When studying the book of Daniel, many people quickly want to go to the “meat”: Daniel 2, Daniel 7, Daniel 8, Daniel 11 and 12. Sure, this is exciting, and we should study these prophecies!
However, the book of Daniel is much more than these prophetic chapters. It is important to also take a look at the other chapters of the book, because there are many spiritual lessons here for us to learn. In addition to spiritual lessons, can it be that these historic chapters also give insights to the end time?
History repeats itself
“I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.” (Hosea 12:10)
Similitude means being like something, a comparison or a parallel. God spoke to the prophets, for example through visions, but it seems to go deeper than this because God is also revealing something “by the ministry of the prophets”.
Have you ever discovered that history has repeated itself? I am sure you have. God has used events in history to point forward to another event in the future. For instance:
– The passover, that they started keeping in Egypt, which was connected to their deliverance. This was pointing forward to the crucifixion of Christ. (Exodus 12)
– There were twelve tribes of Israel. Later we find twelve disciples and twelve apostles, etc. Number twelve seems to be a symbol of God’s church.
“The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10)
Since the historic chapters of Daniel have many parallels to the end time, it will help us understand the prophetic chapters better. For instance, in the end time prophecies, Babylon plays an important role, and the book of Revelation is using the picture of Babylon to describe end time events. Studying the book of Daniel will then help us to understand these end time prophecies.
Daniel and His friends lived in the pagan culture of Babylon. The stories here are a great example how we should handle living in a pagan culture for this time. Because for many of us, the culture that surrounds us are not a Christian culture, even though the country we live in may profess to be Christian.
God’s People Persecuted
In Daniel 2, king Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of a statue representing Babylon and other kingdoms, that would later succeed his mighty kingdom. With other words, it would not last forever, as many thought it would. In Daniel 3, his actions show that he is challenging God, who is in charge of history. He built a golden image – the metal of which represented him and the Babylonian kingdom (Daniel 2:38).
The image is set up, where all peoples and nations must worship. The laws of the state now includes religious laws (Daniel 3:1-6,15), and those who refuse to worship are threatened with death penalty.
Does this remind you of an important end time event? The book of Revelation reveals a similar scenario! (Revelation 13:12-17). Just as God’s people in the end time will be faithful to keep His commandments (Revelation 14:12), so Daniel’s friends were faithful, as they refused to fall down and worship the image.
God’s people in ancient Babylon had to suffer persecution, but they followed God wherever He went. They were not defiled by the Babylonian influence, but were instead innocent before God. Daniel’s friends were tried in fire, but Jesus was with them, delivered them, and they were given a reward! (Daniel 3:23-30)
Can we expect to see God’s people going through a similar experience in the end? Absolutely! See Revelation 12-14.
A Courageous Faith
The lives of Daniel and His friends are a model on how we should live today, as we are starting to witness the fulfillment of Revelation 13. Their faith was courageous, and nothing seems to move them, because they had a definite aim (Daniel 1:8), and a firm belief in God as their Lord and Redeemer.
When reading the book of Daniel, we can be certain that just as God is in control of the history of kingdoms, the lives of Daniel and his friends, He can also have control over our personal lives!
Will you let God take full control of your life, and get prepared for the final conflict that is emerging?
|The life of Daniel and his friends’||Daniel||Revelation|
|An image is set up||3:1||13:14-15|
|All peoples and nations must worship||3:4-5||13:14-15|
|Combining Religion and State||3:15, 6:7||13:12,17|
|Death penalty for those who refuse to worship||3:6, 6:7-9||13:14-15|
|Keeping God’s commandments||3:12||14:12|
|Persecution of the saints||3:7-15, 6:16||12:13-17, 13:7|
|Following God wherever He goes||3:17-18, 6:10||14:4|
|Not defiled by Babylon||1:8, 3:18||14:4|
|Innocent before God||6:22, 1:4||14:5|
|God’s people are tried in fire||3:23-25||3:18|
|Jesus is with His people as they go through fiery trials||3:25, 6:22||12:14, 7:1-3, + Matt 28:20|
|A wound that was healed||4:30-34||13:3,5,12|
|Judgement of the wicked (and righteous)||6:24, 2:34-35, 5:25-27||14:7,16:1(2),20:4,9,15 22:12|
|God ultimately deliver His people and give them a reward||3:26-30, 6:20-23||19:1, 22:12-14|
|Righteousness by faith||6:22-23||12:11, 14:9-12|