The Youth’s Instructor


November 22, 1894

Words to the Young


Our God is, and he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Daniel sought the Lord when the decree went forth to slay all the wise men of the kingdom of Babylon because they could not relate or interpret a dream which had gone from the king's mind. Nebuchadnezzar demanded not only the interpretation of the dream, but the relation of the dream itself. If the wise men would supply this, he would accept it as a proof of their claim as magicians and astrologers. The magicians were full of fear and trembling. They declared that the request of the king was something unreasonable, and the test beyond that which had ever been required of any man. The king became furious, and acted like all men who have great power and uncontrollable passions. He decided that every one of them should be put to death, and as Daniel and his fellows were numbered with the wise men, they also were to share this fate. This manner of action is what we may expect from men who are in high authority, and are controlled by unholy passion. YI November 22, 1894, par. 1

Daniel came before the king, and pleaded for time to bring this matter before the supreme court of the universe, from whose decision there could be no appeal. When his request was granted, Daniel laid the whole matter before his companions, who were united with him in worshiping the true God. The matter was fully considered, and on their bended knees they pleaded that God would give them the power and wisdom that would alone avail them in their great necessity. They asked God that he would so arrange matters that they need not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. YI November 22, 1894, par. 2

“Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.” They had not sought the mercies of God in vain. Then Daniel called together his companions, and thanked God that their prayers had been heard and answered, and they presented to God an offering of praise and thanksgiving, that was wholly acceptable to the Ruler of the universe. “Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God forever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: and he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: he revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.” Daniel and his fellows had a praise meeting, and all the universe of heaven united with them in thanksgiving. Daniel said: “I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter. Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him: Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will show unto the king the interpretation.” YI November 22, 1894, par. 3

Daniel was imbued with the Spirit of Jesus Christ, and he pleaded that the wise men of Babylon should not be destroyed. The followers of Christ do not possess the attributes of Satan, which make it a pleasure to grieve and afflict the creatures of God. They have the Spirit of their Master, who said, “The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” “I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Had Daniel possessed the quality of religious zeal which is so quickly inflamed today in the churches, when men are led to afflict and oppress and destroy those who do not serve God after their prescribed plan, he would have said to Arioch: “These men who claim to be wise men are deceiving the king. They have not the knowledge they claim to have, and should be destroyed. They dishonor the God of heaven; they serve idols, and their lives in no way do honor to God: let them die: but bring me in before the king, and I will show unto the king the interpretation.” YI November 22, 1894, par. 4

The transforming grace of God was made manifest in his servant, and he pleaded most earnestly for the lives of the very men who afterward in a secret, underhand manner made plans by which they thought to put an end to the life of Daniel. These men became jealous of Daniel, because he found favor with kings and nobles, and was honored as the greatest man in Babylon. “Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation. The king answered and said to Daniel, ... Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof? Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, show unto the king; but there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these; as for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass.” Then in all humility of mind he acknowledges that the wisdom is not in him, but in the God of heaven, and that the vision has been revealed to him for the sake of God's servants, and that the king might know the thoughts of his heart. YI November 22, 1894, par. 5

I would impress upon the youth that Daniel's God is their God, and whatever difficulty may arise, let them do as did Daniel, “desire mercies of the God of heaven.” YI November 22, 1894, par. 6

“And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off forever.” YI November 22, 1894, par. 7

The dying charge of David to his son Solomon, with its warning and promise, is placed on record for the benefit of both parents and children. Parents should faithfully guard the feet of the inexperienced youth, and educate and train them to fear and love God, and to serve him with undivided heart. The youth are to heed the admonitions that come down to them in the sacred records through the ages to our time, that they may be wise in heavenly wisdom. “The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.” This was written to Israel at a time when it is recorded that Israel had been without “the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law.” But “when they in their trouble did turn unto the Lord God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them.” YI November 22, 1894, par. 8

There are thousands today who have forsaken the law, and are making it void. God sends his messengers with a message in order that they may be convicted of their sins, and turn from transgression to the path of obedience. When Israel cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and sought him, he was found of them. In this statement there is great encouragement for those who are cold and backslidden to seek the Lord; they have the promise that he will be found of them in the day when they seek him with the whole heart. YI November 22, 1894, par. 9

We need to look constantly to our heavenly Father for wisdom and guidance: for we must bear in mind the fact that God holds us accountable for improving the capabilities and powers that he has given us. We are to seek to reach the highest standard of efficiency. This requires that we be much engaged in earnest prayer; that we be shut in with God, holding communion with our Lord Jesus Christ. Our young men and young women should be workers devoted to the Master's service. If they will walk in the light which the Lord has permitted to shine upon them, they will see precious opportunities which they may improve, and do God's will from the heart. In doing this, the affections will become pure, refined, and sanctified, and they may grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. “Be strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.” YI November 22, 1894, par. 10

Mrs. E. G. White