Daniel 1

Daniel 1

Ever Felt Like an Outsider?

Pray: Ask God to give you wisdom and insight to understand the Scripture that you are reading and the faith to live what He reveals to you.

Read: Daniel 1

Imagine what it would be like if our beloved country was conquered by an invading army this year? They parade through our canopy roads, enslaving us and shipping us off to a foreign land.  Utter defeat! It may sound crazy to us now but I’m sure Daniel had the same thought before King Nebuchadnezzar (aka Neb) brought him into captivity around 539 BC.

Daniel and his friends became outsiders overnight; forced to learn a new language, new customs, new diets and new values. Maybe you have felt like an outsider before? How about as a Christian? At work? With friends or family?

King Neb was trying to wipe away their identity and replace it with a different one.  He even changed their Hebrew names to idolatrous names honoring the gods of Babylon:

  • Daniel ("God is judge") became Belteshazzar (“Bel will protect")
  • Hananiah ("Yahweh is gracious") became Shadrach ("command of Aku")
  • Mishael ("Who is what God is") became Meshach ("Who is what Aku is")
  • Azariah ("Whom Yahweh helps") became Abednego ("Servant of Nego")

Daniel and crew had a choice to make: Will we be influencers or be influenced by the world around us? Which one would you be? Which one are you now in our city?

Following Jesus is hard! As the culture shifts around us, Christianity is becoming more marginalized and we are facing more temptation to compromise in our faith. This is happening right now in Tallahassee. We are tempted to give in to peer pressure, fudge our faith at work, and ‘coexist’ our gospel message. Daniel felt this temptation as well.

So how did Daniel remain faithful to God in such an oppressive environment? How will you this week? You’ve got to recognize that God is sovereignly in control over your circumstances (as seen in Vs. 2,9 & 12). Your struggle at work, your scary doctor’s diagnosis, a strained marriage or pressure to cave to temptation; none of these are without purpose or too big for God. Second, in light of God’s sovereignty, you’ve got to resolve in your heart (Vs. 8) to be a faithful influencer for Jesus in our city.

Reflection Questions:

  1. Will I influence the world around me or be influenced by it?
  2. What threatens my identity in Christ and my ability to follow Jesus in the world this week?
  3. Where have you seen the sovereignty and goodness of God at work in your life in the midst of struggle?

Memorize: Daniel 1:8




Daniel 2

Daniel 2

Got Nightmares?

Pray: Humble yourself before God in prayer. Ask Him for wisdom and to help you see the wonderful things He has for your life before reading this section of the Bible. 

Read: Daniel 2

My son slipped off a dock into a dark, fast-flowing river! I was too slow to catch up with him and he can’t swim. My heart was racing and utter despair fell over me. Then I woke myself up yelling his name. Got nightmares? Even kings have nightmares! In this chapter, King Neb of Babylon had a dream so terrifying that he couldn’t get back to sleep for days. Utterly troubled! So he gets some professional help. All the best fortunetellers, palm readers, psychologists and neurosurgeons to figure out what is going on in his head. But all the king’s horses and all the king’s men could not put humpty dumpty back together again. Their failure makes Neb so angry he orders them all to be executed – including Daniel and his friends!

But God had another plan. In walks Daniel, who approaches the king with bold faith. He didn’t know what Neb dreamed or how to interpret it. What he did know was that His God was merciful and could save the day.  Neb agrees to give Daniel some time. Whew! So he gathers his friends and they pray like never before. God responds and “The mystery was then revealed to Daniel in a vision at night, and Daniel praised the God of heaven…” (Vs. 19).

When you are confronted with crippling anxieties: a loss of job, cancer, divorce, or persecution; how do you normally respond? Do you gather your friends and pray? And even if the Lord answers your prayers, do you take time to praise Him before getting on with life? God desires our prayers and our praise! He is after our hearts and His praise. He will go to unfathomable lengths to save His people, build His Kingdom and spread His glory over all the Earth. He is faithful and sovereignly provides for His chosen people in the most desperate times of their lives. What anxiety are you facing now that could be battled with prayer and praise?

After praising God, Daniel tells the king, "No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days" (Dan. 2:26-28a). Notice who Daniel gives credit to…

Did you catch that? Daniel then stands before the most powerful man in the world and explains that the beastly statue in his dream represented four kingdoms that would all be overcome by one divine and everlasting kingdom. Most interpreters identify these kingdoms as:

  • The first Kingdom (Gold) is Babylon
  • The second (Silver) is the Persian Empire
  • The third (Brass) is the Greek Empire
  • The fourth (of Iron and clay) is the Roman Empire.

