I love history. Kings, queens, rebellions, a few love stories thrown in…it’s a better tale than anything you can find on television. Politics, on the other hand, are a necessary evil; I do not enjoy anything about politics. It just brings out the worst in our leaders, our mentors, and even ourselves. The events of the past few months (or millennia) have proven that. It is easy to be disillusioned by the events that occur daily around the world. From news of the critical coronavirus pandemic to the steady sex trafficking movement to pointless political commentaries, there is ugliness everywhere you turn. We are living in the midst of chaos. Fortunately for us, there is nothing new under the sun, and nothing that surprises our Creator. While kings and kingdoms change on earth, His is never-ending. No matter what what happens from day to day, our Creator is in control; our Savior is sovereign.
During the sixth century before the birth of Christ, the Jewish people lived in captivity, under the authority of the Babylonians. When he was a young man, Daniel was taken to Babylon along with other “youths without blemish,” 1 to be of service to the king. It is very likely this was a political move by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. Since he was essentially taking hostages, the captives back in Jerusalem would feel the constant reminder of Babylon’s authority every time another group of the best and brightest was deported. Daniel was educated in Babylonian culture, and during that time, the king dictated everything, including what the young Jewish men were to eat or drink. Over the course of his time there, Daniel gained access to the highest levels of Babylonian society. Despite this earth-shattering change in his circumstances, Daniel was unwavering in his loyalty to God. He was immersed in Babylonian culture, which worshipped many different gods and did not observe the Jewish dietary restrictions or worship practices. Yet, Daniel and a few other young men remained faithful. While they were in Babylon, they were not of Babylon. Daniel refused to “defile himself” by eating non-kosher food 2 or praying to King Darius. 3 Christians, like Daniel, are living in a temporary home. When we find ourselves troubled by the world we live in, we must step back and remember who is sovereign. When we feel like strangers in a strange land, when we feel far from our like-minded friends, when we feel sobered by the world’s sinful practices, our God is still good, and He is still on the throne, and He will make all things new.
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
1 - Daniel 1:3-4 2 - Daniel 1:8 3 - Daniel 6:6-10