EP 124: You Are Greatly Loved: Daniel the Prophet

Diana WinklerPhysical Violence

What would you do if a pagan nation took you captive far from home, changed your name, commanded you to bow before an idol, and accused you of breaking the king’s law? We are talking about Daniel and his 3 friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah who suffered these very things, yet was faithful to the Lord. We are going to be diving into each chapter of the book of Daniel, discovering how these faithful servants of God survived 70 years of captivity, some basics of visions, and end time prophecies. If you’ve never read the book of Daniel, it’s more than the lion’s den! You are going to enjoy this encouraging study!

Full transcript below!

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The Prophet Daniel transcript:

[00:00:00] Welcome to the Wounds of the Faithful Podcast. Brought to you by DSW Ministries. Your host is singer songwriter, speaker and domestic violence advocate, Diana Winkler. She is passionate about helping survivors in the church heal from domestic violence and abuse and trauma. This podcast is not a substitute for professional counseling or qualified medical help.

[00:00:24] Now here is Diana.

[00:00:27] Hello everyone. Welcome to the podcast once again. Glad that you are here joining me once again. And I appreciate your support of this podcast financially and most of all praying for us here. And I know that you guys are praying for me because I have some even better news than last week. Brian got a phone call from Social Security Administration telling him that he was approved for permanent [00:01:00] disability benefits.

[00:01:02] And that was a huge surprise because we have been fighting for a year and a half to get that for him and we finally got it. And so that’s a huge answer to prayer. And I know there are people listening that have some disability of some sort, and you’re trying to get

[00:01:22] disability from the government because you can’t work. It is really hard. It is super challenging and it’s depressing and well

[00:01:32] I have friends that have been trying for years to get disability benefits and they’ve been denied and they appeal and get denied again. And I feel really bad for them because they’re in need just as much as my husband Brian. I will say that the reason why I think we got approved was because Brian is going to Mayo Clinic and had two doctors, help him with the [00:02:00] physician statement in paperwork for disability.

[00:02:04] And I believe that’s how we got approved. And so if you have any way to get into Mayo Clinic for whatever disability you’re trying to get approval for, that’s what I would highly recommend.

[00:02:20] I do give glory to the Lord for this. We’re very grateful. There’s anything that I can pray for you about. I would be privileged and honored to do that. Send me a message on social media. You can email me, diana@dswministries.org. all that’s in the show notes, how you can get ahold of me, and I will be glad to pray for you and come alongside of you.

[00:02:49] So onto our show today, we’ve been doing a series of different Bible characters that have suffered some sort of [00:03:00] abuse or trauma. And today we are going to do the Prophet Daniel. And I know that some of you have never read the book of Daniel, or you don’t have any clue about what Daniel is about except for Daniel in the lions den. And we will go over that for sure, but Daniel is so much more than that.

[00:03:25] And yes, it’s a book of prophecy that Daniel was a prophet. But we’re not going to go into detail about the visions and prophecies. I’m just going to mention them briefly. I will give you what the answers are with some of these visions. Because this is not a Apologetics podcast, this is not an eschatology podcast.

[00:03:49] but, I don’t wanna totally ignore some of the chapters in Daniel, but what I mainly want to talk about is Daniel’s character [00:04:00] and his friends. And in the midst of severe trials that he suffered, he was faithful to God, he and his friends against all odds and lived to a very ripe old age. And he’s one of the greatest men of faith that are in the Bible.

[00:04:20] And one of my favorite people in the Bible. I would say Joseph is my favorite next to Jesus naturally. We will talk about Joseph later on. I’m probably gonna save that for last.

[00:04:34] Anyway, we have a lot to cover. So we’re gonna get started and yeah, we’re gonna start in Daniel chapter one. and I’m reading from the ESV and I have my archeology study Bible, which has some really great notes in here that’s going to help me with those prophecies to summarize those so we can get the [00:05:00] gist and move on to the next thing.

[00:05:02] But you can read whatever Bible version you want that you enjoy reading.

[00:05:07] Let’s start reading in Daniel chapter one. 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 gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand with some of the vessels of the house of God.

[00:05:29] And he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god and placed the vessels in the treasury of his god. So what’s happening here? This is Nebuchadnezzar II. He ruled Babylon from 605 to 562 BC and he came in to Jerusalem and took over, occupied, destroyed the city of Jerusalem.

[00:05:58] And Jehoiakim [00:06:00] was the king of Judah at the time. Now, Nebuchadnezzar took the, what we call the holy vessels that the priest used for the sacrifices. Nebuchadnezzar took some of those and put into the shrine of his god, little G, and that was very common in that day when you occupied a country or you pillaged or besieged, a land, conquered it.

[00:06:28] You would take a lot of the spoils and even the holy relics they would dedicate these relics to their god because that was their way of showing power over the God of Israel.

[00:06:43] So we’re on verse three, Then the king commanded Ashpenaz as chief eunich to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family and of the nobility youths without blemish of good appearance [00:07:00] and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding, learning competent to stand in the king’s palace and to teach them the literature and the language of the Chaldeans.

[00:07:14] So this is Daniel and his three friends that were chosen to the King’s Palace, and you notice something very distinct about what’s going to happen here, is that Ashpenaz is the chief Eunich who was in charge of Daniel and his friends, and the reality of conquering a country and taking the survivors captive in chains and bringing them to their city, what happens is they will castrate the males that were in the palace because they did not want them to marry their women.

[00:07:57] When they are reproducing, [00:08:00] then they get stronger, right? That is why in Moses story, the Pharaoh commanded the midwives to kill the male children that were born because they were reproducing too quickly. and they were getting stronger in higher numbers.

[00:08:20] And so it was very common in conquering a kingdom to castrate the males. And there isn’t any other easier way to say this. These kids were according to resources that I have been studying were about preteen, 13 years old, just going into puberty. And so they definitely did not want young men around their women in the palace.

[00:08:50] So some people don’t think that this is real, that it doesn’t say that Daniel was castrated, but

[00:08:58] it does talk about it in [00:09:00] other scriptures. So back in the early history of the Kingdom of Judah, we find Hezekiah, he was one of the kings of Judah and he was showing off some of the treasures of his house to some of the people of Babylon that were visiting that, that would be in Isaiah 39, 2. And God gave Isaiah a, prophecy to pronounce about his descendants.

[00:09:24] So Isaiah said to hear the word of the Lord of host. Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house and what your fathers have accumulated until this day shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left, says the Lord. And they shall take away some of your sons who will descend from you, who you will beget, and they shall be eunichs in the place of the king of Babylon.

[00:09:51] That’s in verses five through seven.

[00:09:53] So when you put some of the pieces together, the one that was in charge of the youths was [00:10:00] Ashpenaz, the Chief Eunich. And Daniel never gets married. And his friends, there’s nothing that mentions that they get married either. But as Jesus was not married,

[00:10:13] Jesus Christ shows that even if they were eunichs, the attitude shown by people like Daniel and his three friends is the same attitude that will enable us to be part of the kingdom of God. So like in Matthew 19:12, it says, for there are eunichs who were born, thus from their mother’s womb and their eunichs, who were made eunichs by men.

[00:10:36] And there are eunichs who have made themselves eunichs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.