From head to toe this statue pointed to Jesus and His coming Kingdom, which “will crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, but will itself endure forever” (Vs. 44). It is what John the Baptist was yelling about in the desert and what Jesus taught us to pray for (Your Kingdom come, Your will be done). King Jesus has established His unstoppable, eternal, divine Kingdom that will outlast all others and be universally triumphant. Jesus is still accomplishing His mission even here in Tallahassee, as well as in you. You have a choice to make today: Will you follow Jesus as an agent of the King or do your own thing?

Reflection Questions:

  1. What bold action is Jesus leading you to make to expand His Kingdom? Where is there resistance in your heart?
  2. What are some ways renewed prayer and praise could help you battle the anxieties or stresses you are facing in life right now? Why?
  3. What if you got out of bed tomorrow with a greater Kingdom perspective in life? How might this change the way you work, treat others, engage with the lost and view your struggles?

Memorize: Daniel 2:44

Daniel 3

Daniel 3

When the Heat Gets Turned Up...

Pray: Ask God to give you wisdom and insight to understand the Scripture that you are reading and the faith to live what He reveals to you.

Read: Daniel 3

This week, we come to one of the more famous biblical accounts in the Old Testament: The three amigos! Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in their attempted torturous murder in King Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace. Sometimes it’s harder to fully engage with a passage we’ve read many times, but there is a lot here for us to consider. First, King Neb issues an order that all Babylonians, including Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, must bow and worship the 90-foot tall golden statue he has had erected, or they will be burned to death. While this may seem outlandish to us today, consider that this really amounts to a choice between idolatry and death — spiritual treason against God or national treason against the King. We too live in this tension, where we must constantly and daily choose between friendship with the world (which is hostility toward God, James 4:4), or faithfulness to Christ.

Second, we see true biblical faith exhibited here. These three men exhibited active trust in God. True faith isn’t just intellectual agreement or belief – it is trust in action. It’s not a leap, but a step that should flow naturally from what we know about God, as he has revealed it through his word and through the work of the Spirit in our lives.

Since Jesus “humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8), surely we must not count our physical lives and comfort as more important than faithful living for our sacrificial and sovereign Savior.

Lastly, while we are indeed faced with individual, small, daily choices of holiness over idolatry, many in the world and in our own country have had to choose either renouncing Christ or facing death. As unpleasant as this is, we need to consider how we should respond if we are ever in that circumstance.

Whoever, then, acknowledges me before people, I will acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever denies me before people, I will deny him also before my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32)

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego understood that biblical faith requires dying to self, so that God may be glorified through us. May it be so in our lives as well!

Reflection Questions:

  1. What do I value more on any given day...my life and comfort or the advancement of God’s Kingdom and glory? What changes do I need to make in my life based on my reaction to that question?
  2. How should an understanding of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s faith, and the faith of other potential martyrs today, influence how we share and present the gospel in our city?
  3. What is success? What if God did not rescue Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the furnace? Would the world or even the church still consider them successful?

Memorize: Daniel 3:28

Daniel 4

Daniel 4

God Humbles the Prideful...

Pray: God help me depend on you in every part of my life. Let me revoke my focus on myself and turn it to you so that I can serve you and others.

Read: Daniel 4

I was a small child when I first experienced a prideful thought. I didn’t really need to learn how to think that way; it came quite naturally to me. I was filled with thoughts that I was better than the other kids. I behaved well. The teachers loved me. I had great friends and I was generally well thought of. I remember one particular time in Ms. Rayburn’s 5th grade math class where my pride got the best of me and really hurt one of my friends.

I was bored and began fiddling with stuff at my desk. I totally understood the content. In my mind, I was halfway in the discussion and halfway headed home when a friend asked a silly question that was clearly and obviously addressed 20 minutes prior. In no exaggeration of the words, I laughed out loud at her in the middle of class. Yes, and at that moment, the “lol” was invented. My friend heard me and looked over with embarrassment and disgust in her eyes. I felt terrible. I had been overcome with my own pride and in the process; I had really hurt my friend. Pride is a powerfully dangerous force.

Pride is a major topic throughout the scriptures and it is no secret that pride and devotion to Christ don’t jive. Proverbs 16:18 informs us that “pride goes before destruction,” and Matthew 6:24 reminds us that we cannot serve two masters, we will love the one and hate the other.

