Searchers – Bible Book Club – Daniel
Genre: Historical and apocalyptic (revelation).
Key words: dreams, visions, kingdom, glory, honour, faithful, prayer.
Key themes: faithfulness – God’s faithfulness to his people and believers’ faithfulness to God; God is in control and the journey of history will be complete with God’s kingdom being fully established.
One way Daniel remained faithful was to refuse to eat the king’s rich food. No doubt this food would not have followed Jewish food laws. Daniel was faithful to God’s commandments and was honoured.
When the king signed the document, instigated by his governors, that said that anyone making petition to any god except to the king would be cast into the den of lions, Daniel went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem and he got down upon his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. He had faith and he practiced his faith. He was not afraid to publicly show his allegiance to God. He had the courage of his convictions. God saved Daniel from death.
The message of the book of Daniel is one of inspiration to all facing persecution, to look forward to God’s ultimate victory.
Some Christians worldwide are experiencing the same kind of persecution Daniel experienced. Our ‘persecution’ is not the same, but we do experience other types of difficulties and this book gives us hope.
Question: What do you think it means to live faithfully in a world that does not acknowledge God? What should we do and not do? We are to share our faith at every opportunity and not be ashamed of our commitment to God. We are to pray and support others who are being persecuted by imprisonment, torture and death. We are to behave in a good way, as Daniel tells the king “… break off your sins by practicing righteousness and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed …”
Daniel’s visions may refer to events that have already taken place. Some say they refer to events in 165BC or to the destruction of the temple in AD70. Others say it refers to Christ’s coming to earth either the first time or his second coming.
Jesus referred to himself as the “son of man”. The words used about son of man in Daniel fit Jesus and who he is - Daniel 7:13-14: "As I watched in the night visions, I saw one like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. And he came to the Ancient One and was presented before him. To him was given dominion and glory and kingship, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, and his kingship is one that shall never be destroyed."