalty to their God, he was chosen as God's special messenger... He was called of God to do a special work, and became the recipient of some of the most important prophecies of all time. (4BC 761)
  • With Daniel, the fear of the Lord was the beginning of wisdom. He was placed in a position where temptation was strong. In king's courts, dissipation was on every side; selfish indulgence, gratification of appetite, intemperance and gluttony, were the order of each day. Daniel could join in the debilitating, corrupting practices of the courtiers, or he could resist the influence that tended downward. He chose the latter course. He purposed in his heart that he would not be corrupted by the sinful indulgences with which he was brought in contact, let the consequences be what they might. He would not even defile himself with the king's meat, or with the wine that he drank. The Lord was pleased with the course that Daniel pursued. He was greatly beloved and honored of heaven; and to him the God of wisdom gave skill in the learning of the Chaldeans, and understanding in all visions and dreams. (FE 86-87)
  • When Daniel was in Babylon, he was beset with temptations of which we have never dreamed, and he realized that he must keep his body under. He purposed in his heart that he would not drink of the king's wine or eat of his dainties. He knew that in order to come off a victor, he must have clear mental perceptions, that he might discern between right and wrong. While he was working on his part, God worked also, and gave him “knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” This is the way God worked for Daniel; and He does not propose to do any differently now. Man must cooperate with God in carrying out the plan of salvation. (4BC 1166)
  • In the ancient world, dreams were believed to be a customary way in which the divine world communicated with humans. In Babylon particularly, where wisdom was highly valued, dreams and their interpretations were consider to be a main source of knowledge, and they were therefore highly prized. The statement that Daniel "could understand visions and dreams of all kinds" foreshadows his active role in the story of King Nebuchadnezzar's dream found in Daniel 2. (ZS 67)
  • Faith Builders 1b of 6: Once you have established your belief in god, your witness must be consistent with your belief, which determines your lifestyle. Daniel knew he could not sacrifice his lifestyle and keep his belief: therefore, he chose not to eat the food or drink the wine from the king's table. Men in Scripture, like Daniel, who stood true to what the Scriptures taught had this testimony; "that they pleased God." (KC 28)