Daniel chapter 4 records King Nebuchadnezzar, ruler of Babylon as one of the most prideful encounters in the scriptures. King Neb, has built himself a world empire and he is bursting with pride. He’s put a lot of work in it. One night he is walking on his balcony and just becomes overwhelmed with how amazing he (himself) is! He literally begins worshipping himself saying…

 “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?" (Daniel 4:30).

Before he was finished saying these things, God struck him and he was made like a beast of the field – he lost his mind and he was made to go out into the woods, to live like a wild animal for probably a couple of years until he grew finger nails like bird claws! Have you noticed pride or arrogance creeping into your life lately?

King Neb was a victim of his own sin…pride. There was no one to blame but himself. He was a victim of his own pride. I think God allows these sorts of events and allows prideful, arrogant people to fall so that they’ll learn to depend on God instead of themselves. I know through personal experience that He does this. We all lose our minds at times and lose focus on what is truly central in the universe, i.e. not us!

God wants to rid our character of selfish pride. He wants us to focus on Him and worship Him rather than ourselves. God and the good news of salvation through the gospel of Jesus Christ are my central motivators in life, but when I fail to remember this on a daily basis, my fall into laughing derision at the expense of my peers becomes the norm. Don’t loose sight of Christ! Experiencing Christ on a daily basis destroys pride and builds healthy dependence on the only one who can always follow through for us. As an added benefit, you don’t get turned into a wild animal, or worse.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What pride are you holding onto that you need to give up?
  2. How is your prideful attitude or actions affecting others in your life?

Memorize: Daniel 4:37

Daniel 5

Daniel 5

The Writing is On the Wall...

Pray: God help us respond to your magnitude with humble reverence. Thank you that you are a loving father who knows each of us intimately and desires a relationship with us. Thank you for sending Christ to make that possible. Teach me as I read Daniel 5.

Read: Daniel 5

It never feels good knowing that you’re going to lose. Nobody wants that. The scoreboard reads 38-7 with two minutes to go and you start giving up. You start making excuses. You say, “Well at least we scored one touchdown,” to try to feel better. Your mind leaves the game. It’s basically hopeless. Imagine how King Belshazzar must have felt when Daniel interpreted the writing on the wall to say,

“God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting; your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”

Belshazzar spent his years building on his father’s kingdom (King Nebuchadnezzar). He made it even greater and he filled his courts with concubines and feasts. But his days were numbered, and the ultimate outcome of his life wasn’t in his own hands. Belshazzar fell into the hands of the living God.

The author of Hebrews tells us that this is a fearful thing. You have spent your life on yourself and you have built everything around you, consuming resources and pleasure. Then you meet God in the balances and he is not impressed. I can just imagine God thinking to himself, “You think your tiny kingdom is impressive that it’s measured in miles? My eternal kingdom is measured in light-years.” (It’s probably even bigger than light-years, but I don’t know what is larger than that!). Then God gives the king into the hands of the enemy, and he is killed.

Judgment is a real thing and it won’t be only the kings and the rulers of the earth who will be judged. Every one of us will be judged. Will you stand in the balances before God and show him what you have accomplished in this life like these foolish kings? Or will you plead Christ?

Romans 5:8 teaches us that the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus. The blood of Christ is the only thing in life that will please God because Jesus was the only righteous person capable of paying for sin. He died for us on that cross, taking on our sin, so that we can experience the love of God as Father, rather than the wrath of God…as judge.

Reflection Questions:

  1. How seriously do you take God as the Creator-Judge of the universe?
  2. Are you willing to give up the sin of thinking your accomplishments will please him? I tell you that his grace abounds for you!
  3. What other sins do you need to confess? (1 John 1:9)

Memorize: Daniel 5:27

Daniel 6

Daniel 6

Our Only Hope... God

Pray: Ask God to give you wisdom and insight to understand the Scripture that you are reading and the faith to live what He reveals to you.

Read: Daniel 6

If you grew up in the church you are probably familiar with the story of Daniel in the Lion’s Den. Daniel continued his rise in power as the emperors, rulers, and powers changed around him. King Darius appoints Daniel as one of 3 rulers over all the satraps in the land. His skill and character set him apart even among the most prominent figures in the land, leading to his peers plotting his demise. The hapless king is duped by his advisors’ flattery and issues a law that will surely doom Daniel; no one may pray to any god but Darius himself.

