I have been so blessed to be in the Word with Beth Moore. Such a great study in Daniel, and boy has she got me thinking!
Beth is teaching Daniel in ways I never really thought about...at least not as deeply. Looking into the rich context of Babylonian lifestyle, we will soon discover that we all have tendencies to fall into the trap. The trap Beth speaks of is one in which we think so highly of ourselves, that there is none quite like "ME." The Scripture...Isaiah 47:8 & 10..."...I am, and there is none besides me." Pretty warped way of thinking, but we all at times fall or have fallen into this trap.
Click on book cover to read about it.
I am only in chapter 3, but my discoveries are as follows:
1. Babylon is much like our western culture, in that we show favortism, desire the best the world has to offer, like to look good in the eyes of others at any cost, put ourselves above others, desire perfectionism, despise the thought of others getting ahead of us.
2. We are also tempted to speak sweet words to get what we want. Ahh the sweet words we drop upon the ears of those in high places that we might climb the ladder to reach that high place with them. YIKES!
3. Babylon only desired the best of men to be leaders. As a western culture we put a lot of importance on status, age, race, etc...
4. It's caused me to think of the things I put at the top of importance...there are many that might struggle with anything from appearance being everything, to thinking smarter is better, or taking pride in the perfectionism of a well put together home...it can really be just about anything!
5. This one is good...why do we feel we need to be glorified in the things we do...if we are doing them as unto the Lord...or as a ministry, then we should desire nothing more then for the Lord to get ALL the glory. So many times we find ourselves doing things so that we will receive praise from others...a good little pat on our backs!
6. I've learned we are just as wrong in bowing to the world as we are in expecting the world to bow to us...enough said ;)!
7. The importance of becoming culturally relevant without becoming spiritually irrelevant.
8. Reminded that the enemy will always fire the dart right in the center of our inconsistency!
9. Reminded once again of the importance of prayer!!! God delivered Daniel and his friends after they had been in constant prayer!
10. The "I AM" idea is experienced in areas where we claim to be better then others and seek a great image, as well as when we focus on ourselves in other ways, still allowing the focus to be again on self...examples:
I am ugly, and there is none as ugly as me.
I am pitiful, and there is none as pitful as me.
Though different from the prideful views of being better than others, still just as wrong!
We must never seek the approval of others, but be humble putting others first, and always desiring God to receive ALL the glory!
"Babylonian size egos need bigger strokes...they need the strokes of VIP's"
"Kiss-ups can be as nauseating as "suck-ups!"
"Babel's head coach cheers us on, "Make a name for yourself! Make a name for yourself!"
So, that's as far as I've gotten...like I said, I JUST started chapter 3, and look at all I've already learned. I would encourage you all to look into this study. It's not just a bunch of great theology ;)...and it is...but it brings us to a place of recognizing the Babylonian is each of us. I can't wait to get even deeper into the study.
God bless...I will keep you updated as I read on.