It was no fluke that Nebuchadnezzar’s scheme to wipe out the Hebrew culture began with the indoctrination of children. He knew that the impressionable minds of young people were capable of being shaped and molded. He figured if he could change the young people, he could rob the culture of its power.
Jesus himself placed a high priority on children, scolding his disciples for keeping them away. From today’s Scripture, it’s obvious we will be held accountable for our impact on their spiritual upbringing.
At the same time, we shouldn’t underestimate their spiritual maturity and potential impact on the Kingdom. Around the world, it’s typically young people at the forefront of spiritual revivals and cultural revolutions.
The same was true for Babylon. But while the king hoped to use Daniel and his friends to systematically erase the Hebrew culture, God had the exact opposite plan. He blessed them with wisdom and understanding in order to establish them as rulers in this foreign land. From their places of authority, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah become great witnesses to the power and faithfulness of the one true God of heaven.
Lord, help me not to minimize the abilities of young people around me but to support them as God uses them as a catalyst for cultural and spiritual change. Amen.