“Exiles!” There’s a word that doesn’t feel good. Consider the ache and frustration of being trapped in a foreign land against your will—barred for a time from your homeland. As uncomfortable as it sounds, “exiles” is precisely what the Bible says we are as God’s people scattered throughout this present world (1Pet.2:11; Heb.11:13-16; Phil.3:20). Much like the famous Israelite exiles in the book of Daniel, known by their Babylonian names as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, we are now forced to live in a land ruled by the “god of this age” (2Cor.4:4), who is diametrically opposed to our God.
Many of this society’s rules, customs, and expectations stand in stark contrast to the commands of the Lord to whom we are committed. And like Daniel’s three friends we must get used to standing alone on a number of issues before which the rest of our culture will dutifully bow. As trite as it may sound, “this world is not our home” – and because it’s not, we shouldn’t imagine that we will ever be too comfortable here. This is clearly a place that increasingly threatens us with its own “fiery furnaces,” unless we fall in line and conform to its standards.
So while we live in exile, let’s not forget who it is that we serve. Remember the One to whom we will ultimately give an account (1Pet.1:17). And let us, like those courageous Hebrew exiles, stand resolute in this foreign kingdom as we await the arrival of the true King of kings.
-- Pastor Mike
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