Daniel remains faithful to God and continues his regular prayer routine, is found out, and sentenced to death in the lion’s den. The king, who values Daniel, realizes he has been tricked but can do nothing to alter the law and carries out the sentence. Daniel is thrown into the lion’s den and a stone is rolled over the entrance. The king is troubled all night, fretting over Daniel’s fate, but in the morning Daniel is found alive. The king then tosses Daniel’s accusers to the lions instead. The chapter ends with Darius issuing a decree that Daniel’s God is the true God. Boom!

This story should seem familiar in more ways than one. The structure of the book so far has been that Daniel or his friends have faced a seemingly impossible situation that will surely result in their death, only to be delivered in the midst of their trouble by God. This is then usually followed by some divine revelation of future events in the chapter or verses that follow. This is the last of the near-death narratives in Daniel, before the second half of the book dealing with revelations.

There are plenty of moral and practical lessons we can take away from this story – Daniel’s faithfulness, work ethic, bravery, etc. – but the primary purpose of this (and every other) story in Daniel is redemptive, not moral. Daniel is sentenced to death for his faithfulness to God and a stone is rolled over the entrance. There is no help to be had; the lions cannot be fed, weapons cannot be supplied to Daniel, and no escape is possible. Darius’s last words as the entrance is sealed are, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” The only possibility of survival and the only hope for rescue comes from God alone. And God delivers Daniel!

How will Daniel interpret a dream he doesn’t even know? God. How will Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego escape the furnace? God. How will Daniel interpret a dream none of the other wise men in the kingdom can? God. How will Daniel interpret the enigmatic writing on the wall? God. Each story contains impossible situations that the narrative makes clear is only solvable by God.

God is our only hope. God is our only help. God is our chance for a future.

 Reflection Questions:

  1. What are some possible reasons you see in that the satraps and other rulers wanted to put Daniel to death?
  2. What is the end result of Daniel’s faithfulness (not just his deliverance from the lions)? 

Memorize: Daniel 6:16

Daniel 7

Daniel 7

The Forever Kingdom

Pray: That God may open his Word to us by the power of His Spirit. That he we may gain in knowledge and that we grow in the love of Jesus. That we may share this joy in all our lives and to those around us.

Read: Daniel 7

This week we step into part II of the book of Daniel.  The initial chapters focused on Daniel’s biographical experiences. These remaining chapters focus primarily on Daniel’s prophetic visions. These visions are to be “sealed until the time of the end” (12:9) and are difficult for Daniel to accept and understand (7:28, 8:27).  Thematically, the narratives of the first six chapters of Daniel demonstrate the sovereignty of God over the lives of individuals such as Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Daniel and many others. Likewise, these final chapters of Daniel are meant to demonstrate the sovereignty of God over kingdoms, nations, and the powers of the age.

Daniel 7 centers on a vision of four beasts that represent four kings/kingdoms. This parallels the four kingdoms represented by the statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2. In Daniel 2 God promises to shatter the kingdoms with an everlasting messianic kingdom (2:34-35, 44-45). Daniel 7 expounds on this by revealing that the Son of Man is the one to whom the kingdom is to be given (7:13-14).

God is greater than all of the world’s empires and Daniel 7:17-18 summarizes this well: “These four great beasts are four kings who shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.”

Daniel 7 also elaborates on details regarding the fourth kingdom.  This kingdom has ten kings (though not necessarily at the same time), three of which are put down by a new king (the “little horn”). This king “speaks words against the Most High” and “makes war with the saints and prevails over them” (7:21-22,25-26).  Ultimately, the saints prevail and “their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom” (7:27).

Many who read this passage want to know, “Who are the four beast/kingdoms?” Daniel 2 states the first kingdom is Babylon, so Daniel 7 likely follows the same. It’s important to notice this is not the focus of the text. Rather, the focus is how these kingdoms (in fact all kingdoms, Vs. 27) relate to the messianic kingdom to come (7:13-14).  What is important is that the Son of Man is “given dominion, and glory” and a kingdom “that shall not be destroyed.”

The most exciting thing about this chapter isn’t earthly kingdoms, but rather the everlasting kingdom of the Most High.  Who is this Messiah, this Lord and Savior, this Son of Man? To answer this, we have only to turn to the words of Jesus himself, who in Matthew 24:30 alludes to Daniel 7:13 identifying himself with “the sign of the Son of Man in heaven” specifically citing the prophecies of Daniel. The Son of Man is Jesus Christ and He is coming again to rule forever and ever.  Now that is good news!

Reflection Questions:

  1. Are you sometimes worried by what Jesus called “wars and rumors of wars” (Matthew 24:6)? Does watching the news or hearing friends talk about the suffering throughout the world make you want to give up?
  2. How can we ready ourselves with the good news of Christ to remember that his kingdom is forever?  Do we ignore the world or understand it in the context of Jesus?

