Thriving in Babylon

2015 RightNow Conference


We live in a fast-changing and seemingly godless society. How can we spiritually survive in this increasingly hostile environment? In this 38-minute session from the 2015 RightNow Conference, Larry Osborne uses the example of Daniel who was exiled in Babylon, to show how the power of hope, humility and wisdom, helps us not only survive, but thrive in our culture. 

Larry Osborne has served as one of the senior pastors at North Coast Church in Vista, California since 1980. He is a nationally-recognized speaker, trainer and the author of a number of books including Thriving in Babylon

As you watch this session, take notes and write down thoughts about how this session can impact the way you live and lead. 


Revelation 18:2 (ESV)

2And he called out with a mighty voice,

“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!

She has become a dwelling place for demons,

a haunt for every unclean spirit,

a haunt for every unclean bird,

a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Larry described the historical, horrific culture of Babylon as “a personification of evil in Scripture and heaven to this very day.” Nobody has ever had it as bad as Daniel. How do you view our world situation today? What frightens you? How have you given up?
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Larry gave three traits that Daniel had that allowed him to thrive in the godless culture of Babylon.
  1. He had hope.
  2. He had humility.
  3. He had wisdom. 

Daniel 1:1-2 (ESV)

Daniel Taken to Babylon

1In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.2And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God. And he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and placed the vessels in the treasury of his god.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


The Lord delivered Jerusalem and holy vessels into the hands of Babylon. Daniel had hope, knowing that “God is in control of who is in control.” Have you considered that the Lord has allowed today’s situations to come about? Where is your hope? Do you trust God to be in control?
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Daniel 1:8-15 (ESV)

Daniel’s Faithfulness

8But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself.9 And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs,10and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king.”11Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,12“Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink.13Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king’s food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see.”14So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days.15At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Daniel 2:46-49 (ESV)

Daniel Is Promoted

46Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and paid homage to Daniel, and commanded that an offering and incense be offered up to him.47The king answered and said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.”48Then the king gave Daniel high honors and many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon.49Daniel made a request of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego over the affairs of the province of Babylon. But Daniel remained at the king’s court.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Daniel served a godless king so well and so humble that he was promoted. In what areas of your life do you feel persecuted or marginalized? When you take on a defensive posture in the face of hostility?
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How will you use an attitude of humility to negotiate through your “Babylonian” experience? What are you willing to do to be heard?
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Daniel 2:27-30 (ESV)

27Daniel answered the king and said, “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked,28but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed are these:29To you, O king, as you lay in bed came thoughts of what would be after this, and he who reveals mysteries made known to you what is to be.30But as for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because of any wisdom that I have more than all the living, but in order that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your mind.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Daniel knew the difference between what he didn’t like and what God forbade. He was willing to die for what God forbade, but he acquiesced to the other humiliations and hardships and earned the right to be heard. What pressures are you facing today? Are they what God forbids or what you don’t like?
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Larry explained that we’ve lost our right to influence because we pick the wrong battles. Are there some opinions, issues and fights you are involved in that are hindering your ability to be heard on matters of faith and to thrive in your surroundings? What needs to change?
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Larry said “May God restore to us a Daniel-like hope, a Daniel-like humility, and a Daniel-like wisdom.” Which of these traits do you feel weakest in? How will this encouragement change that way you live day to day?
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You might think your light is nothing. But the darker it gets, the brighter your light shines. The greater difference it makes. Push the button and let it shine! 


For information about the upcoming RightNow Conference, go to rightnowconference.org

For more from Larry on this topic, check out his RightNow Media Original Bible study, Thriving in Babylon.