[00:10:44] So this is the start of their suffering, of being taken away from their home, their family, and being forced to serve in the king’s palace and [00:11:00] learn a new language, give up their culture. They were castrated. I mean, taking away your manhood, taking away your ability to ever have a normal marriage. You weren’t eligible to be married if you were eunichs.

[00:11:17] There was a whole lot more suffering that is coming forth with these young men here. And so let’s read a little bit more.

[00:11:28] I’m in verse five. The king assigned them a daily portion of the food that the king ate and of the wine that he drank.

[00:11:36] They were to be educated for three years, and at the end of that time, they were to stand before the king. Among these were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah of the tribe of Judah, and the chief of the eunichs gave them names. Daniel he called Belteshazzar, Hananiah he called Shadrach, Mishael he called [00:12:00] Meshach, and Azariah he called Abednego. So let’s talk about that. Here’s another way that

[00:12:08] their names were taken away. Their names were Hebrew names and they were given Babylonian names. After Babylonian gods, in fact. And that’s really hard for them to take their identity away from them. You may remember the children’s song:

[00:12:27] I don’t remember the whole song, but that’s how I know these young men’s names is from that song.

[00:12:33] So that’s another way that

[00:12:35] they’re trying to get them incorporated into the pagan Babylonian culture. Get them to forget their past and their family and their faith, their God, and they are being treated to some of the best food.

[00:12:53] And that would be, meat and wine and the choices delicacies. But [00:13:00] unfortunately these were sacrificed to idols. And Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah they all decided we’re not going to eat the meat offered idols.

[00:13:13] Let’s read more about that in verse eight. But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food or with the wine that he drank.

[00:13:23] Therefore, he asked the chief of the eunichs to allow him not to defile himself. And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunichs and the chief of the eunichs said to Daniel, I fear my Lord, the king who assigned your food and your drink, or why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youth who are of your own age?

[00:13:46] So you would endanger my head with the king!

[00:13:50] Verse 11. Then Daniel said to the Stewart, whom the chief of the eunichs had assigned over, Daniel Hananiah, Mishael, and [00:14:00] Azariah test your servants for 10 days. Let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then our appearance in the appearance of the youth who eat the king’s food, be observed by you and deal with your servants according to what you see.

[00:14:16] So we listened to them in this manner and tested them for 10 days. At the end of the 10 days, it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food. So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables, and it’s for these four youths.

[00:14:36] God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. At the end of the time when the king had commanded that they should be brought in. The chief of the eunichs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar and the king spoke with them. And among all of them, none was found like Daniel [00:15:00] Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah

[00:15:03] therefore, they stood before the king and in every manner of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of. He found them 10 times better than all of the magicians and enchanted that were in all of his kingdom. And Daniel was there until the first year of King Cyrus. I’m going to hear more about King Cyrus further in the podcast.

[00:15:27] So as you can see, Daniel and his friends, they wanted to honor the Lord and not eat the food given to idols. And so they were given permission just to eat the vegetables. Some translations call it Pulse. And it’s obvious that God blessed them mighty mightily in the kingdom of Babylon.

[00:15:49] God blessed them for obedience.

[00:15:51] So chapter two is, Nebuchadnezzar has a dream, and I’m not gonna read all of this. you would call all of his [00:16:00] magicians, who had been in his court for a long time and told them the vision and asked them to give him the interpretation. And of course, they couldn’t figure out what the vision was. And they were stalling, trying to figure it out, and they were not able to do it.

[00:16:20] And so here’s what happens. Oh man.

[00:16:25] Chapter two verse 11. The magicians are stating the thing that the king asks is difficult and no one can show it to the king except the gods with a little G whose dwelling is not with the flesh. And the king got very angry and he sent a decree out that all of the wise men would be killed.

[00:16:46] So let’s see here in verse 13. So the decree went out and the wise men were about to be killed, and they sought Daniel and his companions to kill them. Then Daniel [00:17:00] replied with prudence and discretion to Arioch, the captain of the King’s Guard. Who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon. He declared to Arioch the king’s captain.

[00:17:11] Why is the decree of the king so urgent? Then Arioch made the matter known to Daniel, and Daniel went in and requested the king to appoint him a time that he might show the interpretation to the king.

[00:17:25] So this is pretty scary. I mean, unfair, that the king is expecting the magicians to come up with this interpretation of his dream. It’s very complicated. And dreams sometimes

[00:17:39] they don’t make a lot of sense. If you’ve had some dreams that you have no idea what they mean. Their lives are on the line. And so when it’s Daniel is going to be killed, he’s asking for a chance to interpret the king’s dream and he’s going to call his friends. And so we’re [00:18:00] gonna read about that.

[00:18:01] Verse 17. Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah his companions and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the Wiseman of Babylon. So step number one

[00:18:23] is they seek God’s mercy, God’s wisdom, and giving them this prophecy, giving them the interpretation of this dream. Because not only their lives were at stake, but their fellow wisemen lives were at stake as well.

[00:18:42] That they prayed very diligently that they would have the answer for the king.

[00:18:46] So verse 19, and the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said, blessed be the name of God and forever to whom wisdom and. [00:19:00] He changes times and seasons. He removes kings and setups, kings and knowledge to those who have understanding.

[00:19:06] He reveals deep and hidden things. He knows what is in the darkness and the light dwells with him to you. Oh God, my father’s, I give thanks and praise

[00:19:17] where you have given me wisdom and might and now have made known to me. What we have asked of you for, you have made known to us the king’s matter. So step two, wait for God’s answer. And when God gives you that answer to your prayer, then you praise God for it. Amen. So now his time to go before the king.

[00:19:39] Verse 24. Then therefore, Daniel went into Arioch , whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He went and thus said to him, do not destroy the wise men of Babylon. Bring me in before the king and I will show the king the interpretation.

[00:19:58] Then Arioch brought in [00:20:00] Daniel before the king in haste and said, I have found among the exiles from Judah, a man who will make known to the king the interpretation. The king declared to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar. Are you able to make known to me the dream that I have seen in its interpretation?

[00:20:19] Daniel answered the king and said, no wise men, enchanted magicians or astrologers can know to the king the mystery that the king has asked. But there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries and he has made known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed.

[00:20:43] Are these:

[00:20:44] so step, step three, or was that step four? I’m losing count.

[00:20:50] It is true that only God can reveal this dream to Daniel, and he’s given the glory to God, not himself. So [00:21:00] it’s very important.

[00:21:01] And he says in verse 30, as for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because of any wisdom that I have, more than all the living, but in order that the interpretation may be known to the king and that you may know the thoughts in your mind. So I’m just going to briefly state what the vision is. So the vision of the statue in chapter two they talked about the head of gold. That is the Babylonian empire. The chest in arms of silver is the Medo Persian empire. The middle in thighs of bronze is the Greek Empire. The legs of iron, feet of iron and clay, that’s the Roman empire. And future events is the Messianic kingdom.

[00:21:49] So that’s chapter two.

[00:21:51] This particular vision and some of the other visions that Daniel sees, nobody really argues about them because they’ve already [00:22:00] happened and I’ll explain on some of the other visions,

[00:22:03] and these are past events for us, but they were future events for them.

[00:22:08] So in chapter two verse 46, after Daniel talks about what the vision is, it’s all of these,

[00:22:17] all of these different powers are going to destroy Babylon. Eventually here the king fell upon his face and paid homage to Daniel and commanded that an offering and incense be offered up to him. The king answered and said to Daniel, truly, your God is God of Gods in Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries.

