Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tragedy!


Four young men. Friends. Handsome, intelligent, buff. Their lives ahead of them.

Suddenly - tragedy!

Their homeland is invaded.

Their country is trounced, and decimated.

They are taken as captives to a different land. Different customs, different language, different food, different religion.

Although Daniel is one of my favorite books, it begins with decimation, pain, suffering and loss.

1 -2 It was the third year of King Jehoiakim's reign in Judah when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon declared war on Jerusalem and besieged the city. The Master handed King Jehoiakim of Judah over to him, along with some of the furnishings from the Temple of God. Nebuchadnezzar took king and furnishings to the country of Babylon, the ancient Shinar. He put the furnishings in the sacred treasury.

Their God, Jehovah, is the God above all gods. The creator. Omnipotent. Yet His temple is ransacked. The holy articles are carried off like so much loot, and installed in a pagan temple.

3 -5 The king told Ashpenaz, head of the palace staff, to get some Israelites from the royal family and nobility—young men who were healthy and handsome, intelligent and well-educated, good prospects for leadership positions in the government, perfect specimens!—and indoctrinate them in the Babylonian language and the lore of magic and fortunetelling. The king then ordered that they be served from the same menu as the royal table—the best food, the finest wine. After three years of training they would be given positions in the king's court.

The four friends were selected for wholesale indoctrination into the pagan ways of the Babylonians.

God has been trampled underfoot.

Not only has he not rescued them and their families, but now they are being forced to learn and embrace blasphemy!

How can anything good come out of this?

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