Strength in Standing Together

Taken from the Africa Study Bible

“Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were four of the young men chosen, all from the tribe of Judah. The chief of staff renamed them with these Babylonian names: Daniel was called Belteshazzar. Hananiah was called Shadrach. Mishael was called Meshach. Azariah was called Abednego. But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable foods.” Daniel 1:6-8, NLT

When Daniel and his friends were taken into Exile, they risked losing their national identity and their faith. The king tried to make them Babylonians by giving them names that mentioned Babylonian gods and training them in Babylonian culture.

The king tried to feed them food that would defile them, perhaps the meat of unclean animals God had forbidden the Israelites to eat. Should these four young men disobey the king or disobey God? They bravely found a solution. Together they ate vegetables and water for ten days and were a witness to God’s power. At the end of the test, they “looked healthier and better nourished than the young men who had been eating the food assigned by the king” (Daniel 1:15).

The Ovimbundu of Angola say, Kuatoko lokuene likaliove cikupōla, meaning, “Hold onto a thing together. By yourself it is very heavy.” Alone in a foreign land, Daniel and his friends easily could have become Babylonians, and we would never have heard of them. But they stood together to hold onto their faith.

If you are in a situation where there are many pressures to conform to worldly standards, pray for God to send you a fellow Christian to encourage you and walk alongside you. When you face a tricky situation, pray for God to reveal a solution that will allow you to honor him.

Africa Study Bible Sampler
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2 thoughts on “Strength in Standing Together

  1. I sometimes attend services at a predominantly black church. Is the Africa study Bible intended for blacks in the United States? I looked at the sampler and it is very impressive!

    1. Thank you for reaching out. This Bible is a great Bible for anyone. It uses themes from different African nations and culture to look at the Bible through non Western eyes. Being an American I have grown in my understanding of the Bible. Getting out of my own culture to look at the context from a different culture has brought new insights. I would highly recommend it!

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