I don’t mean this to be any shameless self-promotion for my husband’s blog, but, hey, if that’s one of the side effects, I’ll not refuse it. Bob has always loved dinosaurs, and all things big and monster-y. He would get in trouble in school for drawing those big, green lizards instead of paying attention in class, and now as he approaches retirement, he’s allowing his childhood fantasies to turn into adult aspirations. I’ve even encouraged him to take up pen and ink and start illustrating his own books, and in so doing, I’ve created a monster of my own! (Kidding—“behind every great man there stands…”)
So his site, Pneumythology, deals with mythical stories and beasts of incredible imagination (not just his own, but throughout history) as well as eliciting inferences from the superheroes of ancient Rome and Greece and DC and Marvel.
Now, I hope this is taken the right way, but generally wading in these particular social waters can get more than a bit muddy, even scummy. If ever Jesus’ injunction to be “in the world but not of it” applied, this is certainly one of them.
But if that’s the case, Bob is in good company. The context of the following is that these four young men had been among the few “lucky” ones to survive the Babylonian sack on the Jewish nation, and having been toted back to that ungodly place, are plopped in the middle of spiritual scum, and are expected to acclimate. In the midst of this, however…
“God gave these four young men an unusual aptitude for understanding every aspect of literature and wisdom. And God gave Daniel the special ability to interpret the meanings of visions and dreams.”
Now, this was before Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were slated to become toast or Daniel to become lions’ lunch. Those are usually the main parts of the story we learn in Sunday School. What we really need to focus on is why they were in that position in the first place.
They chose to obey God. No, wait, that’s not enough. They chose to obey God within the environment where He had sovereignly placed them.
Ouch. But I like my Christian bubble wrap! (Insert whine)
Granted, this does not give us license to “put anything unworthy in front of my eyes”. (I don’t think anyone really reads Playboy Magazine “for the articles”…) However, there is something very important here about those God has chosen to immerse in our culture to understand, and interpret,…and intervene. To use the Apostle Paul’s own metaphor, we are to “shine like stars”, which are much better seen in the most darkened of places.
Where has God put me, or you? He might not be preparing us for a lions’ den, but maybe He’s trying to at least pop some of our bubble wrap.
Daniel 1:17 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.