Daniel

daniel-lions-den

Two outstanding lessons from the early chapters:

1) God’s absolute sovereignty (and in particular over our future). cf Eph.2:10

Chapter 4:34 ‘And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:

4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?’

 

2) Daniel’s faith.

6:22’ My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.’

According to Calvin ’He believed therefore in God, not because he hoped for such a miracle (as his three friends had experienced), but because he knew his own happiness to consist in persisting in the true worship of God.’ His attitude was that of Paul who says in Phil.1:21 ‘For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.’

 

A couple of things stand out in the middle chapters of Daniel’s prophecy:

1) Daniel is called by the (arch)angel Gabriel a man ‘greatly beloved’-this is what we all are to God.

2) This is the first time in Scripture that an angel is named and Gabriel stands out as probably the foremost messenger of the Most High-think of the great messages he brought to Zacharias and Mary. But here he is given the task of enabling Daniel to understand the meaning of his visions concerning world empires and their effect on God’s people. Remember as well how an angel strengthened our Lord in the garden.(Luke 22.43).How did he do that? Angels do much for God’s people. Our church CPRC had an enlightening series on angels as we covered the Belgic Confession article 12.

 

Lastly,  providentially the sequential Bible readings for me today are Daniel 10 and Psalm 69 (second half) and they speak of a common theme-the reproach of the people of Israel in captivity, David’s reproach and prophetically Christ’s reproach (esp. Ps. 69:19,20. Daniel’s prayer in 10:12 and the Psalmists in 69:16 are parallel. There follows requests for themselves and imprecations on their enemies which were fulfilled as God’s servant was set on high (69:29), the people restored (69:35) and Christ raised. What wonderful unifying themes we see in Scripture!