Daring to Make a Stand – A Bible Study of Daniel chapters 1-6 – Part 1

1 – Dare to be a Daniel

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“1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia[a] and put in the treasure house of his god.”  Daniel 1:1-2 NIV

As we begin in the Book of Daniel, we can recognize that it can clearly be broken up into two parts.  The book covers Daniel’s life as a saint (chapters 1-6) and his life as a seer

(chapters 7-12).  When Daniel is taken into captivity, we can estimate he was around the age of 16.  During his life, he would not be able to return to his home.

Daniel the Saint – Chapters 1-6

Chapters 1-6 is the popular section of the book and it covers the time from the reign of Nebuchadnezzar to the first of the Persian rulers of Babylon.  This part of the book covers the time in history from the fall of Jerusalem (605 BC), when the first captives from Judah were brought to Babylon, to just beyond the demise of the Babylonian Empire in 539 BC.     

These chapters contain stories about Daniel and his friends who give us a practical picture of what it means to be courageous and remain absolutely loyal to Yahweh despite overwhelming circumstances.  The stories contained in these passages include Daniel in the lion’s den, the three Hebrew boys and the fiery furnace.  The main point to catch in chapters 1-6 is that God is in charge and God blesses obedience.  In Daniel 1-6, we get to see what faith in action is all about.  Daniel and his friends will teach us how to live without compromise despite fearful circumstances and situations.

As we read these chapters, Daniel and his friends will give some very practical lessons on standing for God, standing against the world, and being courageous in the face of persecution.  When we feel frustrated and discouraged about living in a cultural atmosphere where Christians are not only the minority, but face overwhelming challenges because of our faith, it is helpful to spend time with Daniel the Saint.  These verses clearly reveal that God honors loyalty in His people and will humble arrogant kings.

Daniel the Seer – Chapters 7-12

In the first 6 chapters, Daniel interprets the dreams of others.  Chapters 7-12 reveals a time when God now gives extraordinary visions to Daniel himself.  Daniel was not only a saint he was also a prophetic seer.  Chapters 7-12 reveal apocalyptic visions about the rise and fall of succeeding empires and set the pieces in place for the coming of the Messianic Kingdom.  Since Daniel was a seer, some suggest that this book (the second half in particular) may be the most prophetic book in the entire Bible.  Scholars suggest that the writings of Daniel is the key that unlocks the Book of Revelation.  In this portion of the book, we can be encouraged to seek Jesus.  Revelation is a book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.  We may struggle in understanding things at times, but we must continually seek Jesus.

We need Daniel’s today who will invade modern culture with the unchanging truth and enduring love of Jesus Christ.  Dare to be a Daniel.  Dare to be a saint and a seer.  Dare to have an uncompromising faith.  Dare to stand alone.  Dare to have a firm purpose.  Dare to seek Jesus… even when you don’t understand Him.  Dare to make God’s Word known.  Dare to be a Daniel.

Heavenly Father, open my eyes and heart as I journey into the life of Daniel.  Help me to capture the practical stories of being courageous with You and to understand the visions of Daniel and how they apply to modern believers today.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

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