Daniel and the War Against the Innocent
I began teaching the book of Daniel last week…not as a prophecy guide, but as a another way of understanding how Gods people can live in exile.
The New Testament makes it clear that this is the way we are to understand our place in the world in this age, waiting for the age to come.
I started my prep work as always on chapter one…and as I worked through it, I saw something that may or may not be insightful in regard to one way the world wars against the people and ways of God.
First, it re-educates the young people.
“Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family and of the nobility, youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king’s palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans.” (Daniel 1:3–4 ESV)
Second it changes their names…their very identities.
“And the chief of the eunuchs gave them names: Daniel he called Belteshazzar, Hananiah he called Shadrach, Mishael he called Meshach, and Azariah he called Abednego.” (Daniel 1:7 ESV)
Third, it changes their sexual identities.
Many modern commentators believe that Daniel and his friends were made eunuchs to serve the Babylonian court.
While much about the book of Daniel is debated, what is pretty clear is that the first chapters represent the struggle between what Augustine called “The City of Man” against “The City of God”… or the rulers of this age against the Ruler of the kingdom to come.
While it is possible that I am suffering from a lack of sleep and too much stress leading to delusional Bible interpretation, it is also possible that we have found a pattern of behaviors that the enemy has found successful through the ages…and is still using today.
The wave of transgender activism seeking to normalize the mangling of childrens minds and bodies from an early age through drugs and surgery and demanding acceptance of such a brutal practice may have its origins in the beast empires that came before.
I confess that I have not fully worked through this and I welcome constructive criticism and interaction.
As I recall, there have been more recent times when governments have taken our children and turned them against their parents, their schools and their religions…Hitler Youth for example, Japan took children and taught them martial arts and the ways of the warrior…all less than 100 years ago. Todays children are being scooped up into a world of confusion, greed and immorality. Todays children have not been blessed by biblical teachings, instead they have been taught that they are entitled, have no accountability and more damaging yet, the parents have no clue, much less the authority that comes from sound biblical teaching. We who do not recognize history from the bible or other works, are bound to repeat it over and over again. Perhaps that is why Jesus calls us His sheep…we follow whoever catches our attention the best. Whether it comes from the current culture leanings or worse yet even if it comes from the pulpit, we are doomed to be captives in Babylon, just like Daniel. God have mercy on us.
Fine article! I believe you are accurate in your thoughts, and I see it happening in other ways, too. If you don’t believe in the reality of COViD, children are taught to fear vaccines and believe they will be injected with mind-controlling substances. Folks who are in love with MAGA believe in a mythical American paradise that never existed and that the only way to reform the government is by overthrowing it. Children are taught to fear the current government and that guns to take down who you disagree with is a normal thing. I fear for the next 50 years.
What I love about Daniel is how he so wisely dealt with both the society and the government of his day. He was well-educated, skilled at dealing with people, but he knew when he could not dishonor God. I hope to always be that way dealing with our present, broken society.
The complete disregard for truth in this culture has me completely discouraged.
Covid has exposed us in so many ways…radicals on both sides believe whatever suits their narrative and curse whoever disagrees.
I am at a total loss as to how to proceed for the most part…
I am not always sure how to proceed, either. I pray much and try to approach people from a position of love, but always in a spirit of truth. It has meant the sacrifice of a few relationships, but not because I initiated. I have noticed that some folks with whom I disagree on gender issues or COVID issues are completely disarmed when I don’t start yelling at them. We dehumanize people before we actually listen to them. We do need to listen, and then respond with truth.
The other thing about Daniel, he usually was confrontational after being confronted-but always respectful, never petty, and clear. I strive for that, too.
Michael, these observations and interpretations are outstanding.
I think it’s worth exploring in a later piece where, when, and why Daniel refused to comply…and what he did in response to all that was happening to him.
This is good stuff, Michael! Looking forward to future teachings from Daniel, and thankful they won’t be prophecy updates.
Michael, how old was Daniel and his comrades during this exile? If your inference and interpretation are correct, I would say that the enemy has probably intensified his attacks on the Innocence of children. All you need to do is look at the recent Balenciaga ad campaign and let that sink in. And no, this isn’t about Qanon that the New York Times would try to insinuate.
They were probably teenagers…we do live in troubled times…
I think your dead on with this .
Thank you, Jim.
(said in the vocal stylings of the album obnoxious comedian from Seinfeld) “Gold, Jerry! Pure Gold!”
I’ve often wondered if we as a church had welcomed them into the church during the 80’s, 90’s, and 2000’s if there would be this strong pushing today. We didn’t need to accept the sin but if we had welcomed them in, loved well, and given them a place and space to grow into what God is calling them to be I just wonder if they would feel so emboldened, threatened, and angry today.
I’d just had a conversation with friends about how we’ve been taken captive. We are exiles in our own homeland. The parallels are stunning. The bravery of the captives saved their lives but did not rescue them from their brutal mutilation or their long exile.
Totalitarians take away their quarry’s language – ours has been captured and the moral persuasion of politically correct language is being usurped by coerced speech. The totalitarians are becoming fully empowered by economic, social and political means. Totalitarians do indeed take away your identity — again that process is underway.
The Hebrews appealed to conscience and were willing to suffer. That is the step we’ve no courage to make. Only conscience martyrs can stem this flood of dragon vomit.
Thanks for this article. I’ve already shared it.
Thank you for checking it out…I suspect there is much here to mine…and probably much beyond my capabilities to do so.
I agree heartily with your conclusion…will we find the nerve?