Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Daniel's Babylonian exile (Daniel, chapter 1)

Daniel is one of the most important prophets of the Tanakh. 
While some of his dreams, visions and prophecies were aimed at his contemporary world, some others are still in the process of being of being accomplished as they are regarding the last days and the Return of our Messiah.

Captives from the besieged Jerusalem

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Hashem allowed the king of Judah, Jehoiakim, to be defeated. As a consequence, Jerusalem was besieged and the vessels of the Temple stolen. 
What a humiliation for Israel whose corruption and idol worship had taken big proportions!

In addition, Nebuchadnezzar orders his eunuch to bring people of Israel, of the royal family and of nobility. These young people have to be of perfect appearance. (Daniel 1:3-4)

Daniel's deportation

One must understand that Hashem often uses times of exile to fulfill big plans for the nation of Israel, as He did it in the times of Joseph in Egypt.
Exile can be a sanction against His people who became disobedient to His commandments.

Daniel and his friends' exile in Babylon is humiliating in many ways, even if being taught at the king's court looks like a favor. 
Daniel and his friends experience a change in name. They are baptized after pagan divinities. Daniel and his friends probably felt robbed in their identity.

Daniel's respect of the cashrout and his refusal of compromise in purity

Daniel was a righteous man. He was highly favored by Hashem because of his obedience.
In the same way, our Lord is pleased in us when we have heart to obey His Commands. By doing it, we are showing Him our singleheartedness.

In this particular context, keeping kosher is much more important than it appears at first sight.
Not only is it an avoidance of the unclean meats, it is also because meat and vine were often sacrificed to idols within pagan nations.

Daniel and his friends refuse to take part in any kind of idolatry.

Hashem will reward Daniel for his faithfulness. He will receive the gift of understanding dreams and visions.

The story of Daniel shows us how much laying our lives in our Lord's hands really matters. When we are proven to be faithful, regardless of the circumstances, we will be rewarded in many ways.
Receiving Hashem's various gifts, is never a matter of luck, but of obedience.

Obey His commands, trust His love and let Him direct your ship. He'll bless you greatly in return.

Copyright© by Isabelle Esling

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