Daniel- Man of God
Daniel is divided into 2 elements
Chap 1-6 narrative of a the life of a man and incidents in that life
Chap 7-12 Series of dreams and visions
There are debates about whether Daniel really is the author of the book and also when it was written.
The arguments are based around the 5th/6th century BC or the 2nd century BC
If it was written in the 5ht/6th century BC, then the visions etc in chap 8-12 were amazing prophetic insight-or if it was written later, someone was trying to be clever and use the story in a different way.
To sum up the last 5 chapters, much of the ‘revelation’ was about the shifts in power of different nations, leading to the establishment of a kingdom not made by man, which would be an everlasting kingdom; there are references to Jesus and salvation, and all pointing to a time where there will be a clash of kingdoms, with Gods rule being the one established for all time.
There are echoes of Daniel in Revelation
My focus today though is not in the visionary stuff, but in the life of Daniel and some key elements which I think we need to consider, as we look at our relationship with the Lord, his on going encouragement for us to come close to him, to know he is with us, and his clear intention to speak into our lives as individuals and then collectively, as God’s people, in this part of his body!
The character of Daniel
How is he described?
DA 1:17 As for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams.
Dan 5- This was because an extraordinary spirit, knowledge and insight, interpretation of dreams, explanation of enigmas and solving of difficult problems were found in this Daniel,
Dan 6-Then the commissioners and satraps began trying to find a ground of accusation against Daniel in regard to government affairs; but they could find no ground of accusation or evidence of corruption, inasmuch as he was Daniel was faithful, and no negligence or corruption was to be found in him
So Daniel was a man who commanded respect because of his godly character
No insight about how he felt about being in an alien land…..probably 12 or 13 yrs old at the start of the story.
His earliest response in the story is what gives us a big clue as to why he was like he was…..
He honoured God... Chap 1v8-over the food….wasn’t right to eat the food….so he took action v17 was the outcome
All the way through the text, at key points, whether big or little, Daniel acknowledged God as his source
I’m sure sometimes we feel we are living in an alien world
…..in fact the bible says that we are in the world but not of the world
We need to acknowledge God as the source of grace & blessing in our lives
Give thanks….with a grateful heart
Practice answers or things you might say to someone who asks-and then rely of the HS to give you the right words at the time of need
Jesus has made it clear to us that he will honour those who honour him
The actions of Daniel
PRAYER-The regular praying that we see as part of Daniels life meant that prayer was part of his life
It must have been for him to confidently go to pray about the dream that the king had.
Most of us don’t go from the ‘bless me’ prayers straight to asking for the dead to be raised
Daniel had a confidence based on knowledge of an active relationship with his God
Prayer should be the bread & butter of our life-not the cream tea
Persistent prayer. Daniel and his companions were delivered from dangers and dilemmas by prayer. Especially impressive is Daniel's intense prayer on behalf of his nation for God to restore his people to their land at the end of the seventy years (9:2-19; cf. 10:12-14).
“Leap of faith” event in Feb
WORD-Giving himself to the word of God. Evident through this reference to Jeremiah that we get, but also evidenced by the revelations which come by vision and spoken word
Daniel was gripped by the word of God
Da 7:15 “I, Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me.
Da 7:16 I approached one of those standing there and asked him the true meaning of all this.
Da 8:27 I, Daniel, was exhausted and lay ill for several days. Then I got up and went about the king’s business. I was appalled by the vision; it was beyond understanding.
Da 10:2 at that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks.
Da 10:3 I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over
Da 10:11 He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling.
Da 10:12 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.
When some of us were away recently at the LIfelink conference, someone said the question is not what are you doing with the word of God, but what is the word of God doing with you
God has spoken to us very recently about seeking him for revelation/direction in our lives-what are you doing in response to that word?
Let’s be confident in our approach, listening to his words and allowing his word to affect us,
Worship his majesty
A principal emphasis in Daniel is the absolute sovereignty of the Lord, the God of Israel.
Most of the story is based around those kings who thought they had achieved all through their own strength and failed to acknowledge who God is
The book consistently emphasizes that the fortunes of kings and the affairs of humans are subject to God's decrees, and that he is able to accomplish his will despite the most determined opposition of the mightiest potentates on earth. The miracles recorded in chs. 1-6 clearly demonstrate God's sovereignty on behalf of his saints.
We need to take every opportunity to worship God and make sure that he is in the first place in our lives