Want to learn more about Daniel? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 13-part series.
The memory of September 11, 2001, is burned into my
mind. I had just walked up the stairwell to my office to find that
the Pentagon was under attack. My fellow workers reported that they
felt the shockwave from the Pentagon explosion. What world power had
the ability to launch a military attack on Washington, D.C.?
Certainly, it must involve nuclear weapons! As I sat in my office
pondering the confused reports, I concluded that I might very well
be living the last few minutes of my life. If I survived, life would
probably never be the same – at least not for a long time. Our study
today is about a young man who had those same feelings. Except in his
case, his fears were realized. Let’s dive into our study!
Have you ever wondered if someone was telling you the
truth? If so, did you take any steps to determine the truth? Have
you had times when you wondered whether God “is true?” Have you taken
any steps to find out? Or, is this just another one of those things
you can never be certain about? Daniel chapter 2 tells us the story
of a king who wanted to be sure he was being told the truth and four
men whose lives depended upon finding the truth. Let’s dive into our
study about the king’s dream and being honest!
How does temptation come to you? Is it in the big
issues or the small issues of life? Our study this week is about
three young men who were faced with the issue of worshiping a false
god or losing their life. You may be thinking, “I’ve never had
anything like that, and I hope I never will!” Remember, however, that
these three young men started out with the issue of their loyalty to
God when it came to diet. Is it possible that we have not faced the
big, dramatic choices because we fail in the small choices? Or, have
we lost sight of the big picture – that all issues of loyalty to God,
both large and small, are ultimately a question of life and death.
Let’s dive into our study and see what we can learn about being loyal
to God under terrible pressure!
When I was a boy I would watch the Walt Disney program
on Sunday evening. The program always began with the same musical
introduction. When I heard that little tune, I knew that I was about
to be entertained with a story of some sort. Our study this week in
Daniel 4 starts out in a similar way. We have this royal proclamation
by King Nebuchadnezzar which praises the true God of Heaven and says
“I’ve got a testimony – a story – for you.” Let’s dive right into
our study of this amazing story!
Chapter 5 of the book of Daniel has a very interesting
background. King Nebuchadnezzar died in 563 B.C. Chapter 5 takes
place about 25 years after his death. King Nabonidus is now on the
throne, but he shares his authority with his evil son, Belshazzar.
The Persians, lead by King Cyrus, attack the Babylon empire and
defeat the troops led by King Nabonidus. King Nabonidus moves the
main Babylonian army to Borsippa, and King Cyrus heads for the city
of Babylon and surrounds it. My guess is that before Cyrus got to
Babylon, a great number of officials fled to the city for protection.
Babylon was protected by a massive double wall and had a sufficient
food supply to last for 20 years. The setting for our study today is
that Vice-King Belshazzar is within the safety of the walls of
Babylon, King Cyrus and the Persians surround the city, and the main
army of Babylon is off licking its wounds. Let’s dive into Daniel 5!
Remember last week that Daniel was promoted to the
number three position in the Babylonian empire just minutes before it
all collapsed before the military onslaught of the Persians? “Number
two” (Belshazzar) was immediately killed by the Persians. Imagine
being Daniel. No wonder he told Belshazzar he could keep his
promotion! How do things turn out for Daniel? Is God still looking
out for him? Let’s jump into Daniel 6 and find out!
In our study of Daniel this week, we go back in time to
examine a dream that was given directly to Daniel, and not the ruler
of the kingdom in which Daniel lived. Recall that Daniel seemed to
have fallen out of power and authority during the reign of
Belshazzar? Perhaps he had some extra time on his hands. Whatever the
reason, that is the time period to which we return in our study of
Daniel 7. Let’s jump into our study!
Last week, our study of Daniel 7 taught us that Daniel
had a grand dream in which the entire sweep of history was brought to
his mind. The dream was very much like the prophetic dream of
Nebuchadnezzar, which we studied in Daniel 2. Daniel’s dream,
however, has some curious differences that add detail to the period
of time after the fall of Pagan (secular) Rome. These details include
the description of a world power portrayed as a “little horn” which
holds power over the saints for 1,260 years. This reign is followed
by a glimpse into a heavenly court which sits to begin business.
Let’s dive into our continued look into Daniel’s future and ours!
Two years after his first dream, Daniel dreams he is
strolling by the water when suddenly he is face to face with a
powerful sheep with two big horns – and no one is there to rescue
him. It turns out his dream is not so much about danger, or
adventure, but rather about the future. Let’s jump into Daniel’s
dream and see what we can learn about the future!
Last week we ended our study with a number of questions
unresolved. We agreed that the 2,300 days of Daniel 8:14 had to be
symbolic days (meaning a day equals a year), not literal days. So,
what happens at the end of this 2,300 years? What does it mean for
the sanctuary to be reconsecrated? What sanctuary are we talking
about? Is this the end of the world? Is it the beginning of the first
judgment in heaven that we discussed in connection with Daniel 7? We
agreed that we would pick up our study of this mystery this week. So,
let’s jump into our study!
Last week we studied about Daniel’s vision of
reconsecrating (cleansing) the sanctuary. Daniel had been a captive
and a foreigner for most of his life. His fondest hope was to have
his country and the sanctuary rebuilt so that the Jewish people could
go home and properly worship God again. Hold that thought while we
jump into our study of Daniel 9!
Daniel is now an old man. In the series of dreams and
visions which have been a critical part of his life so far, God has
revealed to him the sweep of history on earth. The lesson for us is
that God controls kings, kingdoms and the future. This week Daniel
reveals another dimension to history – the conflict over the course
of history in the supernatural. Let’s dive into our study which gives
us a rare glimpse into the cosmic conflict between good and evil!
Are you ready for Jesus to return and bring an end to
sin? The book of Daniel has opened our eyes to God’s control over
the sweep of human history. This week Daniel brings us to the end of
that history. Let’s dive in and examine what God reveals to us about
His final victory!