In episode one of this series, we looked into some historical background of Judah during the days of Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel. That helped us to understand the context of Daniel chapter 1, drawing useful lessons from the same.
We shall now proceed to define the terms influence and divine influencer, understand what Babylon signifies in our context and analyse one of the important requirements of a divine influencer.
Remember that our lead Scripture is Daniel 1 verse 4, “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.”
DEFINITION OF AN INFLUENCER
According to the American heritage dictionary, influence is the power to sway or affect based on prestige, wealth, ability, or position. An effect or change produced by influence.
Similar is the definition of the Oxford Dictionary of English – the capacity to affect the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself. But more interesting is another definition – the power to shape policy or ensure favourable treatment from someone.
It then follows that a divine influencer is a person that has the power to shape policies, to sway, create or alter trends, or has the capacity to affect the character, development or behaviour of someone or something.
BABYLON IN OUR CONTEXT
We won’t talk about the mystical Babel described by Daniel because that’s beyond the scope of this article. Rather we’ll focus on our contextual description of Babylon, which refers to the ungodly and unholy system prevalent in our world today.
A system that has taken many captive and demands that everyone bow to her gods of sin and pleasure.
Whenever an empire rules, it imposes its system upon everyone living in her territory. And just as the Pharaohs and emperors renamed the kings they installed and captives they carried away, so is the worldly system attempting and in some cases prevailing in redefining our values. They promote ungodly practices while frowning at the gospel message of the risen Christ.
The world hates us because it hated Christ first.
THE REQUIREMENTS TO BECOME A DIVINE INFLUENCER (Daniel 1:3-5):
And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes. – Daniel 1:3
Now, upon his return to Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar called Ashpenaz, the master of his Eunuchs, to bring certain children of Israel. It’s important to note the pronoun “certain”. Although the original script of the Bible in Hebrew doesn’t contain that word it completely makes sense that it’s there.
Because it wouldn’t have been possible for the king to ask that the whole children of Israel that were taken captive be brought to serve as courtiers. There must have been a selection.
That same selection is what takes place today in almost every sector of life and business. There are always a set of criteria to meet if you must serve in the king’s palace and by extension influence the decisions made in Babylon.
1. You must be of the king’s seed and the princes
Nebuchadnezzar specifically asks that the children be drawn from the king’s seed and the princes. There was a reason for this requirement. Children from a royal family and nobility are known to have some training, a different pattern of upbringing from the rest of the populace; they’ve seen how matters are conducted in the palace of Judah and so can easily be educated to fit into the palace of Babylon.
Also, during the 18-month siege, the men of Jerusalem demonstrated such skill and strength despite the darts thrown at them and the inability to access provisions outside the city walls.
Lessons for an intending Divine influencer
Now, if you must make an impact, influencing your generation, you must proceed from the royal family. The royal family in our context is nothing but the royal family of God. Royalty denotes the existence of a kingdom and to have a KINGdom, you must have a KING.
The royal family or kingdom of God has God as her KING. So, to bring the influence, dominion, rulership of God over the worldly systems, you must belong to God’s kingdom. Simply put, you must be born again and have your name written in God’s book of life. That’s the first step.
Apostle Peter wrote “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God; which had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (1 Peter 2:9-10; 2 Tim. 1:9; John 3:3-8; Revelation 1:5-6; 5:10)
So, there is a need to be born into the royal family of God today if you want to become an influencer in Babylon.
And it’s very simple, just wholeheartedly believe in Jesus Christ, that He died for your sins, that He resurrected to demonstrate that sin has no power over you again, give Him your life, renounce your sins and invite Him into your heart.
Tell Him that you’re sorry for the life you’ve led until now. He’ll forgive you and your sins will be washed away and your name will be written in the Book of Life. (revelation 3:20; Isaiah 1:18; Psalms 103:12-14; 1 John 1:9)
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