I live in South Africa. Our president has multiple wives, has had numerous trials for corruption and other crimes, and it has been proven he used millions of public money for his personal house. Even so, compared to some other presidents around the world, ours is a saint.
The multitude of Facebook comments from America reflect a similar frustration with politics and leaders. I would argue whoever occupies the White House is “not that bad” compared to many world leaders, but the frustration remains. In fact, it seems to be despair at times.
Dr. Larry Osborne’s new book, [amazon_link id=”B00RKTCXEU” target=”_blank” ]Thriving in Babylon: Why Hope, Humility, and Wisdom Matter in a Godless Culture[/amazon_link] addresses this sense of despair by looking at the life of Daniel.
Daniel saw his beloved city, Jerusalem, destroyed and was taken captive to a pagan land of Babylon. He was made to learn its culture and religion. Daniel thrived in Babylon by having a different perspective. He faced evil and endured physical hardship, knowing God had a plan.
Both Paul and Peter, served under the worst of the Roman emperors, Nero. We have commands and admonitions throughout Scripture to serve and succeed under such pagan governments. Osborne challenges us to stop complaining and start engaging.
“If we want to experience Daniel-like courage and Paul-like peace, we need to follow their example. Instead of letting our friends, the media, and the latest crisis du jour determine our outlook, we’ll need to let Scripture, our personal experiences of God’s power, and his many promises determine our outlook.”
Osborne shares an interesting thought. We celebrate when a missionary befriends a “heathen”, or even a witch doctor. If an American pastor befriends someone who thinks differently, they become a villain, a compromised believer, or one who is tainted by “sin”.
“Daniel wasn’t respectful because Nebuchadnezzar deserved it. He was respectful because God commanded it.”
“There is a marked absence of Daniel-like honor and respect towards godless leaders and a great deal of ridicule, contempt, bitterness, and even hatred. It’s no wonder we keep losing influence.”
I wrote a post in a similar vein of this book called, Surviving in an Anti-God Society, which also uses Daniel as an example
You might not agree with every thought Osborne shares. This could cause you to blow off the message of his book. If you do, you are solidifying the author’s point and revealing a need for fresh perspective in your life!
I think this is a very timely book. It is needed in the land of my birth, America; as well as the land I live and serve in, South Africa.
Let me leave you with this thought from Larry.
“Daniel was assigned to Babylon, Joseph was placed in Egypt. The early Christians were asked to serve God in Rome. And we’ve been assigned to this time and place.”
[amazon_image id=”B00RKTCXEU” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Thriving in Babylon: Why Hope, Humility, and Wisdom Matter in a Godless Culture[/amazon_image]
How we do this determines whether we merely survive, or if we thrive with influence.
**Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book from David C Cook. The opinions here are my own.
Photo credit: Hayry business via photopin (license)