March 24, 2015
READ: Daniel 1:8-20
Whenever the king consulted them in any matter requiring wisdom and balanced judgement, he found them ten times more capable than any of the magicians and enchanters in his entire kingdom (v.20).
My cousin Tracy has the ability to make any destination feel like home. As a young single woman, I had moved to a flat in England. I was there for a few months when Tracy arrived from Australia. Although I’d been given furniture to fill my small rental, I was still sleeping on top of one of the beds in a sleeping bag. Tracy had been with me just a few days when I returned from work to find the house redecorated with proper bedding, a tablecloth for the dining room table and a new vase filled with fresh cut flowers. She had transformed my sparse living space into a cozy home away from home.
Following the takeover of Jerusalem by King Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel was captured, exiled from his homeland of Judah and taken to Babylon where he was forced to learn another language and fit into a foreign culture (Daniel 1:3-5). The intense changes were against Daniel’s wishes, and yet he and his friends flourished where they were planted. In fact, they were “ten times more capable than any of the magicians and enchanters in [the] kingdom” (v.20).
We often deceive ourselves into thinking that we would be able to thrive if we could just have our choice of life with more money, a better job, a more understanding spouse and better health. Daniel served under several kings, and even though his beliefs were under constant threat, he excelled and consistently proved himself faithful to God—the One who was with him at the dinner table, in the presence of kings and in the lion’s den (1:8-15,20, 3:19-27, 6:13-23).
With God at work in your ‘Babylon’, or your ‘less than perfect’ circumstance, you too can settle, grow and thrive there.
365-day plan: 1 Samuel 10:1-27
Read Jeremiah 29:4-7 and see how God encouraged His people to flourish even though they had been exiled.
What wants and wishes do you need to lay at God’s feet? How has God encouraged you to flourish in the life He’s provided for you?