This begins my study of the Book of Daniel.
As I read Daniel chapter 1, the first thing that stood out to me was in verse 2, "the Lord GAVE Jehoiakim". This shows that God is in control. We may not understand why God does what He does, but He is a just and holy God, therefore, He does require obedience and there are consequences to disobedience.
The next thing that stood out was in verse 4, "young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve". Out of the list of characteristics, the one that stood out the most was, "had ability to serve".
As I focus this year on "Create/Renew" (Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10), that would definitely encompass the ability to serve. Just as important as the action of serving, the attitude of serving is equally as important.
Action and attitude of serving are the results of a clean heart and steadfast spirit.