OT VIP:  Daniel

Daniel was committed to God no matter where he was and no matter what the circumstances.

When you think of Daniel in the OT invariably a lion’s den comes to mind.  You may also think of the prophecy of “70 Weeks”, or the dream of a large statue of different metals, or the future Gentile nations.  A student of prophecy would owe a great debt to Daniel for their understanding of these subjects, as well as the future person we know as “Antichrist”.  The popular “Daniel Fast” is a diet inspired by Daniel chapter 1. When something bad is sure to happen and we say “the writing is on the wall”, we can thank Daniel chapter 5 for that phrase to help us articulate our sense of impending doom.    

 

Daniel – a.k.a. “Belteshazzar” as his Babylonian-given name –  is a beloved man of God and is worthy of all the time you can invest in studying.  Today we are going to focus on 2 main points about Daniel: His Outstanding Qualities and His Outstanding Prophecies

 

Daniel’s Outstanding Qualities

Daniel had an outstanding intellect (1:17-20; 5:11-14)

Daniel had outstanding good looks (1:3-4)

Daniel had an outstanding work ethic (6:1-3)

Daniel had an outstanding integrity (5:6:4-5, 22)

Daniel had an outstanding commitment to God:  wouldn’t eat unclean food (1:8), regular practice of prayer (6:10), studied the Bible (9:1-2)

What makes his qualities stand out that much more was the context of his life:  Israel was in exile in Babylon. First of all, living in a pagan culture made faithfulness to God difficult.  But he didn’t waver.

 

Second, his qualities are seen in light of how he could have reacted.  Daniel was transported from Israel to Babylon. How could Daniel have responded?

 

#1:  Live it up!  Enjoy all Babylon has to offer!  We’re far from Jerusalem (home). Moses is in the past, the Law is out-dated.  Let’s get on the right side of history here and let’s go all “Babylonian”! Besides, they aren’t that bad!  In other words, Daniel could have responded with indulgence and abandon

#2:    Or he could have responded with despair:  All is Lost! We’ve been abandoned by God, there’s no hope, throw in the towel, nothing matters anymore now – the Law, Jerusalem, etc.  Let’s just quit and give in and assimilate into Babylon. Babylon is our home now. Babylon is our future now.

#3:  Or he could have become cynical towards God:  God did this to us! God doesn’t deserve my devotion!  He let us go into exile. He doesn’t care about us so why should we care about Him?  

 

But the life Daniel lived in Babylon had nothing of those 3 ungodly attitudes.  He was committed to God no matter where he was and what the circumstances.

 

Daniel had an oustanding faith, which made him outstanding in heaven’s eyes.  (9:23; 10:19; Ezekiel 14:14, 20)

 

Just about every great man in the Bible we’ve studied so far was seem to be flawed in some way.  The Scriptures record a major failure in each one’s life:  Noah’s drunkenness; Abraham’s fearfulness regarding his wife and taking his wife’s advice regarding Hagar; Moses temper; David’s adultery and murder

But when we come to Daniel we come to a man for which no fault is presented – a man of impeccable integrity.  He led a Flawless life you might say – humanly speaking.  His exemplary life of righteousness which is why God included in the triumvirate of righteousness (Ezekiel 14:14, 20) along with Job and Noah.  

 

Daniel’s Outstanding Prophecies

Four Gentile World Empires – Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a statue (chapter 2)

Babylon Succeeded by the Medo-Persian Empire – Handwriting on the wall (chapter 5)

Four Beasts and the Little Horn (chapter 7)

The Ram and the Goat (chapter 8)

The 70 Weeks (Daniel 9)

The 70 weeks are actually

The Panoramic Prophecy of Nations (10-11)

The Resurrection and Israel’s

 

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