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"Be Not Conformed" continued...

Daniel in Babylon

“8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. 9 Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. 10 And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which [are] of your sort? then shall ye make [me] endanger my head to the king. 11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. 13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king's meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants. 14 So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. 15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat. 16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.” (Daniel 1:8-16)

After being taken captive by the Babylonians, Daniel found himself in the middle of a pagan nation. Under the possibility of death, he rejected their culture when it was in opposition to God. First, we see how Daniel rejected the king’s meat. If he had chosen to eat it, as a Jew he would have eaten unclean foods. Worse yet, he would have been honoring the Babylonian gods by taking food and drink that was dedicated to their idols. God blessed Daniel’s choice and “brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.” Daniel was not influenced by his culture.

Later in Daniel 6, the presidents (governors) and princes plotted against Daniel. They were envious of his good standing and power in the kingdom by that time and knew that a legitimate charge could not be found against him. Daniel was a good citizen, but the governors and princes were aware that he would not do anything that would compromise his faith. After tricking King Darius into signing a decree that men must worship him alone as a god for 30 days, the governors and princes thought they had Daniel trapped. Daniel knew the decree had been signed, but he didn’t care. He prayed to God just like he always did and was thrown into the den of lions. We all know the end result. God saved Daniel from the lions, and those that plotted against him were eaten instead.

Daniel honored his country and government (which God does call us to do), but he rejected anything that would make him disobey God. What kind of culture do we face in the United States? The situations in Sodom and Babylon may seem like totally different societies. What corrupted those days still corrupts the world around us. It is simply called sin.

The United States

Sin is against God, and there is much about our society that is against God. We see constant attacks from atheist and secular organizations fighting to remove any mention of God from our public lives. Long ago, people tried to remove God from school. The attacks upon Christ and His followers continue. It is not uncommon to see persecution of Christians in our social circles, in entertainment, and sadly in our government at times.

Some people may think we are far removed from the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, but we live in a sex culture. You cannot read the news, watch a movie, or even listen to the radio without being bombarded with it. NFL star Tim Tebow, known for his Christian faith, once stated that he was a virgin and saving himself for marriage. How did the secular culture respond? Well, jokes from comedians for sure, but several campaigns also popped up to “help” Tim Tebow lose his virginity before marriage. On the flip side of morality, NBA star Jason Collins announced he was gay in 2013. How did the secular culture respond? He was hailed as a hero and even received a call from the President of the United States congratulating him. Is God being honored? Are we becoming numb by the sexual sins all around us?

Our society is also a huge drug and alcohol culture. In just one year, drug and alcohol abuse cost Greenville County $503 million dollars. We have pop stars like Miley Cyrus singing about the joys of the drug ecstasy. Men and women will do anything for drugs too. After the devastating 2013 tornadoes in Ohio, two men were found rummaging through the rubble trying to find pills in medicine cabinets. They were posing as rescue crew members. Is God being honored? Are we finding ourselves enjoying getting high or feeling a buzz?

The crime and gangs that are found in basically every neighborhood continually pervert society. Like Lot’s sin of drunkenness led to another sin, the sins involved in drugs often lead to criminal activity. The lust of money can also be seen driving people to steal and kill. In Atlanta in 2013, an 18 year old boy killed a 13 month old child in a stroller by shooting him in the face. The boy was trying to rob the child’s mother and murdered the child when the mother said she had no money. The 18 year old is just a growing statistic among the “gangster” mentality that so many young people are influenced by. Is God being honored? Do we find ourselves forsaking the law for personal gain?

The love of money has drawn our society to do terrible things. In 2013, an abortion doctor named Kermit Gosnell was arrested and charged with 3 counts of 1st degree murder. He was making 1.8 million a year by killing unborn children. Our “choice” culture has allowed for babies to be aborted at 24 weeks. That is 6 months!!! This abortion clinic, that had gone unregulated for 17 years, was killing children even beyond 24 weeks. They were born alive, and their spines were being cut by a pair of scissors. Some of the babies were alive and crying for 27 minutes before being brutally murdered. Is God being honored? Do we accept abortion as ok?

Modern Day Sodom and Babylon

Cultures have changed and warped into different things over the years, but the Devil still maintains his influence. We are living in a modern day Sodom and Babylon. The question is how we are responding to the evil all around. As Christians, are we being swayed by our culture? What are your views on… Sex? Alcohol? Wealth? Abortion? Sin?

We must not become numb like Lot, and we must take heed lest we fall! Christians are to be good citizens wherever we live, but also like Daniel, we are to reject anything that would make us disobey God. Are we looking at everything through a Christian worldview? Measure everything by God’s Word and Spirit. Take heart, because we have overcome the world through our Lord Jesus Christ!

From: Volume 2 - Issue 1


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