Memorize: Daniel 7:13-14


Daniel 8

Daniel 8

This is Not the End...

Pray: That God may open his Word to us by the power of His Spirit. That he we may gain in knowledge that we grow in the love of Jesus.  That we may share this joy in all our lives and to those around us.

Read: Daniel 8

“This is the end. My only friend the end.”  So goes the 60’s hit song “The End” by The Doors.  The vision of Daniel 8 is supposed to help Daniel understand, “the time of the end,” (Vs. 17).  Instead Daniel says he is “appalled by the vision and did not understand it” (Vs. 27).  He is so affected that he is “overcome and lay sick for some days”.  Even though the angel Gabriel stands with him to “make this man understand the vision” (Vs. 16), the truth is, he really doesn’t understand.  He seems to feel more like “this is the end.”

If Daniel had trouble understanding, what about us? A complete study of Daniel 7-11 is a rather major undertaking, one that a short devotional such as this cannot hope to cover. There is a lot to examine. While all of this is interesting, to understand Daniel’s response we have to look no further than verse 1, which begins, “In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar…” What this reveals is that this particular vision occurred before the conquest of Babylon and events of Daniel 5.

Remember that Daniel, as a boy who lived through the destruction of his homeland Israel, and was enslaved by the kingdom he now served, Babylon. Now, here he was about to witness the overthrow of Babylon as well (Daniel 6 and 7).  Babylon was to be overthrown by Media/Persia, which according to this new vision in Daniel 8 was to then be conquered by Greece. On top of all this, the vision in Daniel 8:12-14 prophesizes an orchestrated persecution against the worship of God, that would be far more severe than the events of chapter 6. By the end of his visions, perhaps Daniel was wondering, “What about your people Lord? What about Jerusalem?”

For Daniel it is becoming more and more apparent that this time period that he lives in is not the end of the suffering of the people of Israel. In fact, it was only going to get worse.  In chapter 9 (after the fall of Babylon), Daniel turns his prayers and hopes towards God and pleads that God might turn his anger away from Jerusalem and restore his sanctuary (9:16-17). By the time we finish chapter 10-12 it becomes clear, that the troubles besetting the Israelites were not going to be over when they returned from exile.

After Daniel’s time, God’s people did continue to suffer.  Even though the temple was rebuilt as promised (see Ezra and Nehemiah), it would be completely ravaged by Antiochus Epiphanes IV from 168 B.C. to 164. He would stop the sacrifices, sacrifice a pig on the altar and erect a statue of Zeus above the altar.  Many scholars believe this to be the events of which Daniel 8 is speaking.  Whether that is the case or not, what it meant to Daniel is that even though the temple might be rebuilt, the full restoration would come much later.  The Son of Man of chapter 7 was still to come. 

As Christians we must hold to what Daniel didn’t have at that moment, the knowledge that Christ has come and Christ is coming again to rule forever.

Too often, as Christians, we boggle to understand passages like these.  We read Revelation or Daniel and wonder how they relate.  Is this or that passage in the future or the past?  We pull out our commentaries, watch recommended sermons on TV and YouTube, read history books, and watch the news for hints of things to come.  We worry over current events and get anxious about the future. But we must ask a hard question: Does all our speculation strengthen our faith, or does all this seeking around make us anxious and fearful?  Are we focused on the suffering to come or remembering the One who has overcome it?

Truthfully, I have studied eschatology (end-times) on and off for about twenty years.  I’ll admit, it can be very interesting stuff.  To seek to understand God’s hand as He works across the arc of time is a wondrous thing. However, when we make our desire to understand the “end” an end to itself we have made an idol of it.  I think it is important to have an understanding of what we believe about the end, but not at expense of the gospel itself. 

Daniel talks about mysteries all throughout his book and the last verse of Daniel says volumes. I think it does us well to remember the end of not only the book of Daniel but also the book of Romans.

Daniel 12:13 – “But go your way till the end. And you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.”

Romans 16:26-27 – “Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith – to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.”

If we are followers of Jesus, then we have these promises as well.  We shall stand and rule with Jesus at the end of days! 

Reflection Questions:

  1. How has your knowledge of Christ affected the way you see world events around you?  Do you find yourself anxious or emboldened by the knowledge of what has come and is to come?
  2. The angel Gabriel is found in only two places in the Bible: here in Daniel 7 and in the Gospel of Luke when he instructs Mary, the mother of Jesus on his birth.  Compare the responses of Daniel and Mary’s responses and see what you can learn or apply to your life this week.  