[00:22:41] For you have been able to reveal this mystery. Then they gave Daniel High honors and many great gifts and made him ruler over the whole prince of Babylon in chief, prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. Daniel made a request of the [00:23:00] king and he appointed Shadrach Meshach and Abednego over the affairs of the province of Babylon.

[00:23:06] But Daniel remained at the King’s court.

[00:23:09] So Daniel gets all these gifts and he gets a promotion to the head honcho here and chief prefect. And he takes a little bit, an advantage that he has asking for his friends to be over the affairs of the province of Babylon. So nothing wrong with that. His friends are godly and he felt that they would be best use of their gifts and skills as leadership as well.

[00:23:40] And so the next stage of Daniel’s life and his friends is Nebuchadnezzar makes this golden image. and you’ve probably heard about this before, just briefly describing.

[00:23:55] In chapter three, king Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold whose height [00:24:00] was 60 cubits In its breath, six cubits, he set up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. Then King Nebuchadnezzar sent together the say traps, the prefects and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of provinces to come to the dedication of the image the King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

[00:24:25] So they all gathered for the dedication of the image, and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And the Herald proclaimed aloud, you are commanded, oh, people’s, nations, and languages that when you hear the sound of the horn pipe, lyre, trione, harp bagpipe. In every kind of music you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

[00:24:51] And whoever does not fall down in worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. Therefore, as [00:25:00] soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn pipe, lyre, trigone, harp bagpipe in every kind of music, all the people’s, nations and languages fell down and worshiped the golden image that the king Ne I’m more am wondering what a trigon is. I’ll have to look that up sometime. But as a musician, I’m wondering what that music sounded like when it went down. But you see where this is going, don’t you?

[00:25:27] It’s gonna get pretty spicy here in just a moment.

[00:25:29] Verse eight.

[00:25:30] Therefore, at that time, certain Chaldeans came forth and maliciously accused the Jews they declared to King Nebuchadnezzar oh, king Live forever. You O King have made a decree that every man who hears the sound of the horn pipe, lyre, trione, harp bagpipe, and every kind of music shall fall down and worship the golden image.

[00:25:57] And whosoever does not fall down and worship shall be [00:26:00] cast into a burning. Fiery furnace. There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego. These men, O King, pay no attention to you. They do not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you set up.

[00:26:20] So notice that Daniel is not among this group of friends. Most sources say that he was probably not present because he was traveling on royal business of some sort, or was exempt from the summons since he served primarily at the royal court in Babylon. Doesn’t really specify in the text.

[00:26:41] So let’s hear what happens. Verse 13, then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego be brought before the king Nebuchadnezzar are answered and said to them, is it true of Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden [00:27:00] image that I have set up? Now, if you are ready, when you hear the sound of the horn pipe, lyre, trigon, a bagpipe and every kind of music to fall down and worship the image that I have made well and good, but if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.

[00:27:19] And who is the God who will deliver you out of my hands? Okay, here’s where the line is drawn in the sand. What are they going to do?

[00:27:29] Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego answered and said to the king. We have no need to answer you in this manner. If this be 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 your king that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.

[00:27:55] That takes a lot of strength to say that. these [00:28:00] men or young boys, it doesn’t say how old they were at this point. This is scary. Looking at the firey furnace, there’s everybody around that’s bowing and to this statue, this image, and the king’s in your face saying, you better bow to this image. Or you’re gonna be thrown in there and mocking their God.

[00:28:21] Their mama raised them right.

[00:28:23] But these men, I just like the spunk and the snark in one of these men’s answers.

[00:28:29] We have no need to answer you in this manner. Don’t you sense a little snark in that?

[00:28:33] And this is definitely persecution. Now persecution is a type of an abuse, but it’s a very specific abuse. Persecution is defined as you are suffering for your religious beliefs. You are

[00:28:49] practicing your faith and you are being either punished or killed for your faith in God. Abuse is probably suffering for any other [00:29:00] reason outside of your faith.

[00:29:02] You got a lot of people today that’s, they’re crying persecution when it’s not necessarily persecution. It’s you were doing something you weren’t supposed to be doing and you get put in jail or you get, tomatoes thrown at you.

[00:29:18] You can’t really claim persecution when

[00:29:20] You’re out there on the street corner saying terrible things about certain people groups. And I’m not gonna repeat what they say, but you know what I’m talking about. You’ve seen it calling certain people groups names and saying they’re all gonna go to hell. Or God hates this people group.

[00:29:39] And I don’t think God hates anybody, but persecution,

[00:29:43] Blowing up abortion clinics and going to prison for that is not persecution. Jesus never told us to blow up abortion clinics.

[00:29:54] Not to get political here. We’ve got people that are being [00:30:00] violent and doing illegal things, when you’ll never find that Jesus did any of those.

[00:30:06] You’ll never find that the apostles did any of those things and they were up against Rome. Rome was crucifying Christians and sending them to the gladiators and the coliseums, and they were persecuted for spreading the gospel of Jesus. It wasn’t because they were trying to overthrow Rome or any other political system.

[00:30:30] They were told by Jesus to submit to whoever was in power as best as they could. The only time that it you are to draw the line is the government tells you to do something that is against your faith, which in this case, No, I’m not gonna bow to a statue to an idol.

[00:30:49] So you’re not going to respond in violence. You’re going to take whatever the government gives you for not obeying their laws, which is usually imprisonment [00:31:00] or death for your faith. I wanted to make that distinction.

[00:31:03] So let’s read what happens next.

[00:31:05] Verse 19, then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury and the expression on his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was usually heated.

[00:31:20] This usually, this kind of language that’s used in here is most likely an exaggeration because can’t really heat something up seven times hotter. It’s either hot or it’s not, right? Seven is usually an expression of completeness to say extremely hot.

[00:31:39] And he ordered some of the mighty men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and to cast them into burning firey furnace. Then these men were bound in their cloaks, their tunics, their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown in the burning fiery furnace. Verse 22, because [00:32:00] the king’s order was urgent and the furnace overheated, the flame of the fire killed these men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and these three men fell bound into the burning fiery furnace.

[00:32:13] Verse 24. Then King Ne buchadnezzar and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, did we not cast three bound men into the fire? They answered and said to the king, true king. He answered and said, but I see four men unbound walking in the midst of the fire, and they’re not hurt. and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.

[00:32:41] So most scholars and believe that the son of the gods, that is the pre in the furnace with them.

[00:32:50] Wouldn’t that be awesome? Wouldn’t it be exciting? You’re just doing what God has told you to do and you are ready to die for your beliefs. And [00:33:00] it must have been really scary. It doesn’t say how they felt. They were just, I’m gonna see God really soon here. It’s gonna be horrible death, but it will be over shortly.

[00:33:10] And so verse 26, came to the door of the fiery furnace and he declared go, servants of the most high God come out and come here. Then they came out from the fire and the satraps the prefects, the governor, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not power over the bodies of those men.

[00:33:37] The hair on their heads was not singed. Their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them. r answered and said, blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants who trusted in him and set aside the king’s command and yielded up [00:34:00] their bodies rather than serve and worship any God, except their own God, therefore, and make a decree any people, nation or language that speaks anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego shall be torn limb from limb from in their houses laid in ruins for there is no other God who is able to rescue in this way.

