We launch a new stream today: Exile. The exile occurred when the nation of Israel was taken off to Babylon.
We continue to read from the NIV this week.
Serena mentioned the Daniel Fast during this episode.
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“Lord Jesus, you call us to more, you offer us more, you beckon us to come higher into your will and to be mentored for more in the Holy Spirit. Our response to your invite determines our effectiveness in your Kingdom. May we come to you as you have called us to. Amen.”
115+ years after the Northern Kingdom fell to Assyria, Daniel was a young teen in Judah.
It was 605 B.C. and Babylon’s first siege of the Southern Kingdom was underway. It was that same year that Daniel was taken captive to Babylon from Judah. And keep in mind that this was no vacation with concierge, cool drinks, and lovely meals in the shade. The journey was brutal, and Daniel likely walked the entire 900 dusty miles. Would you have complained?
This will be mentioned later but just so you know, Ezekiel was also a young boy taken captive at the same time. They knew each other. See Ezekiel 14:14. And whereas Ezekiel was held (and did his astounding writing) in a meager rural setting in the western part of this pagan empire, Daniel was ushered into the King’s realm where his character ends up shaking the empire in a powerful way. For what it’s worth, Habakkuk and Obadiah also are contemporaries of Daniel. It was a tough time to be alive and to live for our Lord. But Daniel thrived, shined for God, had a sterling testimony, and kept his honor in the toughest of settings. We can do the same in any setting as well for nothing excuses us from living for God.
It is worth knowing that Daniel 01 is collateral/(coincidental?) with II Kings 24:1ff and II Chronicles 36:5ff. So Daniel is culled from the crowd in Babylon and put in training to serve the King of Babylon. Daniel is attractive, bright, insightful, he becomes a wealth of knowledge. Remember he is trained in the ways of Babylon just as Moses is trained in all the ways of the Egyptians (Acts 7:22) roughly 800 years prior. Stephen asserted this in his speech that rattled Jerusalem’s leaders. While on the topic of learning other things, let’s not be so rattled when we are required to learn certain systems that aren’t exactly biblical models. This is the most effective way to reach other people. Missionaries have been doing this for nearly 20 centuries.
Daniel is given a Babylonian name – though we remember him as “Daniel” his Hebrew name. His three friends: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego however are remembered for their Babylonian names, not their Hebrew names. [little tidbit there]. Daniel’s character shines yet further as he cordially asked to be dismissed from the King’s food and table, opting to adhere to a meager, cleaner, kosher diet. The king’s food had been sacrificed to idols and the setting that it was served in was altogether Babylonian. My husband has read commentaries that describe dining with a Babylonian king and it was setting that required decent people to leave the room! So God honored Daniel and the other three. He gave them wisdom that made them without peer in the entire empire. They were ten times better than any of the Babylonians! We can do excellent for God too.