For further encouragement read: 1 Thessalonians 5

Memorize: Daniel 12:13



Daniel 9

Daniel 9

The Power of Prayer

Pray: Ask God to give you wisdom and insight to understand the Scripture that you are reading, and the faith to live what He reveals to you.

Read: Daniel 9 (focal emphasis 1-20)

Did you read all of Daniel’s prayer this chapter? Go back and read it if not. There is so much we can learn about God, the heart of a godly person, and ourselves in this prayer. What strikes you the most about his prayer?

By about 538 BC, Daniel would have been close to 80 years of age, living the majority of his life in some type of captivity. The prayer and vision that we read about here in chapter nine would have come some 12 years later from the vision read about in chapter eight.

Because of the disobedience of God’s people (Israel) the holy city Jerusalem would fall into desolations (multiple falls/destructions) from the hands of outside tribes/peoples. An early prophet named Jeremiah prophesied (told the future) that this would occur, in which a complete destruction of Jerusalem would happen, allowing God’s people to be brought into account for their sin, but also – don’t miss this – in order to restore them.

God is about restoration. This is one of the overarching themes of Scripture, that there is a God that is about restoring His fallen/ broken people.

We see this very clearly in the prayer that Daniel offers up to God in verses 4-19. Pay specific attention to how Daniel prays, as it provides an amazing framework for us to pattern our own personal prayer lives after.

  • Adoration: Adoring and Declaring the greatness of God (Vs. 4)
  • Declaration: Declaring what God has done and what He says in His word (Vs. 4 & 15)
  • Confession/ Repentance: Personal repentance for own sin. Repentance for the sins of others. (Vs. 5-14)
  • Petition: Asking God for mercy and forgiveness.  (Vs. 16-19)

A primary area to note in Daniel’s prayer/petition to God is that it is solely focused on the provision and faithfulness of God Himself and not on Daniel or God’s people. Daniel declares that the only reason He cries out to God is because of God’s faithfulness, righteousness, and mercy. All of these things must come from God, because God’s people have not kept or done any of them. So, reader, doubter, struggler, sinner, anxious, tired believer… pour out your heart to God alongside Daniel by praying, “Lord, hear! Lord, forgive! Lord, listen and act!...” (Vs. 19)

Reflection Questions:

  1. Do you pray? What tempts you to quit? Why do you keep praying?
  2. Did you know that God delights when we approach Him in prayer?
  3. What are areas of your life that you need tor recognize God’s greatness? Have you told Him?
  4. What are some things you need to ask God forgiveness for? Would you do that now?

Memorize: Daniel 9:19


Daniel 12

Daniel 12

The Waiting Game

Pray:  Humble yourself before God in prayer. Ask Him for wisdom and to help you see the wonderful things He has for your life before reading this section of the Bible.

Read: Daniel 12

Oh Prophecy… you’re hard to get. I’m coming in at the end of the book taking up the last part of a prophetic section. I’ll concentrate on three general observations on the text that center around the overall theme of the book.

  1. Bad stuff happens (12:1). Verse 1, as well as many references in the previous chapters, makes that clear. There will be very hard times.
  2. God is Sovereign (12:2-3, 12-13). God will reward the righteous and punish the wicked; justice will be done. Death will not hold back His purposes; He is the rescuer, redeemer, and ultimate reward of men.
  3. Daniel can be mysterious. There is an element of mystery in the Bible and with God that must remain this side of heaven and that we must be okay with.

These three observations can be applied to virtually everything in the book of Daniel. The narrative sections were generally descriptions of impossible situations where God’s people were about to be slaughtered, only finding their hope and redemption in God at the very climax of their trouble (in the furnace itself, in the lions’ den, or interpreting dreams under threat of death).

Likewise, the prophetic passages follow the same pattern; speaking of days where God’s people will be persecuted and killed for their faith, abominable men and demonic forces blaspheme and make war our holy God and His people – and again, the only possible source of hope or rescue is God Himself.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What are the reward of the righteous and the punishment of the wicked?
  2. Why do you think Daniel is told to keep these words “secret” (Vs. 4, 9) until “the end”?
  3. After receiving this vision, Daniel still doesn’t understand it and asks for further explanation (Vs. 8-13). What is the angel’s response to Daniel’s inquiry? What does this response suggest about our understanding prophecy in general?

Memorize: Daniel 12:2