The theme of exile runs through the narrative of scripture. Peter picks up on this theme when he identifies Christian believers as “elect exiles” in 1 Peter 1:1. Being an exile means that we do not belong to the place where we live. Instead, we belong to another country and kingdom. Our citizenship and identity is there. This means that our experience in this world can be bumpy. It is full of ups and downs. This is what we see in the lives of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.

If we look at Daniel 1 through the lens of loss we see three facets of loss. These boys had been physically displaced, renamed, and had their future plans taken away. How do we live fruitfully and hopefully for God when we experience this kind of loss? The answer lies in who God is. For example, consider how the truths of Psalm 23 may have pointed Daniel to the Lord through many ups and downs.

Read Daniel 1:17-21 and Psalm 23

What does Psalm 23 tell us about the character of the Lord as Daniel and his friends walked through the events of Daniel chapter 1?

What hope does this hold out to us this week?

What ups and downs are you experiencing that threatens to contradict our hope in God?

How is your identity as an exile being tested right now?

Pray for each other to find your hope in the Lord this week.