[00:34:24] Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego in the province of Babylon. ,

[00:34:30] there’s a lot going on here. So they just marveled that they came out, un singed, untouched. Their ropes were off. They still had their clothes on and.

[00:34:42] So it’s kind of hard to say if Nebuchadnezzar is a believer at this point because there’s some mixed things that come out of his mouth. But,

[00:34:50] so there he’s making a decree that, anybody that speaks against the Hebrew of God is gonna be destroyed. That’s kind of not what we were going for.[00:35:00] It’s a bit severe, don’t you think?

[00:35:02] But next is chapter four verse two. It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the most high God has done for me how greater is signs almighty wonders. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and his dominion endures from generation to generation. I think he just adds the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

[00:35:22] his list of gods. Yeah. Today, the Hebrew God is cool and does really awesome magic tricks.

[00:35:30] So we have another second dream that Nebuchadnezzar has in chapter four. So of course, the men of Babylon, the interpreters of dreams, they all come and they could not make known the interpretation just like before. And so of course, in verse eight, unless Daniel came in before me, he was named Belteshazzar after the name of my god and in whom the spirit of the holy gods.

[00:35:59] And I [00:36:00] told him the dream saying, oh, Belteshazzar chief of the magicians because I know that the spirit of the Holy God was in you. That no mystery is too difficult for you. Tell me the visions of my dream that I saw on their interpretation.

[00:36:14] Yeah. So Daniel interprets the second dream in verse 19. Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was dismayed for a while, and his thoughts alarmed him. The king answered and said, are not the dream or the interpretation alarm you.

[00:36:32] So apparently he must care for this king in some form or fashion because he’s kinda like, the dream be for those who hate you and it’s interpretation for your enemies. I don’t know, maybe it’s just being flattering him because he is about to give him some really terrible , And yeah, it says in verse 25, you shall be driven among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beast of the field.

[00:36:58] You shall be made to eat [00:37:00] grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with a dew of heaven. In seven periods of time, she’ll pass over you till you know that the most high God rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whoever he will.

[00:37:11] Therefore, oh king, let my council be acceptable to you. Break off your sins by practicing righteousness and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed that there may be perhaps a lengthening of your prosperity.

[00:37:26] So Daniel’s giving him some warning here and trying to be kind about it, but this king doesn’t learn. He was walking on his roof and the royal palace of Babylon, and the king answered and said, is this is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty.

[00:37:48] While the words were still in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven. Oh, king Nebuchadnezzar to you. It is spoken. The kingdom has departed from. you shall be driven from among men, and [00:38:00] your dwelling shall be with the beast of the field, and you shall be made to eat grass like an ox in seven periods of time shall pass over you until you know that the most high God rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whomever he will.

[00:38:13] So immediately the word was fulfilled against His hair grew as long as eagle’s feathers and his nails were like bird’s claws. So yeah, this is pretty crazy.

[00:38:24] So it says in verse 34, at the end of the days, I near lifted my eyes to heaven in my recent return. To me, I blessed the most high and praise honored him who lives forever. So not sure how long this period of time was here.

[00:38:41] I didn’t look it up. So

[00:38:44] probably enough time to come to his senses, right? 36. At the same time, a reason returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My majesty splendor returned to me. My counselors and my Lord sought me, and I was established in my kingdom and still more [00:39:00] greatness was added to me. r praise and extol an honor of the king of heaven for all of his works are right and his ways are just, and those who walk in pride, he is able to humble.

[00:39:12] that’s a painful lesson to learn. Humility.

[00:39:16] And then we’ve got his son. So don’t get those confused. Daniel’s Babylonian name was Belt g Chapter five is the story about Daniel’s interaction with him.

[00:39:33] ar made a great feast for a thousand of his lords and drank wine in front of the thousand ar, when he tasted the wine commanded that the vessels of gold and of silver, that Nebuchadnezzar, his father had taken out of the temple, Jerusalem be brought that the king and his lords, his wives and his concubines might drink from them.

[00:39:54] So last week we learned about what a concubine was, so you all know what [00:40:00] that means now. But anyhow, what is Belshazzar doing? Remember in the chapter one, Nebuchadnezzar brought the vessels, the holy vessels from the temple in Jerusalem , the spoil they got was put into their temples. And that’s sort of a sign of respect, even though it’s Babylon conquered Jerusalem and took everything.

[00:40:23] They were just held in a place that’s a lot more respectful than what Belshazzar are doing here. And so verse four,

[00:40:32] they drank one and praise the gods of gold, silver, and bronze and wood. So they’re drinking in of these vessels that only the priests were supposed to be drinking out of.

[00:40:41] You might have heard about the writing on the wall. You ever heard that term? This is where it comes from. Verse five. Immediately the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, the king’s palace opposite the lampstand, and the king saw the hand as it wrote. [00:41:00] Then the king’s color changed, and his thoughts alarmed him.

[00:41:03] His limbs gave way and his knees knocked together. The king called to bring the enchanters, that chaldeans and the astrologers, the king declared to the Wiseman of Babylon. Whoever reads this writing and shows me its interpretation shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.

[00:41:26] Then all the king’s wise men came in, but they could not read the writing or make known to the king the interpretation. Big surprise there. I think these guys wouldn’t even have a job anymore because they seemed pretty worthless. And the King Belshazzar was greatly alarmed and his color changed because his Lords were perplexed.

[00:41:45] Yeah, it’s pretty scary seeing a handwriting on the wall.

[00:41:50] But the queen knows what’s going on. Verse 10, the Queen because of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banqueting hall and the queen declared, [00:42:00] oh, king, live forever. Let not your thoughts alarm you or your color change. There’s a man in your kingdom who is the spirit of the holy gods. In the days of your father, latent understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods were found in him.

[00:42:15] And King Nebu, your father, the king, made him chief of the magicians enchanters, Chaldeans, and astrologers because an excellent spirit, knowledge and understanding to interpret dreams, explain riddles and solve problems were found in this Daniel whom the king named Belteshazzar. Now let Daniel be called and he’ll show the interpretation.

[00:42:40] And so the Queen, not sure if she’s a believer or not, but she keeps using the word the holy gods. So I think she’s adding the Hebrew God to her collection of gods that she worships. But she’s very aware of Daniel in what he [00:43:00] has done. So here comes Daniel in verse 13. Then Daniel was brought in before the king and the king answered and said to Daniel, you are that Daniel, one of the exiles of Judah, whom the king my father, brought from Judah.

[00:43:14] I have heard of you that the spirit of the gods is in you and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you. Now, the wise men, the enchanted, have been brought in before me to read this writing and make known to me the interpretation. But they could not show the interpretation of the matter.

[00:43:34] But I heard that you give interpretations and solve problems. Now, if you can read the writing and make known to me the interpretation, you shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around your neck and shall be the third ruler of the kingdom.

[00:43:49] So

[00:43:50] if you know a little bit of kind of the language that ar is using with Daniel. It’s different than the [00:44:00] conversation that Daniel would have with Nebuchadnezzar which was one of respect. They might not have agreed with one another. Or, Hey, you took me from my family. You destroyed Jerusalem.

