Character Study: Daniel and John

Continuation …

The first post in this two-part series summarizes the results of my examinations of the lives of Noah and Job, men who the “holy” men of God thought were holy. Presented below are the results of my study of lives of Daniel the Prophet and John the Baptist.

  • Daniel was a young man who was taken into captivity in Babylon. Chosen by God to be a prophet to the exiles, he was given the ability to interpret dreams and visions. Chosen to serve the king of Babylon because: (a) he was from noble Jewish lineage; and (b) he and his companions were deemed to be, what we would call today “the best and the brightest”. Young men who, because of their intelligence, it would be easy to teach them the ways of the nation where they now lived and they could be very useful to the ruler, in so many ways. Daniel proved to be so useful, that the king often called on him for advice and wisdom. His peers (other members of the king’s court; not his friends) became so jealous and envious of this special relationship, they plotted to have him killed. Alas! The evil plan backfired and those who would have killed Daniel, ended up the way they had hoped Daniel would end up. Daniel counseled 3 kings — Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus and Darius — but served only one God, faithfully, all the days of his life; even though he was a slave, a captive in a foreign land.
  • John the Baptist, was the cousin of Jesus, a preacher who lived in the wilderness. He survived by eating locusts and wild honey. One wonders how he could appeal to anyone. The description of him sounds like a mad man. Yet he preached a message of repentance so powerful and convicting that many came to him to be baptized and begin a new life. He was not known for being politically correct. In fact his speech was so plain, it cost him his life. He spoke out publicly against the unlawful relationship between a political ruler who took his brother’s wife as his own. Though John had publicly condemned his relationship, the ruler himself respected John as a holy man. He imprisoned him but had no intentions of taking his life. The wife, on the other hand, wanted John the Baptist dead! She succeeded in getting what her heart desired. It’s a gruesome story. John the Baptist, this righteous man, was beheaded for speaking the truth. But not before he had accomplished his mission. His mission was point others to Jesus. He did that.

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Hope you derive a benefit from this character study. I did.

Originally published at on May 14, 2017.