Updated: May 20
The Book of Daniel is most popular for its apocalyptic prophecies, three friends being thrown into a fire and not burning, and Daniel himself being thrown into a lion’s den and being protected by God.
However, I want to talk about the settings for this story because the backdrop may give comfort to some believers today (Daniel 1).
This story takes place in Babylon. Based off of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and Daniel’s divine interpretation, we know Babylon is still around today and thriving (for now).
Historically, Babylon has always been known for paganism and mysticism.
After the destruction of Jerusalem, Daniel and all the other captured Israelites were forced to live in this city surrounded by all kinds of witchcraft and satanism. Some of them succumbed to their surroundings (hence where Jewish mysticism and the Babylonian Talmud came from), but many stood firm to serve the God of Israel.
Daniel and the other Israelites were forced to go to the Babylonian schools to be trained in all things God is against (Leviticus 19 & 20). They refused to eat foods forbidden by God and instead asked for vegetables and water.
Even though Daniel and those who stood firm were surrounded by evil, they still chose to uphold the laws of God and put their faith in Him no matter what. God granted them favor in the eyes of their enemies. (Read the story of Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego in the Book of Daniel Chapter 3)
Shadrach, Meschach, Abednego, and Daniel - These four men of God don’t riot; they go to these schools. However, it doesn’t affect them and they aren’t influenced by it at all. They stay loyal and focused on God. The best part is God grants them more knowledge and insight than anyone else in these mystery schools. While all the Babylonians were using witchcraft and failing miserably, these four men (and whoever else remained faithful to God while under captivity in Babylon), succeed in all and are protected in complete totality. God takes care of His own in all situations. His glory will always go back to His Kingdom!
We are currently living in a modern day Babylon system; we are surrounded by evil of all kinds, the subtle and the not so subtle. But just like Daniel and other faithful and obedient Israelites, we should have faith that God is bigger than all of this and He takes care of His own in all situations.
Not only is the Book of Daniel telling us of things to come - it’s a book of obedience, faith, trust, and HOPE! It is the very definition of being in the world, but not of it (Romans 12:2). There may be times we have to disobey - if it prevents us from being obedient to God or forces us to worship another god - for example.
We will see tribulations, but we will overcome them with God on our side. To live is Christ, to die is gain!
1 Corinthians 15:55-57 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Credit: I did add and tweek some things; but the meat of the message is from _espied on IG. Go check it out :)
Home page for more blog posts: https://www.wiseandgentle.com/
More also in the comment section below. Favor from God: How do we receive it? What are the "conditions"? Does He just sprinkle it down to all who ask for it?
Updated with dream:
I would like to update with a dream that I had. I don’t normally have many dreams that I can remember, but I woke up early 5/19/23 with something that I couldn’t shake.
My dream was simple, really. I was in a car with enemies. They were men – that’s all I remember. I don’t remember what they looked like or anything. I just remember they were symbolic of “enemies".
I remember sitting there thinking, “Look at me sitting right here next to my enemies and I’m doing just fine! Even at peace!”
I woke up after that. But the thoughts that kept coming up after that is what I felt led sharing. I thought of Daniel in Babylon. I thought of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. I thought of this note here “Believers Today who are Living in a Modern Babylonian System”. I thought about how they lived, worked, and thrived IN actual Babylon, never losing faith and always being obedient. Of course, there were times like getting thrown in a fire or being set up by Nebuchadnezzar’s men that they were tested. But they didn’t bend, break, or burn.
I had several snippet thoughts come up after I woke up and jotted them down.
You will be hated for the sake of Christ. But your enemies can't and won't find fault with you. You'll be hated simply for Christ. Not because of all the "truth" you shared or anything outside of biblical truth.
I thought, “Warrior, choose your battles carefully and with the wisdom of God.” What hill are you willing to die on? The worldly truths, important as they may be? Or the truth in Christ?
Some only want to serve Jesus on the table flipping days. There WILL be table flipping days, but this requires God's wisdom and discernment.
Some scripture to consider as there is wisdom on both sides of this. How will you be hated by all, yet you are seeking to live peaceably among all men? There is way more scripture, but the linked scripture below is a great head start to answering this question with God's wisdom:
If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Romans 12:18
And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. Matthew 10:22
Woe to you when all men speak well of you, For so did their fathers to the false prophets. Luke 6:26