[00:44:12] They at least spoke to one another with respect. Unlike Belshazzar, and Daniel seemed to trade words of disrespect. Belshazzar says . You’re one of those exiles, aren’t you? I mean, Daniel, according to the timeline, has served faithfully in Babylon for more than 65 years, and he’s an old man by now, at least in our sense of old man. says, if you can read the writing. He didn’t question the other advisors if they were able.

[00:44:43] Technically he’s not one of them, but he should at least have the reputation of somebody who can interpret dreams and should be given some respect. But Daniel does the same thing to him.

[00:44:57] So Daniel answered and said, Before the king,[00:45:00] let your gifts be for yourself and give your rewards to another. Neither the less I will read the writing to the king and make known to him the interpretation. Oh, king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father kingship and greatness and glory in majesty.

[00:45:15] And because of the greatness that he gave him, all people’s nations and languages trembled and feared before him, whom he would he killed, and whom he would he kept alive, whom he would, he raised up and who he would be humbled. But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened so that he dealt proudly, he was brought down from his kingly throne and his glory was taken from him.

[00:45:42] 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 doggies. He was fed grassed like an ox, and his buddy was wet with the dew of heaven until he knew that the most high God rules the kingdom of [00:46:00] mankind and sets over at whom he will.

[00:46:03] And you, his son, Belshazzar have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this, but you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven and the vessels of the house have been brought in before you and your lords, your wives and your concubines have drunk wine from them and you have praised the gods of silver, gold, bronze, earn wood stone, which do not see or hear or know, but the God in whose hand, your breath and who’s all of your ways you have not honored.

[00:46:35] Okay. So Daniel’s giving him a history lesson, reminding him about, okay here’s how your father acted against the holy God, and here’s how you’re acting. You might wanna show some respect.

[00:46:51] So here we go. Verse 24. Then from his presence, the hand was sent and this writing was inscribed and this is the writing that was inscribed: [00:47:00] MENE. Teckl Perez, this is the interpretation of the matter. Mene God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought to an end Tekl. You have been weighed in the balances and found wanting.

[00:47:14] Perez is your kingdom is divided and given to Then Belshazzar are gave the command. And Daniel was clothed with purple. A chain of gold was put around his neck and a proclamation was made about him that he should be the third ruler of the kingdom. Purple. Of course, you probably know this is only royalty.

[00:47:34] Purple is very expensive. You may know Lydia was a seller of purple in the New Testament and you had to go a very long way for that dye. And I mean, Daniel said he didn’t want these chain of gold and the purple, but they put it around him anyway.

[00:47:50] And so now he’s third ruler of the kingdom. But in verse 30, this is what happened to Belshazzar that very night. [00:48:00] king was killed.

[00:48:01] And Darius the mead received the kingdom and being about 62 years old. So yeah,

[00:48:08] another humility lesson for the Kings.

[00:48:12] So now we come to chapter six, where we have our famous Daniel and the lions den. We teach this story to our children and it’s quite downplayed when we talk about it to our children. But it’s pretty graphic in here. What happens to Daniel? More suffering. His friends are not with him.

[00:48:33] But so Darius is the new king, and Daniel is probably 80 years old by this time. Most bible scholars. Believe that it’s an alternate name for Cyrus, the great king of Persia. So here we go, so we’re gonna go on chapter six. verse one, please. Darius, to set over the kingdom, 120 satraps to be [00:49:00] throughout the whole kingdom and over them. Three high officials of whom Daniel was won to whom these satraps should give account so that the king might suffer no loss.

[00:49:11] Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps because an excellent spirit was in him and the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.

[00:49:24] I mean, this is incredible that Daniel is one of the highest officials in the land. He’s been given trust, he’s shown himself loyal, and he’s a godly man and he prospers his king.

[00:49:42] And so of course when you come into power, then people get jealous and they don’t want you in power. And so here we go,

[00:49:53] verse four. Then the high officials in the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against [00:50:00] Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault because he was faithful and no error or fault was found in him. Then these men said, we shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel, unless we find it in connection with the law, of his God.

[00:50:22] So that’s what I was saying about persecution and suffering for Jesus, is that your personal life should not be an offense. They searched and tried to find something in his personal life that they could hold against him and get him in trouble, but they couldn’t because he was without fault. As far as being a servant of the king, he was honest, he was trustworthy, he was godly, and that’s how he got to where he was and worked very hard.

[00:50:56] And so if Daniel was doing stuff he wasn’t [00:51:00] supposed to be doing, then he couldn’t really describe Daniel as being persecuted. He was, he would be suffering for we’re doing something wrong, which, that’s natural consequences for disobeying laws.

[00:51:13] But he wasn’t disobeying any laws. So the only way that they could get him is we’re gonna have to trick him. We’re going to have to do something that would get him in trouble against the law of his God. Verse six, then these high officials and satraps came by agreement to the king and said to him,

[00:51:32] oh, Darius, live forever. Oh, the high officials are the kingdom and the prefix and the say traps. The counselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an injunction that whoever makes petition to any God or man for 30 days, except to you, king, shall be cast into the den of lions.

[00:51:54] Now, king established the injunction and sign the document. so that it cannot be changed [00:52:00] according to the law of the Meads and the Persians, which cannot be revoked. Therefore, king Darius signed their document, an injunction.

[00:52:08] So

[00:52:10] this smells like brown-nosing, doesn’t it? Or kissing butts to me.

[00:52:15] I don’t know. Why would a king agree to something like that? Maybe it, it stroked His ego. Doesn’t really talk about the character of King Darius, or if he was a good or a bad king, but he signed this document and he was not thinking that perhaps this was against somebody specific. Let’s see what happens next?

[00:52:41] Verse 10. When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open towards Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God as he had done previously.[00:53:00] Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God.

[00:53:06] Ooh, boy, if I’m gonna go down for something, I’m gonna go down for Jesus. Right? I’m gonna go down for serving God, praying to the Lord. I know some of my friends who won’t even pray for their food in public anymore because they’re afraid of being persecuted or teased or beat up or whatever.

[00:53:24] And it’s hard. And I’m sure that Daniel, when he heard that King Darius signed that document, probably was disappointed. He probably scared. And the fact that he prayed three times a day towards Jerusalem, that’s very interesting. That was very common in the the Middle East. Most people connect that with Muslim prayer, that they pray three times a day.

[00:53:52] When I was in Israel, you could actually hear the horns. That would sound three times a [00:54:00] day for the Muslims to pray. And wherever they are, they’re in work or they’re at home or in public, , they get their prayer rugs and they pray towards Mecca. So it’s not really that unusual that he’s doing this.

[00:54:15] It’s a common practice and he’s still giving thanks before, before God. He still makes a decision to worship in private, and these guys are spying on him,

[00:54:28] and so of course they’re running off to go and tell the king. They got him now, right? Verse 12.

[00:54:35] Then they came there and said, before the king, oh king, did you not sign an injunction that anyone who makes a petition to any God or man with 30 days except to you, oh king shall be cast in the den of lions?

[00:54:49] The king answered and said, the thing stands fast according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be revoked. Then they answered and said, before they came, [00:55:00] Daniel, who was one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, o King or the injunction you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day.

[00:55:10] Again, the insults, I mean, he’s 80 years old, he’s been there for 60 years, a part of that court, and they just, attack him with “the exile from Judah”. It’s like ridiculous at this point. So verse 14, then the king, when he heard these words, was much distressed and sent his mind to deliver Daniel, and he labored until the sun went down to rescue him.

