Daniel A Visionary Prophet (@minidvr)

Daniel

The Book of Daniel is a comprehensive account of Daniel’s life, closely linked in with the experience of the Jewish people, taken into exile by King  Nebuchadnezzar following the destruction of Jerusalem.  Daniel as a prophet writes extensively of his experiences at the Court of Nebuchadnezzar, the most famous story featuring his being cast into the Lion’s Den in Chapter six.

Daniel’s character was that of having a devout devotion to God and sticking to his guns in the face of intimidation and trials.  Something that I would like to attain, given my human weakness, which I share I am sure with many others.

Daniel’s Visions and Their Interpretation

Daniel was given his prophecies through visions sent to him by God, he had around 20 such visions, and seemed to meet Gabriel sent from God to help him to interpret those visions, which had greatly puzzled him.

Daniel’s Theme

The theme(s) of the Book of Daniel seems to me to be centred on the omnipotence and almighty nature of God; on the ultimate triumph of God over all through his son as the Messiah and the ultimate coming of a new Kingdom.

The links to the book of Revelation are many.  The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ and he will reign for ever and ever”[1]Some examples:

Daniel 4:7. The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.’  hinting at the Messiah – The Servant King.

Daniel 5:21.  He was driven from among the children of mankind, and his mind was made like that of a beast, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. He was fed grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, until he knew that the Most High God rules the kingdom of mankind and sets over it whom he will.

The Son of Man at the End of Time

Daniel 7:11-21. I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.

The Son of Man Is Given Dominion

“I saw in the night visions,
and behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed.

Daniel’s Vision Interpreted

As for me, Daniel, my spirit within me was anxious, and the visions of my head alarmed me. I approached one of those who stood there and asked him the truth concerning all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of the things.  ‘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.’

“Then I desired to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the rest, exceedingly terrifying, with its teeth of iron and claws of bronze, and which devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet, and about the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn that came up and before which three of them fell, the horn that had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things, and that seemed greater than its companions. As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them, until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.

“Thus he said: ‘As for the fourth beast,
there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth,
which shall be different from all the kingdoms,
and it shall devour the whole earth,
and trample it down, and break it to pieces.
As for the ten horns,
out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise,
and another shall arise after them;
he shall be different from the former ones,
and shall put down three kings.
He shall speak words against the Most High,
and shall wear out the saints of the Most High,
and shall think to change the times and the law;
and they shall be given into his hand
for a time, times, and half a time.

What do I take from Daniel?

Daniel is a prophet who I knew a little about, but not enough. I’ve never read the whole book through at a sitting, rather dipping in and out as the mood or need has taken me.  What strikes me is his courage and steadfastness, loyalty and obedience to God.  Putting God’s business before man’s first, at peril to his life. Also that Gabriel tells Daniel that ‘he is esteemed’ by God[2]. This must have been of enormous comfort to David, who struggled to see what his visions meant.  It must also have also boosted his confidence when actually prophesying the meaning of his visions.   We are also ‘esteemed’ by God, if only we could recognise it when we’re suffering or vulnerable – what a huge comfort it would be.

 

[1] Rev 11:15; & 2:44;;7:27;

[2] Daniel 10:11.

About Ernie Feasey

Anglican, Ex-Officer, trying to discern a vocation to Ordained Ministry