AMONG the questions that naturally arise when one reads the history of Daniel and his three friends are these: Why, with all the wisdom and spiritual understanding which these men possessed and were so well able to prove, were they found in a condition of captivity to a foreign power that had no sympathy whatever with their religious beliefs, but was decidedly heathen in its worship of idols? Why was it not possible for these men to exercise their spiritual insight and vision so that, instead of falling victims to the disaster that befell their nation as a whole, they might at least have saved themselves from the fate that befell those of less understanding? Or, again, why was it not possible that the understanding of these men should have saved the whole nation of Judah from captivity to an alien power? Surely they were possessed of a high degree of spiritual understanding when they could willingly submit their bodies to the lions or to the flames, and suffer no consequences such as would attach to a like course with human beings less spirituailly-minded. Could not absolute reliance upon their God, the one and only true God, have saved them from the necessity of passing through such tests of their faith and understanding? Could it not have shielded them from the shafts of malice and hatred, and have allowed them to dwell in safety in quiet habitations? Could not the wisdom vouchsafed to Daniel, which enabled him to tell the king his forgotten vision after all the Chaldean wise men had been sentenced to death because of their inability to answer the king's seemingly absurd demand—could not such wisdom have foreseen the disaster which was to befall Judah, and have warded it off? Many questions of this nature arise.
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