2 Chronicles 36
Focus Verse: Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months and ten days. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord. (9)
Jehoiachin should have learned from what happened to his father, Jehoiakim, that doing evil would bring about his downfall. When others before us do wrong, we do not have to imitate their actions. We can choose to do what is right.
Focus Verse: To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds. (17)
Because Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah purposed in their hearts not to defile themselves with the royal food and wine, God rewarded their faith and blessed them with the gift of knowledge and understanding. He caused them to find favor with the chief official, Ashpenaz, and the king. When we fear the Lord over people, and determine to trust and obey Him instead of what seems popular, God will honor our faith. Only by faith is it possible to please Him.
Focus Verse: The astrologers answered the king, “There is no one on earth who can do what the king asks! No king, however great and mighty, has ever asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or astrologer. (10)
These astrologers were right. There was no person on earth who could do what King Nebuchadnezzar was asking and both tell and interpret his dream. They recognized that only God (or the gods, in their case), could do such a thing. Daniel also knew this. He said as much to Nebuchadnezzar: “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries.”
Daniel was unashamed in admitting that he was not the one doing the telling or the interpreting. As soon as the mystery was revealed to him, Daniel thanked and praised God for giving him wisdom and power. He gave all the credit to God.
Daniel had no greater wisdom than anyone else. The difference between him and the astrologers was that Daniel personally knew and believed in the power of God, the astrologers only verbally knew of Him.
Focus Verse: Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. (8)
Even if we are not elders in the church, these are good qualities for us all to have. Anyone who is a follower of Jesus the Christ should love what is good, hate what is evil, practice self-control, and strive to be holy in everything.