June 17, 2018
DEPEND ON GOD, STAY STEADFAST TO HIS COMMANDS,
AND WE WILL PROSPER
The book of Daniel contains some of my favorite stories of the bible. I love the Fiery Furnace (Daniel 3) and the faith that is shown by Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego:
“If this is so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18)
I adore the Lion’s Den and Daniel’s friendship evangelism with King Darius:
“Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” (Daniel 6:20)
Yet I had never given much thought to the dream sequence passages found later in the book. Daniel, chapters 7-12, focus on the dreams and visions of the prophet Daniel. Much of the imagery from the dream sequences uses language that will later be quoted by Jesus (Daniel 7:13 to Matthew 20:28) and John in the book of Revelations. In Daniel’s visions, we see a picture of both the first coming and the return of God’s promised Messiah.
Prophesy and parable are united in teaching us the same principle: If we attempt to stand alone, we fall into self-destruction. Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a statue of four metals that is destroyed shows Godless nations reduced to rubble (Daniel 2). Daniel’s dreams of beasts, of goats and rams, are all pictures of proud nations with rich histories falling due to the debauchery of their people and their leaders (Daniel 7-8). Nations and individuals are often interchanged as the Old Testament describes the plight of the nation of Israel as that of an unfaithful bride. In many cases, if we see the challenges a nation is facing, we can easily insert our own name into the verse in the nation’s place and see how God is teaching us. If we do this in Daniel, we find ourselves confronted with a call to depend on God, stay steadfast to his commands and we will prosper.