This week, we started our new sermon series, “Shining in Babylon.” During this series, we will walk through the Book of Daniel together, covering a chapter each week. Here’s a quick overview of our first week!
*This blog post is a summary from Pastor Bobby’s sermon on 5/29/2022. You can find the sermon video below.
The Book of Daniel opens with the Jews being led off into Babylonian captivity. This takes place during the reign of Jehoiakim, king of Judah. Despite repeated warnings from prophets, the nation of Israel had been rejecting God and worshiping idols. Their rejection of God led to Israel’s defeat and eventual exile.
Daniel was taken from his home (most likely as a teenager) and was brought to Babylon. He was then immersed into the Babylonian culture. But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself by eating the king’s food or drinking wine. He made this decision, not because eating the food or drinking wine was necessarily sinful, but because he wanted to do what he could to get closer to God. He was not able to follow the framework that God had laid out for his people but he resolved to do what he could to consecrate himself and connect with the Lord.
Despite eating only vegetables, Daniel and his three friends looked better than all the youths who ate the king’s food. God blessed Daniel and his friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, with “learning and skill in all literature and wisdom.” He also gave Daniel understanding in visions and dreams.
When the king spoke with Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Adednego, he found them to be “ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom.” God blessed them with compassion, calories, and competency!
Daniel 1 shows us that consecration leads to revelation, which leads to elevation. Daniel resolved to consecrate himself and God blessed him for that. When we resolve to follow God, He will begin to reveal to us how to live in our own version of Babylon.
Is there anything that God might be calling you to put off to set yourself apart for Him? Ask God to guide you this week and reveal to you what it looks like to be a distinctive follower of Jesus in Babylon.
Mandy manages CFC’s social media presence. She started attending CFC in 2016 after God led her to visit the church with her husband, Ben. Mandy also serves on the Writing and Research Team for the Women’s Ministry and as a preschool teacher for Community Kids. She is grateful for the opportunity to combine her love of content creation with her desire to serve the Lord. Mandy lives in Lancaster with Ben and their three girls: Elyse, Evelyn, and Ella.