Lesson 2

Daniel and the End Time

(Daniel 1-3)
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Introduction: Do you tend to focus on the little things of life? Do these "little things" cause you to modify your view of God? If your country were invaded and defeated, if you were taken as a slave by the invaders, would you call those "little things?" Probably not! In our study today we learn that God has His hand on the course of our life, and the course of human history! Let's plunge into our study of the Bible and learn more!

  1. Disaster

    1. Read Daniel 1:1-2. Imagine that you lived in Jerusalem during this event, and you were a faithful follower of God. What would you think? (From all appearances, the great God of Heaven has been defeated. His people have been defeated, and God's temple articles have been looted and put in the temple of a pagan god!)

    2. Read Daniel 1:3-6. Now imagine you are Daniel, how has your situation gotten worse? (Not only has your God and your country been defeated, but you are now a slave. It might not be bad work for a slave, but you are no longer free.)

  2. Tests

    1. Read Daniel 1:8. Once again, put yourself in Daniel's place. Would you be tempted to think that if God wanted you to follow His dietary principles, He should have defeated the Babylonians? Or, at least not let you be taken into captivity?

    2. Read Daniel 1:11-16. How would you feel now if you were Daniel? (I would rejoice in this small victory, and consider it a sign that God was still with me if I remained faithful.)

    3. Read Daniel 1:17-20. What does this teach us about God's favor when the world around us is collapsing? (We don't have time to get into why Jerusalem fell, but it was due to the unfaithfulness of the people. This shows that when our world seems to be coming apart, God looks for those who are faithful and He rewards them.)

    4. Read Daniel 2:1-4. Does this sound like a reasonable response to the king's request?

    5. Read Daniel 2:5-6. Is this king a maniac, or is something else going on? (Nebuchadnezzar apparently had reason to doubt his "wise" men. He could be certain that they were telling the truth if they refreshed his recollection on his dream.)

    6. Read Daniel 2:10-13. Would you call Daniel's life "peaceful?" Has Daniel or his friends done anything wrong?

      1. If you know how this story ends, does God have a plan for this time of trouble? (God sent the dream! I like the confession of the "wise men" that only the "gods" can fulfill the request of the king.)

    7. Read Daniel 2:14-16. Would you have shown wisdom and tact? Or, would you have been screaming about how this was unfair and the latest offensive thing done to your people by the Babylonians? (We need to learn a lesson from Daniel on emotional intelligence.)

    8. Read Daniel 2:17-19. What is the first thing that Daniel does? (He suggests a prayer meeting with his friends! They turn to God.)

    9. Read Daniel 2:20-23. What is the second thing that Daniel does? (Praises God when his prayer is answered. Notice verse 21. It shows that Daniel believes the shift in political power that so harmed his life has been ordained by God.)

    10. Read Daniel 2:24. Would you have done what Daniel did here?

    11. Read Daniel 2:25-28. Would you have started your response in the same way? (The first words out of my mouth would have been "Yes!" I would not want to risk losing my life by repeating the same thing that caused all the wise men to be under a death decree.)

      1. So, why did Daniel start his response in the way he did? (Aside from not having me as his coach, we see that he is giving glory to God. He is not taking the glory for himself - even if it creates peril for him.)

  3. End Times

    1. Read Daniel 2:29-30. Put yourself in Nebuchadnezzar's place. How would "wise" men of the world normally reveal their "wisdom" to the king? How does it compare with Daniel's approach? (Daniel is not exalting himself. He is not bragging. He is stressing the importance of the king and the God in heaven.)

    2. Read Daniel 2:31-35. If you had this dream, and no interpreter, what would strike you as the most important element? (The rock! It destroyed the statue and it grew to fill the entire earth.)

    3. Read Daniel 2:36-38. Would this sound good to Nebuchadnezzar?

      1. Who has given Nebuchadnezzar his power? (The God of Heaven. Daniel keeps God first.)

    4. Read Daniel 2:39-43. What does this dream represent? (The march of history. It reveals the world kingdoms that will follow.)

    5. Read Daniel 2:44-45. Who triumphs in the end? ("The God of heaven" will set up an indestructible kingdom.)

      1. How does God triumph? (His kingdom will "crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end.")

      2. Why do you think that God chose a rock to represent His kingdom, while the other kingdoms were metal, some of them precious?

    6. Let's step back and consider this. What has been going on in Daniel's life? (All sorts of turmoil. His God seems to have been defeated. As a follower of God, he is a slave, not a master. The world is not going the way it should.)

      1. What does this dream say to Daniel? (That he is a citizen of the Rock Kingdom which triumphs supernaturally. This is a tremendous encouragement that God is in charge at all times.)

      2. What does this say to you in the "little things" of your life? (Even if your "little things" are big things, they are not as big as knowing that your God will triumph. The Rock Kingdom, of which you are a citizen, will never be destroyed or left to others.)

    7. Read Daniel 2:46-47. How does this arrogant king, who was about to kill Daniel and his friends, react? (He gives glory to God and honor to Daniel.)

      1. What does this tell us about the validity of the interpretation? (Clearly, Daniel has correctly recited the dream. King Nebuchadnezzar is convinced.)

    8. Read Daniel 2:48-49. How has faithfulness to God changed the life of Daniel?

      1. Is being a citizen of the Rock Kingdom paying dividends?

      2. In all of this account, did Daniel do anything to promote himself? (Learn this lesson. Daniel let God promote him.)

  4. Unreliable Humans

    1. Read Daniel 3:1-3. How has Nebuchadnezzar modified the image in his dream?

      1. Daniel 2:49 tells us that Daniel is in Nebuchadnezzar's "royal court." Do you think he mentioned this deviation from the dream?

    2. Read Daniel 3:4-6. Is this consistent with the dream? Do you think this plan was discussed with Daniel?

    3. Read Daniel 3:9-12. How much of this should Nebuchadnezzar already know?

    4. Read Daniel 3:13-15. Has Nebuchadnezzar completely forgotten what he previously said about Daniel's God? How do you explain this?

    5. Read Daniel 3:16-18. Why do they say that they do not need to defend themselves? (This proves that Nebuchadnezzar knows of their faith and their God.)

    6. Read Daniel 3:19-25. Consider this, four men defeated Nebuchadnezzar, when their whole nation could not. What made the difference?

    7. Read Daniel 3:28-30. What does this teach us about dealing with the world? (God is faithful, humans are not.)

    8. Friend, we have a God who knows the beginning from the end. He not only tells us what will happen in the future, but He is faithful now if we are faithful to Him. Will you determine, right now, to be faithful to God - even when things are not going as you expected?

  5. Next week: Jesus and the Book of Revelation.

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Lessons on Preparation for the End Times

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