Devotional Guide, Today’s Reading – Thursday, April 23, 2020

Theme: CHRISTIANITY AND SECULAR EDUCATION

Text: “And the king spake unto Ashpenaz … 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.” – Daniel 1:3,4.

Comment: Following this directive from King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, “certain of the children of Israel” appointed for the royal privilege of working for the king were Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. (Verses 6,7)  Apart from upholding the tradition of their faith in a land where they were in captivity, these children of Israel were very intelligent and knowledgeable in science and were good and skillful craftsmen.  The intelligence God gave them qualified them to be treated with respect and dignity.    This is a lesson for young men and women to humble themselves and learn properly the skills which are being imparted to them by their teachers.  A well educated man of God could use his knowledge to spread the gospel to the most exclusive areas of human endeavours by the grace of God.  Regarding St. Paul, God said, “he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.” (Acts 9:15) St. Paul also wrote “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.” – 2 Timothy 4:16, 17.