Updated: Jun 19, 2018
Prophet Daniel wrote about his story and visions from God some time between 605-530 BC while God's people were ruled by the powerful Babylonians.
The book covers 75 years of revelation and prophesy, and accurately predicted numerous significant events in world history, including the rise and fall of three historical empires (Babylonian, Persian, Greek), and it saw 2400 years into the distant future!
The whole book reveals the sovereign and triumph of God over all human authorities and kingdoms. The prophetic and apocalyptic visions God gave Daniel testify how the rise and fall of kings in history are all in God's hand.
What should God-fearing people do while facing captivity, abuse, and prosecution? Prophet Daniel himself was at the center of all these. His story shows us God's will for His people in these times of suffering at the hands of oppressors: to pray and look up to God.
1. Daniel pleaded for mercy and wisdom
In Chapter 2, the Babylonian king threatened to kill all wise men as no one could tell him about his dream and interpret it. What could Daniel do? The first thing Daniel did was to summon his friends to pray together for God's mercy concerning the mystery. This was no trouble or mystery to God. And God listened to his prayer and revealed it to him.
Then they praised God. Notice the character of God Daniel emphasized:
"Praise be to the name of God forever and ever;
wisdom and power are his.
He changes times and seasons;
he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom tot he wise and knowledge to the disconcerning.
He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness,
and the light dwells with him."
2. Daniel pointed to God when he spoke of the unknown future
God listened and gave Daniel the vision to see through the king's heart and future. But Daniel did not take revenge or physically fight the authority that was threatening him. God's will for His people is to speak powerfully to their generation about God's power. Daniel admitted that he was powerless without God, so he pointed to God's power and sovereignty when he spoke to the king, "But there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries."
3. Daniel fasted for forgiveness for the sins of his people
In Chapter 9, although Daniel was innocent, he knew his people had done a lot of evil things. But Daniel was not only thinking about himself. He begged for God's mercy and forgiveness on behalf of his people. This was because Daniel knew God's heart and love for all the people. As he prayed, he focused on the holiness and righteousness of God, not his own.
4. Daniel's faith was not moved by fire or lions
Because Daniel feared God, he did not need to fear any threat from man or nature. He only needed to look up to God for His salvation plan.
5. Daniel waited for God to deliver in God's way and timing
Daniel was shocked how long God had not come to save His people. But he knew God would definitely keep His promise of justice and deliverance. God gave Daniel many visions for the future, including empires Daniel did not even know about but later all came true after his time. All these visions pointed to a Messiah
As a result of Daniel's faithfulness to God, God's wisdom and prophetic visions stayed with Daniel throughout his life.
Listen and Pray to God
1. What is God teaching me through the story of Prophet Daniel?
2. How do I grow closer to God and listen to His message in times of oppression and uncertainty?
3. God gives His visions and wisdom to all people who fear and ask Him. Do you think God will do the same to His people today?
Living in Exile
Prophet Daniel lived in a time when God's people were in exile. Being in exile means they were taken far away from home (Palestine) by their enemies for centuries with no freedom.
Many people today are living in exile when they are driven far away from home because of political or economic reasons. Many of us are exiles in spiritual terms as we are driven away from God and His holiness by our own sins.
The Bible is full of messages of hope for both kinds of exiles.