Daniel lived most of his life in Babylon. When we try to think about what we have in common with an Old Testament believer like Daniel, the New Testament writers hold out this truth: exile. We live on this earth, but we are not of this earth. We live in this country, but we are not of this country. Instead, we belong to God’s kingdom. Our citizenship is not defined by geographical boundaries, political affiliation, or cultural background. Our citizenship is defined by our relationship to God.
Despite this truth, we do live with the constant pressure of the creeping assimilation of Babylon. In this sense, Babylon the city becomes Babylon the metaphor. This Babylon is the kingdom of this world which exists to destroy the work of God and consume this whole earthly reality. And so we do live in the middle of Babylon, but as exiles from our true home where we find our lasting citizenship. We have to remember God’s sovereign plan for our good working in the midst of Babylon’s plan for us as it relates to our isolation, identity, narrative, and provision. That is hard, but that is the life of faith.
Read Daniel 1:1-21
What from the first chapter of Daniel do you identify with most closely?
How do you wrestle with the “Babylonian” pressure toward isolation, identity, narrative, and provision?
How do you see the believers in this in this passage standing firm in their God-given identity, narrative, and provision?
What pressure toward Babylon assimilation do you sense right now?
Pray for each other to find your identity, narrative, and provision in the Lord.