Getting to Know Daniel

The Old Testament book of Daniel contains some of the most beloved stories of the Bible because Daniel was one of the most faithful of God’s servants. I’ll be preaching from Daniel over the next few months and I’m sure those lessons will find their way to this blog.

Daniel was a contemporary of Jeremiah and Ezekiel. His book records events and visions from 605 BC to 536 BC.  This book is Daniel’s memoirs of God’s revelations to him during the internment of the Babylonian captivity.

The book is basically divided into two sections:  Historical (1-6) and Prophetical (7-12).  Daniel Presents Many Examples For Us

Top Five Things To Know About Daniel

1. He was a Jewish young man who adopted the culture of the Babylonians. He was born of a royal or noble family and he adapted easily into the service of the Babylonian king. He was given a Babylonian name, Belteshazzar. He learned the common language (Aramaic), which is reflected in that Daniel 2:4b – 7:28 is composed in Aramaic (The remainder is in Hebrew).

2. Daniel was faithful to God, and did not adopt the sinful ways of his new culture. He was a deeply spiritual man who maintained his integrity before God under trying circumstances. He would not eat food which was evidently either unclean to a Jew or consecrated to an idol. (Daniel 1:18-16). He spoke God’s message faithfully. (Daniel 5:24-28). He prayed to the Lord in spite of a devious edict against such worship. (Dan 6). The name “Daniel” means “God is my judge”.

3. God gave Daniel a special gift of intpreting dreams and visions. He interpreted those of other men (Daniel 2-5). God gave him visions of his own (Daniel 7-12). Daniel was highly respected for his unique power, yet he was careful never to claim credit for himself (Daniel 2:27-30).

4. His integrity caused him to be a trusted servant in turbulent times. He filled high government posts for 70 years under three kings (i.e. Nebuchadnezaar, Belshazzar, and Darius). He served in two different empires (Babylonian and Medo-Persian). He lived and prophesied in the heyday of Babylon and witnessed its rise and fall to the Medes and Persians.

5. He was deeply loved by God. Gabriel said to him, “As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed….” 9:23. In a likely Christophany (appearance of Christ) in Daniel 10 he is told twice that he was highly esteemed (10:11,19). Notice the way some other translations word this:

HCSB – “Daniel, you are a man treasured by God.”

ESV – “O Daniel, man greatly loved…”

KJV – “O Daniel, a man greatly beloved”

NLT – “Daniel, you are very precious to God…”

Lessons To Be Learned from Daniel

There is strength from God to be faithful under difficult circumstances.

We can learn to co-exist with an ungodly culture while hanging on to our faith.

Trusting God during times of extreme testing is crucial.

Daniel never forgot who he was – away from home with a new name.

The latter half of Daniel is filled with prophecies that have received multiple interpretations over the centuries. At the end of the letter a conversation with God puts it all into perspective.

I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, “My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?” He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand. “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days. “As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.” ~Daniel 12:8-13

There is a lot to learn from Daniel, but most of it leads us to faith in God, and rising to receive our inheritance on that great day.

Thanks for reading. Below are some books for your Amazon Kindle about Daniel. Today’s selections are not free.

Daniel (MacArthur Bible Studies) by John MacArthur

The Handwriting On The Wall: Secrets From The Prophecies Of Daniel by Dr. David Jeremiah

Daniel (Expositional Commentary) by James Montgomery Boice

Daniel by Jim Mcguiggan

Daniel (NIV Application Commentary) by Tremper Longman III

Daniel: Pursuing Integrity (New Community Bible Study Series) by John Ortberg

Be Resolute (Daniel): Determining to Go God’s Direction by Warren W. Wiersbe

The Daniel Fast: Renew Your Mind, Strengthen Your Body, and Liven Your Spirt by John Miller

Thru the Bible Commentary Vol. 26: The Prophets (Daniel) by J. Vernon McGee

Biblical Daniel Fast Recipes – 21 Meal Menu Cookbook by Karen Peebles

The Daniel Fast: Feed Your Soul, Strengthen Your Spirit, and Renew Your Body by Susan Gregory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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