Faith in Exile

Study Guide

The book of Daniel begins with loss and loyalty. As Daniel and his companions navigate the challenges of living in exile, they remain faithful to God. While this story may seem distant from our current narrative, we also live in exile, and we must wrestle with the same realities—sometimes God allows suffering, yet he has equipped us with everything we need to live on mission for him.
  1. When Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem, Scripture tells us that “The Lord gave him victory” (1:2). What tension does this create for us? What assumptions about God and ourselves drive the question—why does God allow his people to suffer?

  2. Consider the idea of living in exile—being in a foreign land far away from home. How should realizing that we live in exile reframe the way we view the world and our expectations of it?

  3. When asked to break Jewish dietary laws, Daniel found a way to take a stand while being respectful to authority. Have you ever been in a situation where you were forced to make a similar difficult choice? What was that experience like?

  4. Are you aware of the gifts and talents God has given you? How do you view the purpose of those giftings? In what ways can you use your gifts to further God’s kingdom?

Key Points
  • This season of exile is significant in Jewish history. We also must wrestle with the reality that God disciplines his people.

  • God is willing to let himself look weak for his people. He willingly takes on shame so that we can be redeemed.

  • Just as Daniel and his companions are foreigners in Babylon, so do we live in exile in our culture. While this creates significant challenges, it also reframes our expectations of the world.

  • It is possible to take a stand for God and also be respectful of authority. In difficult situations, we can think creatively and find a way to give God an opportunity to work.

  • God gives Daniel and his companions unusual aptitude for learning. These gifts allow them to serve God and further his kingdom.

  • When we put our faith and trust in Jesus, every endeavor of life can be approached from a position of freedom with the power of the Holy Spirit.

Other Scripture References

Scripture: Daniel 1:1-21