It is through the trials and tribulations of life
that God molds men for times of crisis. Among the royal family
taken captive was a young man of about fourteen to seventeen
years of age named Daniel. Like Joseph, Daniel would be
tempted, tested and approved for service to Godís glory in two
Daniel was born during the reign of the
godly king Josiah about 620 B.C. Nothing is known of his
parents, except that they were of royal ancestry. He had had
opportunity to observe apostasy and was now experiencing
firsthand what happens to a people when their leaders are
ungodly and compromise Godís Word. In 609, death came to
Josiah and his religious reforms. The three kings that
succeeded Josiah all did evil in the eyes of the LORD.
Jehoahaz reigned in Jerusalem three months (2 Kings 23:31-32).
He was followed by Jehoiakim, who reigned eleven years (2
Kings 23:36-37). Jehoiachin sat on the throne when Jerusalem
was besieged. Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin captive to
Babylon. He also took from Jerusalem to Babylon the king's
mother, his wives, his officials and the leading men of the
land (2 Kings 24:15).
Since Daniel revealed and
interpreted Nebuchadnezzarís Dream of the Image in the second
year of the kingís reign (602 B.C., Daniel 2:1), he must have
been deported in 605 B.C.
In all likelihood, Daniel
knew the predictions of Isaiah and Jeremiah. Now he was
witnessing as well as experiencing the fulfillment of
prophecy. What impact would this fulfillment have on his life?
It was time to find outóand one of Godís methods of revealing
the impact of His Word on oneís life is through testing.
"Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in
the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test
you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or
not you would keep his commands" (Deuteronomy 8:2).
Certainly, captivity would have been a humbling
experience. All the grand illusions that might have filled
Danielís heart would have been knocked out of him during
the long trek to Babylon. A few descendants of Hezekiah
arrived with the kind of heart that God seeks. Four of the
youths proved to be men of conviction, courage
and commitment, displaying an uncompromising character.
The rest of the royal family faded from Scripture because
they lacked these three essential qualities of faith.