Daniel 1:3-5 3 The king ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his court officials, to bring some of the Israelites from the royal family and from the nobility — 4 young men without any physical defect, good-looking, suitable for instruction in all wisdom, knowledgeable, perceptive, and capable of serving in the king’s palace — and to teach them the Chaldean language and literature. 5 The king assigned them daily provisions from the royal food and from the wine that he drank. They were to be trained for three years, and at the end of that time they were to serve in the king’s court.
The king of Babylon took God’s people captive. He didn’t put them to death or torture them. No, he wanted to use them for his service. So what did he do? He worked to turn Israelites into Babylonians. How would he accomplish this? Through the young people. He would invest in them and train them and put them into his service.
Something tells me that today, the enemy is still trying to turn God’s people into Babylonians. And he is attempting to get the hearts of the children. He is teaching them the language, showing them his version of right and wrong, and promising to meet their needs. He is making magic and sorcery fun and presenting vampires as harmless (and even sexy!) He is cramming his meal of tolerance and acceptance of sin down their throats like Nebuchadnezzar’s royal food and wine.
Do you see what is happening? Not only are they eating it, but so are their parents! They are drinking their way to being numb to sin. And the only way to keep up the buzz is to drink more of it. Where are the Daniels? For Daniel determined he would not defile himself with the king’s food or wine. Even though he now lived in Babylon, he didn’t lose his identity as a citizen of heaven!
So what are we supposed to do about this? Should we lock up the kids? Should we hide them away so they never see Babylon? I say, no. We need to teach them what Babylon looks like. We need to prepare them for the traps that the enemy will set for them. We need to teach them how to be heaven’s citizens in a sinful world. It starts by doing it ourselves. Have you inadvertently signed up for the king’s training program and sat down at his table? If so, it’s time to take a stance like Daniel did. It is a stance of holiness and identity in Christ. Be set apart, friends… and teach the younger generation to do the same.