[00:55:39] I mean, I think the king realized he made a mistake. He was tricked and horn swaggled. These men made him sign this agreement, obviously, because they were jealous of Daniel and he wanted to change it. So I guess he’s a pretty good guy, a [00:56:00] fair man, maybe. And so obviously he wasn’t able to change that. Verse 15.

[00:56:08] Then these men came by agreement to the king and said, no, oh king, that the law, the Meds and Persians, that no injunction or ordinance can the king establishes be changed. Then the king commanded and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. He had no choice really running forth, and I like this part though.

[00:56:32] The king declared to Daniel, may your God whom you serve continually deliver you.

[00:56:40] That’s a different response than Nebuchadnezzar when he threw the three men into the fiery furnace. King Darius is hoping that God will protect Daniel. Verse 17. And a stone was brought in, laid on the mouth of the den, and the king [00:57:00] sealed it with his own cignet and with the cignet of his lords that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel.

[00:57:07] Yeah, the king is a man of his word. If he says he is gonna do something, he’s gonna do it even though he made a mistake.

[00:57:15] Lions were common symbols of royalty and power through the ancient near East. Solomon decorated his throne with lions. At least one Egyptian Pharaoh took his pet lion with him on military campaigns as Syrian kings hunted lions.

[00:57:32] So the fact that the king had lions isn’t unusual, but apparently they didn’t use it very often to punish people. But again, these men who were accusing Daniel, who were jealous of Daniel came up with this punishment apparently. So

[00:57:49] Verse 18,

[00:57:51] then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting. No diversions were brought to him and sleep fled [00:58:00] from him. Can you blame him? I mean, he was probably really anxious and upset at the whole situation. Verse 19. Then at the break of day, the king arose, went in hast to the den of lions.

[00:58:14] As he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish, the king declared to Daniel, oh Daniel, servant of the living God! Has your God whom you serve, continually been able to deliver you from the lions?

[00:58:33] Just waiting for that answer. Woo. Verse 21. Then Daniel said to the king, oh king, live forever. My God sent his angel and shut the lion’s mouths and they have not harmed me because I was found blameless before him and also before you O King. I have done no harm. Then the king was exceedingly glad and commanded that [00:59:00] Daniel be taken up out of the den.

[00:59:02] So Daniel is taken up out of the den and no kind of harm is found on him. because he had trusted in his God. That’s exciting that you had the angel of the Lord in the fiery furnace with his friends. And then God sent an angel. It doesn’t say the angel of the Lord, but it says an angel. He shut the lions’ mouths.

[00:59:27] And I’m sure those lions were hungry. And we all wish that God would supernaturally rescue us like that from our trials in our persecutions. Some persecutions don’t end this way. We have a lot of Christians in the Middle East or in countries that Christianity is illegal and they are tortured and they are a lot of times beheaded for being a Christian or not recanting their faith, not converting [01:00:00] to whatever religion they want them to convert to.

[01:00:04] Sometimes God will, take your life and you’ll be in heaven with him. I just imagine what that was like sitting there all night with those lions. I mean, I love lions. Brian loves lions . It’s not like watching National Geographic when you’re in a pit with lions and they could eat you.

[01:00:26] So they brought Daniel up and guess what else happens? Verse 24 says, and the king commanded that those men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and cast in the den of lions. They, their children and their wives. And before they reached the bottom of the den, the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces.

[01:00:52] So that’s pretty disturbing for us to hear that. Common in those days was corporate [01:01:00] punishment of the guilty with their families. And this is not a godly king. It’s a pagan king. So this is their way, not necessarily God’s way. But it’s really difficult to read that the children and their wives who were probably innocent of the charges were thrown into the pit also.

[01:01:23] I had been thinking about this, why the wives and the children were put in there as well. One, I think is because there needed to be a precedent set, or this was really wrong, what they did to Daniel. And there had better not be a repeat of accusing innocent people or trapping innocent people.

[01:01:52] And I think if they didn’t put the children or the wives in the pit also, that there [01:02:00] may have been some revenge sought if the wives and the children watch their spouses, their fathers thrown into the pit of lions and broken bones. That’s really traumatic for somebody to see public execution.

[01:02:18] I think that the children may have grown up to seek revenge for that against their father, and the wives might have done the same, seeking some kind of revenge. Again, these are pagan people. They’re not believers or Hebrews. Although I do feel bad for the innocent.

[01:02:40] That was their way. And so that’s a lesson that you don’t accuse innocent people of wrongdoing. So verse 25, then king Darius wrote to all the people’s, nations and languages that dwell on the earth, peace be multiplied to you [01:03:00] and make a decree that in all my world, dominion people are determinable in fear Before the God of Daniel, where he is a living God enduring forever, his kingdom shall never be destroyed and his dominion shall be to the end.

[01:03:15] He delivers and rescues. He works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth. He who has saved David from the power of alliance. So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

[01:03:33] So we’ve got a lot of visions here that I’m not gonna go into detail verse chapter seven, Daniel saw a dream and visions in his head as he laid in his bed, and he wrote the dream down and told the son of the matter. Is going to summarize this really quickly.

[01:03:54] So, The Great Sea is the Mediterranean Sea. The vision’s about four great [01:04:00] beasts. They stand for four powerful human kingdoms. So it talks about in verse four, the lion with eagles wings. That’s Babylon. The plucking of its wings may stand for judgment on Nebuchadnezzar another, verse five, the bear mentioned is raised up on one side.

[01:04:19] That’s the Medes Persian empire. Verse six, the leopard with four wings, and four, hes, that would be Alexander the Great and his four successors, which were his generals.

[01:04:32] So verse seven and eight. The unnamed but terrifying and exceedingly strong beast apparently represents Rome in its absolute power. The little horn seemingly takes power from within this kingdom. So verse nine and 10, this image shifts to a court with God. The Ancient of Days seated a judge innumerable multitude.

[01:04:56] If you wanna know what God looked like in Daniel’s vision, here [01:05:00] you go. God has white hair, white clothing that is a symbolism for purity and wisdom, the fire that probably represents his power, and the books that were opened and stand for the knowledge of people’s deeds. God is the ultimate judge we see here.

[01:05:23] Verse 13 and 14, it mentions the son of man and we recognize this as Jesus. That’s his frequent title for himself. An example that would be Matthew 8:20. And he has human and divine characteristics, so that’s how we know that’s who it is. He’s referred to a man in Ezekiel 2:1, but comes with the clouds and is given an everlasting kingdom.

[01:05:53] both are, which are symbols of divine authority. So [01:06:00] verse 15 through 18, Daniel does not understand the vision and asks an angel for help. I mean, Daniel’s a prophet and he’s extremely intelligent and smart, and God gives him all this extra wisdom, but he doesn’t understand the vision, so don’t feel bad if you don’t understand this stuff.

[01:06:21] Even Daniel had trouble getting some of these visions that he saw. So he asks the angel for help and he explains that the beasts are for earthly kings and that God’s people shall receive and possess the kingdom forever. So, 19 through 27, Daniel asks about the fourth beast because it was exceedingly terrifying and made war with the saints and prevailed over them. So not even the prophet can understand these dreams, and God does [01:07:00] this intentionally, makes it ambiguous and hard to understand. God’s people should accept that they’re not to know everything that’s going to happen in the future. There are people out there that they think they know exactly what’s going to happen, but we really don’t because, and this is proof right here, that they need to trust the all-knowing God who has the future under control.

