September 25, 2021
"In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it."
“In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the articles of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god.” Daniel 1:1-2
Those of us who have surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus are at war. Like it or not. And the warfare we are “born again” into is a spiritual war. (Ephesians 6:12) We are relentlessly pursued by an enemy that makes itself known in three forms: The World, the Flesh, and the Devil. (Ephesians 2:1-3) And exactly what do we possess that the enemy wants to steal (by re-appropriation) or to utterly destroy? 1) Our identity as a people, 2) Our places of worship and their articles, 3) Our manhood (or womanhood) /gender identity, 4) Our intellect/language, 5) Our names/purpose, 6) Our diet, the very sustenance of our existence. (Mark 4:4) We see the Church-at-large attacked in these ways in our day, and we see all of those areas of life being attacked in the very first few paragraphs of the book of Daniel.
“Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans.” Daniel 1:3-4
“And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king.” Daniel 1:5
“Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego.” Daniel 1:6-7
“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Now God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs.” Daniel 1:8-9
So, how can we defend ourselves against such a spiritual onslaught? Moreover, how can we move beyond reactionary measures and attack-the-attacker, as it were? We must armor-up! (Ephesians 6:10-18) And we must swing the sword of God’s Word!! How did Daniel & Co find the faithful fortitude to stand for the Lord? They believed the Word of the Lord. (Jeremiah 29:1-11) And the Lord proved Himself faithful to His Word! With what armor have you clothed yourself? What Word do you swing?