October 29, 2010
Joining the Geek Squad
"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." James 1:5 (NIV)
Have you read the dramatic story of Daniel the Israelite becoming a key consultant to Babylon's king? Let me tell you about it - it's found in Daniel chapters 1-2.
Daniel was considered a wise guy—in fact, among the wisest in the ancient nations of his time. He'd been taken to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar's administrative assistant following Israel's loss to the Babylonians. He was forced to serve their king as an advisor. As part of what I call the "Babylonian Geek Squad"—a group of magicians, astrologers, and enchanters the king relied on to make decisions, solve problems and offer predictions.
Only these guys were not who anyone should seek wisdom from. They may have been smart, they may have had some pedigree or skills, but they lacked true wisdom. Can you imagine Daniel lumped in with the pagan wizards and fortune tellers?
Daniel did his best to keep himself pure before his God under these circumstances. The Bible says because he did, God gave him "an unusual aptitude for learning the literature and science of the times. And God gave Daniel special ability in understanding the meanings of visions and dreams" (Dan. 1:17). The Bible also says that in all matters requiring wisdom and judgment, the king found Daniel's advice to be "ten times better than that of all the magicians and enchanters in his entire kingdom" (v. 20).
One night the king had a nightmare. When none of the astrologers, magicians, or enchanters could interpret his dream, he sent an angry decree for all his royal advisors to be killed. When Daniel learned of this he asked God for wisdom to interpret the dream. God granted it, sparing Daniel's life and the rest of the Babylonian Geek Squad.
Read carefully Daniel's response to God's provision:
Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he alone has all wisdom and power. He determines the course of world events; he removes kings and sets others on the throne. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars. He reveals deep and mysterious things and knows what lies hidden in darkness, though he himself is surrounded by light. I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors, for you have given me wisdom and strength. (Dan. 2:20-23)
After Daniel explained the dream—and the fact that both the dream and its interpretation were provided by Yahweh—King Nebuchadnezzar bowed before Daniel honoring him and his God. He lavished Daniel with gifts, promoted him to head of his advisors and made him a ruler over the providence of Babylon.
Daniel staked his life and security on his access to God's wisdom. And it secured him.
Mind if I ask what you tend to stake your security on?
Where do you get your wisdom from? On a daily or hourly basis, what guides your decisions?
Between the tissue-thin pages of your Bible, you too have access to the wisdom and power of God. Just like Daniel. I wonder, are we using it? Do we crack it open beyond Sunday morning or Wednesday night Bible class?
Have you called on God for wisdom today?
The wisdom in the Bible can guide, transform and secure us. Whether your Bible is a $20 paperback or an $80 leather-bound gold-embossed edition, it is the most valuable thing you own. Hands-down!
And there is nothing geeky about treating it as such. So open your Bible and seek out God's wisdom for today.
Dear Lord, I thank You for access to Your wisdom and power. I thank You for the wisdom the Bible shows and for the power in Your son's name. Incline my heart to Your Word and make me wise in Your eyes. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
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Commit to regular reading of the Word of God. Make a plan today for when and where you will read it tomorrow.
Do you feel you need some guidance digging into the Word? Get a copy of Rachel's new book It's No Secret, or follow a Bible reading plan—you can find them online.
What do I tend to think my security is tied to?
Do I treat my Bible as the most valuable thing I own?
Realize that Daniel was placed into a situation that seemed like it would be the farthest thing from God's will. But look how God used him there! What does this say about your current circumstances?
Proverbs 8:10, "Choose my instruction rather than silver, and knowledge rather than pure gold. For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it." (NLT)
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