[01:07:25] even if the future includes terrible persecution. Yeah you’ll listen to some of these nimrods on radios or podcasts that they think they know what’s gonna happen in the end times. We don’t. We have theories, we have differing opinions even on the same book of revelation for example. There are many different views on what’s gonna happen in the end times.

[01:07:51] One thing we know for sure is that Jesus is coming back and that we as Christians should be living a holy life and be ready for [01:08:00] his coming. Other than that, the righteous will rule with him and the evil, believers are going to be judged and punished. That’s the basics of eschatology the end times.

[01:08:15] This is talking about events that have already happened.

[01:08:19] So we’re in chapter eight, just skimming through all this stuff. Daniel’s vision of the ram and the goat.

[01:08:26] and he sees himself in a vision.

[01:08:29] So I’m not gonna read all that. I’m just gonna give you the basic gist of chapter eight,

[01:08:36] Let’s see here. Let’s go to verse four. The Ram symbolizes the Meads and the Persians. The higher horn stands for the Persians who joined up with the initially stronger meads, but quickly dominated them. So the Meads and Persians became great and expanded from the east westward and northward and southward [01:09:00] until they ruled the largest empire the Near East had ever seen.

[01:09:05] So here’s history showing up right here, verse eight. It’s talking about a goat with a conspicuous horn that doesn’t touch the ground from the west and trample the ram. The goat is Alexander the great being of Greece, and he conquered Persian and the Near East and in just a few years. So the broken horn that it’s talking about and the four horns replaced, it represents Alexander the Great’s early death at 33.

[01:09:39] I don’t know a whole lot about Alexander the Great, but that’s a really young age to die. , his four generals who succeeded him are the the four horns. So each of Alexander’s generals when he died took over [01:10:00] certain parts of the world and the power did not go to Alexander the great’s sons, which that’s sometimes what happens.

[01:10:08] So then there’s this little horn and the description in chapter eight clarifies the identity of the little horn. And again, this is history that’s already happened. The little horn is Antiochus, IV epiphanies. So that was in 167 BC. And who is this guy? He’s a Selucid ruler that desecrated the Jewish temple in Jerusalem and stopped the burnt offerings that were in Jerusalem.

[01:10:41] So there’s lots of numbers in this chapter and a lot of symbolism in here, which I’m not gonna go into. You can read that on your own. But apparently, God knows and limits the time of persecution, but does not divulge its precise length. That’s another example of [01:11:00] intentional ambiguity. God doesn’t really want us to know everything,

[01:11:04] but what do you think of Daniel receiving these kind of visions? I found it was interesting. We’re looking at chapter eight verse 15,

[01:11:14] this happens more than once with Daniel. When I, Daniel had seen the vision, I sought to understand it and behold they stood before me. One, having the appearance of a man. And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the Ulai and it called, Gabriel, make this man understand the vision. So we understand that to be God telling Gabriel the archangel what to do.

[01:11:40] Gabriel’s a very famous angel.

[01:11:43] So Gabriel appears at many events such as to Daniel, to the father of John the Baptist, and to Mary the mother of Jesus. So Daniel says, so he came near where I stood and when he came, I was frightened and I fell on my face when he said to me, [01:12:00] understand, oh son of man, that the vision is for the time of the end. So yeah, he was terrified to get these visions cuz they’re pretty scary and he doesn’t know what they mean.

[01:12:15] So it’s basically those chapters talking about the persecution and destruction caused by the little horn Antiochus, and so Gabriel also commands Daniel to seal up the vision later because it refers to many days from now. It’s in the future and it’s not meant to be understood.

[01:12:38] And so chapter nine, Daniel prays for his people. And this is really interesting. I never noticed this before in chapter nine, verse two. I, Daniel perceived in the books the number of the years that, according to the word of the Lord, the Jeremiah, the prophet must pass before the end of the desolation of Jerusalem, [01:13:00] namely 70 years. So this is pretty cool that he was reading Jeremiah.

[01:13:07] He reads other prophets words that would’ve been a form of hand copied scroll. Perhaps carried the hundreds of miles from Judah to Babylon. And Daniel and Jeremiah were contemporaries in Jerusalem before Daniel’s exile in 605 BC. So what he discerns here in this chapter is that their exile is nearly complete.

[01:13:35] They’ve been in exile for 70 years, and he’s finding out. It’s going to end soon and his people will be able to go back to Jerusalem. That sounds exciting. I mean, Finally we get to go back to our chosen land. And then I turn my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer in pleas for mercy with [01:14:00] fasting and sackcloth and ashes.

[01:14:02] I pray to the Lord my God and made confessions saying, oh Lord, the great and awesome God who keeps covenants and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments. We have sin and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled. Turning aside from your commandments and rules, I’m not gonna read this whole prayer because it’s really long.

[01:14:28] It goes to boy, it goes to verse 20. He is praying for the salvation of his people. The reason why they were in exile was because they were not obeying God. They were doing things they weren’t supposed to be doing. And there are natural consequences to that. God would allow another country to come in and occupy or exile them. And so

[01:14:56] he is seeking forgiveness [01:15:00] for himself. I mean, look at what kind of a life he lived and he even acknowledges that he is a sinner in need of God’s mercy and forgiveness for whatever. We don’t know what exactly could Daniel be guilty of. He doesn’t mention anything.. So then while he was speaking and praying, confessing in verse 20 Gabriel comes back and and this was at the time of the evening sacrifice, he made me understand, speaking with me and saying, oh, Daniel, I have come out now to give you insight and understanding. I have come to tell it to you. For you are greatly loved.

[01:15:42] Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision. I love this verse. I love it. I just noticed that this year reading Daniel, when my church was going through the Bible together. Wouldn’t you like the angel to come and give you that message?

[01:15:58] That would be [01:16:00] amazing. And so he’s, Gabriel is telling Daniel that his people will be restored and they’re going to build Jerusalem. But there’s also really good news that there’s going to be a coming of an Anointed One. And it goes into a lot of dates and times and symbology, which I won’t get into because it’ll make your head hurt.

[01:16:24] But basically it’s talking about Jesus is coming. The Jews called the Messiah, the Anointed one. And so Gabriel’s telling Daniel, Hey, the Messiah is coming.

[01:16:39] Jesus dies on the cross. And there will be a destruction of Jerusalem. This big, whole huge gap in between.

[01:16:47] And there’s what we call the second coming of Christ. I’m not going to get into the different views of the end times because again, this [01:17:00] is not an eschatology podcast. There’s people that explain it much better than me. But

[01:17:05] but I wanted to mention that

[01:17:07] There’s a few more visions. And

[01:17:10] so by the time, we get to chapter 10 there, he still has another vision and he was pretty disturbed about this vision. He says in first two, in those days, I, Daniel was mourning for three weeks, I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I annoint myself at all for the full three weeks on the 24th day of the month as I was standing on the Bank of the Great River.

[01:17:40] I lifted up my eyes and look and behold, a man clothed in linen for the belt of fine gold from Ufaz around his waist. His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like flaming torches his arms and legs like the gleam of [01:18:00] burnish bronze in the sound of his words, like the sound of a multitude.

