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Archive for the ‘Daniel’ Category

Warning: the internet is full of crazy stuff based on this book.

But here’s something very helpful from Dave Bish’s blog: Scribblings on the Book of Daniel.

A few past posts from this blog:

In terms of commentaries the best are probably:

  • John Goldingay (World Biblical Commentary)
  • Joyce Baldwin (Tyndale OT Commentary)
  • Sinclair B Ferguson (Preachers Commentary)
  • Edward J Young (Geneva)
  • Andrew Reid (Reading the Bible Today)

A few more random thoughts:

  • In Daniel 9 the wise man’s first reaction to reading numbers in the Bible is not to get out a calculator and a calendar and come up with an elaborate scheme of end time events but to seek the Lord in prayer and deep repentance.
  • The awesome man Daniel meets in chapter 10 is generally acknowledged to be the pre-incarnate Christ (rightly it seems to me when compared with Ezekiel and Revelation) – a very exciting chapter.
  • In relation to all the rather complicated predictive stuff in chapters 8 and 11 about kings and kingdoms and horns and whatever, I found Mike Reeves summary of Jonathan Edwards’ thoughts on this period of history very helpful:

…since the Coming One would not just be the hope of Israel but the firstborn of the New Creation, all creation went into labour to give him birth. History entered its most tumultuous stage as Babylon fell to Persia, Persia to Greece, and Greece to Rome. In those pagan empires Satan was permitted to rise to his full strength in readiness for his final defeat. (On Giants’ Shoulders, p. 116)

Let’s preach Christ from Daniel…

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Nebuchadnezzar dan 4

Its good to humble yourself – to clothe yourself with humility. It’s clearly commanded in the Old and New Testaments. It’s fitting for the children of a humble God. We should be bowing low, we should be practicing the spiritual disciplines, acknowledging our sinfulness and God’s greatness, cultivating a grateful dependence on Him, expressing gratitude, transferring all the glory to God, above all looking regularly at the Cross (C.J. Mahaney, Humility).

But what about God humbling us? I hear quite a bit about humbling ourselves under God’s mighty hand but far less about being humbled apart from or against our will. Speaking personally, far more often and more significant in my life has been God forcibly humbling me.

Again and again through the Bible you find the Lord humbling his people – both in encounters with him and as a means of drawing them back to him. He takes them through trials, he lets them get themselves completely entangled in their sin; he shows them their depravity and his glory; he cuts them down to lift them up.

Again and again Yahweh is the God who brings down the proud of all the earth. As Hannah sings, “He humbles and he exalts” (1 Sam. 2:7).

Look at Simon Peter – humbled at least five times – in his first encounter with Jesus (Luke 5:8), in his denial (Luke 22:61-62), in his reinstatement (John 21:17), in a vision (Acts 11) and in a public rebuke (Galatians 2).

Or, perhaps the premier example of being humbled – Nebuchadnezzar – the pagan king who ends up writing a chapter of the Bible. This is a man who’s made a 90 foot high gold statue of himself for public worship. And he’s stripped of everything – his worldwide kingdom, his glory, servants, friends, even his mind. Like a tree, he is cut down. And this is how he concludes: “those who walk in pride he is able to humble” (Daniel 4:37).

A church leader in the UK, now with the Lord, was once asked whether God could use someone from a lowly background in his service, he answered: “The only way God can use someone from a privileged background is when they have been deeply humbled.”

Here’s something from Keller on being humbled.

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I gave a youth talk this morning on Daniel 1-6. Never tried either of those before – speaking to Kenyan young people or preaching six chapters in one go! I don’t know how it was for them but it was good for me to work on it over the last few days. A few things that were new and fresh to me from Daniel:

  • Nebuchadnezzar is not the real enemy. He’s the enemy of God’s people and he rules over Babylon, Shinar, the ancient city against God (Genesis 11) and he drags God’s people off into Exile, but I was really struck how the first few chapters of the book are really all about God saving Nebuchadnezzar – preaching to him, revealing himself to him, humbling him, bringing him to chapter 4 which is (extraordinarily) written by Nebuchadnezzar himself as a conversion testimony. In many ways Daniel has just as much a missionary theme as Jonah. We’re behind enemy lines but the battle is not against flesh and blood, it’s against the spiritual forces of evil – the useless Bablyonian gods and the demonic forces behind them – forces that have the power to enslave and enrage a king and a nation but who ultimately turn out to be powerless in the face of the true, sovereign, revealing, saving God.
  • There’s a mirror-image structure to chapters 2-7. I learnt later that this has been noticed since at least the 1970s but encouragingly it did seem to jump out of the text for me. Chapter 2 goes with chapter 7 – both about dreams of 4 kingdoms; chapter 3 goes with chapter 6 – both about state persecution, resistance, jealousy, being bound and thrown into fire/lions, the Angel of the Lord / Son of God coming in and delivering, kings praising the saving God; chapter 4 goes with chapter 5 – both about pride and humbling. Which makes the centre of the first half of Daniel chapter 4v37 – Nebuchadnezzar’s Moses-like confession of faith (underlining the first point above).
  • It’s full of Jesus. He’s there all through the book as promise, pattern, and presence – the promise of the rock (2:44-45) and the lowly king (4:17); the pattern of Daniel and his friends fearlessly praying and preaching and walking towards suffering; the presence of the one walking around in the fire (3:25), writing on the wall (5:5), shutting lions’ mouths (6:22). Let’s hold on to the promises, follow the pattern and enjoy the presence. That is spiritual warfare.

You can download the talk here. And the Powerpoint is here.

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