A Forgotten Wise Man


The queen, because of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banqueting hall, and the queen declared, “O king, live forever! Let not your thoughts alarm you or your color change. There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the spirit of the holy gods. In the days of your father, light and understanding and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods were found in him, and King Nebuchadnezzar, your father—your father the king—made him chief of the magicians, enchanters, Chaldeans, and astrologers, because an excellent spirit, knowledge, and understanding to interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve problems were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar. Now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation.”

Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king answered and said to Daniel, “You are that Daniel, one of the exiles of Judah, whom the king my father brought from Judah. I have heard of you that the spirit of the gods is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you. Now the wise men, the enchanters, have been brought in before me to read this writing and make known to me its interpretation, but they could not show the interpretation of the matter. But I have heard that you can give interpretations and solve problems. Now if you can read the writing and make known to me its interpretation, you shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around your neck and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.” Daniel 5:10-16 ESV

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. . . . For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. I Corinthians 1:18-21, 25 ESV


Luke Skywalker was a young man who lived on a planet far away on a farm with his uncle and aunt. One day his uncle brought home a couple of ‘droids he had bought from scavengers, and Luke discovered part of a secret message for someone named Obi-Wan Kenobi hidden inside one of them. Luke wanted to hear the rest of the message and to understand what it meant, and he also wanted to know who Obi-Wan was. When the little ‘droid with the message left by himself to find Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke went after him, they eventually found an old  hermit named Ben Kenobi. Ben had once been a powerful Jedi knight named Obi-Wan, but most people had forgotten him, and he lived far away from others by himself. But the princess who had sent the message knew about him, and now she was asking him for help in a time of terrible trouble.

Daniel had once been the greatest wise man in Nebuchadnezzar’s court, but now Nebuchadnezzar was dead and Daniel was an old man. Most people had forgotten about him or had never heard about him, and when the ghostly hand wrote a message on the wall of the palace at a party and King Belshazzar called all his wise men, he didn’t call Daniel. Then the queen, who might have been his mother, came in and told King Belshazzar about Daniel, and how great he had been in Nebuchadnezzar’s court, and how wise he was. She encouraged the king to call for Daniel, because she was sure he would be able to help. So Belshazzar called Daniel and had him brought to court right away. He asked him to read the message the hand had written on the wall and to explain what it meant.

Daniel was old and forgotten, but he had the wisdom of the Lord. Sometimes God’s wisdom is forgotten, and sometimes people think God’s wisdom is foolish, but the wisdom of the Lord is greater than the greatest human wisdom could ever be. God’s greatest wisdom was shown in Jesus. It’s hard for many people to understand why God would become a human being and allow himself to be beaten and whipped and put on a cross to die. But God worked through the cross to defeat death and all the forces of evil and to bring us back to himself. Through Jesus’ weakness God showed his strength, and through a death that seemed foolish and pointless, God showed the greatest wisdom of all.


Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for showing us your wisdom and your love through Jesus. In His Name, Amen.


Lucas, George, dir. Star Wars 20th Century Fox, 1977. Film.