Lessons From Daniel

You are here

Lessons From Daniel

Login or Create an Account

With a UCG.org account you will be able to save items to read and study later!

Sign In | Sign Up

×

As I write, President-elect Barack Obama, soon to be the most powerful man on earth, is in the process of naming his staff of advisers.

Around 2,600 years ago, in one of history’s greatest empires, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon interviewed and appointed a brilliant young Jewish captive to be on his staff. An extraordinary, life-threatening event soon thrust Daniel onto a meteoric rise to power that even the slickest political schemer could never have contrived, resulting in the king making him “ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief administrator over all the wise men” (Daniel 2:48 Daniel 2:48Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.
American King James Version×
).

Daniel had what could only be called a phenomenal career, surviving everything from a murder conspiracy to several administrations spanning two different empires! He foretold, and survived, one of the most stunning topplings of any government in history—the Persian takeover of Babylon. And incredibly, instead of having him killed or imprisoned, the Persian rulers retained his services!

Daniel advised the kings well, because he knew he was simply the servant of a much higher king—God Almighty! His legacy, therefore, is not found in the politics and policies of the human rulers he served, but in the prophecies and plans of the God whose word he delivered.

Anyone familiar with Daniel only because of his legendary brush with death in the lion’s den has missed the most important parts of his story. The account of God delivering him is remarkable indeed, but the prophecies of God delivered through Daniel for us today are truly life-and-death matters!

His writings are partly history and partly prophecy, and we’d do well to learn from both. The prophetic sections are crucial, because they are the headlines of the future. And, yes, it’s “good news/bad news.”

The good news in Daniel is really good—it’s the central prophetic message found throughout the Bible! As Daniel explained it to Nebuchadnezzar while interpreting his troublesome dream, the emerging world-ruling powers through history eventually culminate when “the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed” (Daniel 2:44 Daniel 2:44And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
American King James Version×
). He later added, “The saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever” (Daniel 7:18 Daniel 7:18But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.
American King James Version×
).

But the bad news is, well, really bad. The world will find itself in an end-time “lions’ den” of power-hungry nations bent on war and wickedness, culminating in a terrible time of great trouble “such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time” (Daniel 12:1 Daniel 12:1And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of your people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
American King James Version×
).

Daniel interpreted for Belshazzar, the last Babylonian king, the “handwriting on the wall.” Are any leaders today wise enough to see the similar prophetic signs of the times? Are any willing to humbly seek God’s advice and bravely lead their people according to His will?

Will any modern leader like Persia’s Darius the Mede arise and, with similar reverence, decree “that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel” (Daniel 6:26 Daniel 6:26I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and steadfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even to the end.
American King James Version×
)?

Maybe someday we’ll see a leader likewise heed Daniel’s advice to Nebuchadnezzar to “break off your sins by being righteous … Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity” (Daniel 4:27 Daniel 4:27Why, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you, and break off your sins by righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of your tranquility.
American King James Version×
).

Would that we could see another godly adviser like Daniel in government today! In the absence of such a one, though, God has preserved His Word, for anyone who will listen. God told Daniel that at the end “the wise shall understand” (Daniel 12:9-10 Daniel 12:9-10 9 And he said, Go your way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
American King James Version×
). You can be among those! GN

You might also be interested in...

When Barack Obama takes the oath of office on January 20, 2009 what should be...