[01:18:04] That’s description of an angel, at least how they appear to man. And I, Daniel alone saw the vision for the men who were with me, did not see the vision, but a great trembling fell upon them and they fled and hid themselves. And I’m on verse eight.

[01:18:23] I was left alone and I saw this great vision and no strength was left in me. My radient appearance was fearfully changed. I retained no strength. I heard the sound of his words, and I heard the sound of his words. I fell in my face with my face to the ground. And verse 10, here we go again. And behold a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees.

[01:18:49] 11. And he said to me, oh, Daniel man, greatly loved. Understand the words that I speak to you and stand upright [01:19:00] for. Now, I’ve been sent to you and when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. Then he said to me, fear not Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before you’re God, your words have been heard and they have come because of your words.

[01:19:20] The prince of the kingdom of Persia with stood 21 days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me for I was left there with the kings of Persia and came to make you understand what is to happen to your people in the latter days for the vision is for days yet to come. So that’s really exciting.

[01:19:44] He’s told again and he’s greatly loved, and Daniel is like, his knees are knocking together. He’s scared. You’re in the presence of a holy angel. He’s bringing you this message. You think you’re gonna be all casual and all, and [01:20:00] hey, this is cool. And he’s terrified. He has a lot of humility and a healthy respect for holy.

[01:20:07] And to explain the Prince of the Kingdom of Persia that he’s talking about, a fallen angel, one of Satan’s angels. So we read a lot about archangels. It mentions here Michael, one of the chief princes is an archangel. So Michael and Gabriel were fighting with one of the demons, prince of Persia.

[01:20:34] So that word prince, just keep in mind in that context is talking about angels. Satan, whatever label you wanna call him, he is called the prince and power of the air. But that’s what they use to describe an angel. And so

[01:20:51] he says in a third time,

[01:20:54] Now he says on verse 17, how can my Lord servant talk with my Lord? For now, no [01:21:00] strength remains in me and no breath is in me Again, having the appearance of a man again, one, having the appearance of a man, touched me and strengthened me. And he said, oh man, greatly loved, fear, not peace. Be with you. Be strong in a good courage.

[01:21:20] And as he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, let my Lord speak for you, have strengthened me.

[01:21:26] Yeah, it’s really exciting that three times the angels encouraged Daniel and strengthened him and said that he was greatly loved.

[01:21:35] So this is more of Alexander the Great and the fighting

[01:21:41] in this vision. It talks more about that in Daniel 11.

[01:21:47] Not gonna get into detail with this because it’s really involved.

[01:21:52] The only thing I’m gonna mention here is the the abomination of desolation. What is [01:22:00] that? It’s when

[01:22:01] the Greek forces go and profane the temple in Jerusalem. They stop the burnt offerings and they offer up a pig to Zeus. And that’s a picture of a similar event that’s going to be in the future, prophesied by Jesus in Matthew 24:15. In Mark 13:14. So we got Alexander the Great and his generals have desecrated the the temple.

[01:22:33] So there’s some more description of okay. The Greeks conquering the world, and then the vision also goes to the future, the end times, which is what we’re waiting for in chapter 11, verse 45. We’re shifting to the age that describes the Antichrist, the Kings. So chapter 12 is the last chapter. We’re at the end of [01:23:00] Daniel, the book of Daniel, and there’s a little bit of a taste of what’s going to happen in our future.

[01:23:08] I’m trying to read the verses and figure out what to leave out because I don’t really wanna dwell on this.

[01:23:16] So I’m just gonna read the verses at chapter 12, verse one. At that time shall arise, Michael, the great Prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. At that time, your people shall be delivered. Everyone whose name shall be found written in the book, and many of those asleep in the dust of the earth shall awake some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt

[01:23:48] in verse four. But you Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book until the time of the end, Many shall run to and fro in knowledge shall increase. So this [01:24:00] is talking about the Tribulation period.

[01:24:02] And the tribulation is to punish the unbelievers. Those who reject God and enemies of God. It is not for the believers.

[01:24:13] I wanted to point out that some shall awake to everlasting life and some to everlasting contempt.

[01:24:20] In Revelation as well, that there’s gonna be a separation of the sheep from the goats. The sheep are the believers and the goats are the unbelievers. God’s gonna separate them.

[01:24:32] So this is the end of Daniel 12.

[01:24:37] And what happens to Daniel? It’s not real specific here, but the angel said, oh my Lord, what shall be the outcome of these things? He said, Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end. Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and refined, but the wicked shall act [01:25:00] wickedly and none of the wicked shall understand.

[01:25:03] But those who are wise shall understand. Verse 13, but go your way until the end and you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of days. So the vision closes with a final command to the faithful prophet that he needs to simply do his given task and trust that God will make things work out as they should. But Daniel himself will die someday and be resurrected.

[01:25:29] What happens to Daniel?

[01:25:31] There’s Jewish external sources that talk about what happened to Daniel.

[01:25:39] The first century Jewish writer Josephus

[01:25:41] He was a Jewish historian. He reported that Daniel’s body, lay in a Tower in Parthia alongside the bodies of the kings of the Meads and the Persians. Later Jewish authorities said that he was buried in Susa and that near his house were hidden the [01:26:00] vessels from the Temple of Solomon. I mean, that makes sense.

[01:26:04] He did not go back to Jerusalem with his people. He stayed in Babylon the rest of his life. He was probably too old to travel and stayed in Babylon. There was a house of prayer open to all who believed in God that was built nearby.

[01:26:22] So to this day, the tomb is a popular site of pilgrimage. So I know that I gave you a lot today, tried to give you an overview of Daniel’s life and what an amazing man he was, a godly man. He suffered many things throughout his life, and I hope that you are encouraged by his life, his example and how God still cared for him and sent angels to encourage him throughout his life.

[01:26:58] Blessed him [01:27:00] abundantly with authority and gifts from the leaders in his day. And he’s an example to me as to how to act when suffering for our faith and persecution. I hope that my life can live up to that standard. So next week we’re going to have a guest. I have somebody from my church, Paeter Fransen, and I’ve been wanting to get him on the show for a long time.

[01:27:31] He heads up the podcast of our church. Our church has interviews of people in the congregation and they tell their testimonies and stories and so he hosts that and he also has his own podcast. It’s called Christian Geek Central. And he does he talks about Christian culture and he’s a musician and

[01:27:55] we’ve gone through some parallel things.

[01:27:59] [01:28:00] He’s a really fun guy. We’re gonna talk about spiritual abuse and legalism and Christian culture and the world’s entertainment. He’s gonna talk about his personal story.

[01:28:13] He now participates in playing music for the church on the worship team.

[01:28:21] You’re just gonna love him. He’s very interesting and has a neat perspective that I think you will enjoy. We’ll be geeking out on super heroes and sci-fi, so fair warning.

[01:28:37] I hope that you have a great week. God bless you. We’ll see you next time.

[01:28:41] Thank you for listening to the Wounds of the Faithful Podcast. If this episode has been helpful to you, please hit the subscribe button and tell a friend. You could connect with us at DSWMinistries.Org where you’ll find our blog, along with our Facebook, Twitter, [01:29:00] and our YouTube channel Lakes. Hope to see you next week.