Cream of the Crop

The king ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his court officials, to bring some of the Israelites from the royal family and from the nobility – young men without any physical defect, good-looking, suitable for instruction in all wisdom, knowledgeable, perceptive, and capable of serving in the kings’s palace – and to teach them the Chaldean language and literature. Daniel 1:3-4 HCSB

I have always heard the idiom “cream of the crop” and wondered where it originated. There is no way to know exactly, but cream has always been referred to as the richest part of the milk that rises to the top. The noun “cream” has been used since the 16th century to mean the best of the best. “The cream of the market” was used in some English proverbs by John Ray in 1678. Certainly, “cream of the crop” started out meaning the best of the crop, but has evolved to mean the best of anything in the 20th century.

King Nebuchadnezzar had deported the upper class and nobility from Jerusalem and Israel into captivity. These people were obviously leaders and could pose a threat to King Nebuchadnezzar, so it was to his advantage to maintain control of them. His plan was to train the brightest and best people (cream of the crop) to serve in His royal court. Daniel and his three friends were chosen to be a part of this elite group. They were to be given the best of the foods and wine but also the best of training and education.

Challenge: Know that because Jesus is your Lord and Savior, you are one of His chosen people. You have been chosen to serve in His service. He has promised to be with you. Thank God for the many blessings He has provided because you are one of His children. Strive to be the “cream of the crop” at any and everything you do.

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