Daniel

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“The moment you began praying, a command was given. And now I am here to tell you what it was, for you are very precious to God” (Daniel 9:23 NLT).

December 2, 2018

WHAT’S THE TIME DELAY BETWEEN EARTH AND HEAVEN?
The angel Gabriel was sent by God in response to Daniel’s prayer during the time of the evening sacrifice. He said a command was given the moment Daniel began praying. One Hebrew scholar read Daniel’s recorded prayer aloud and noted that it took about 3 minutes.

So, we might conclude that there is no communication delay between earth and heaven when one of God’s precious ones prays. However, the angelic response time seems to be about 3 minutes.

Of course, that theory is tested by the next chapter, when Daniel fasts and prays for 3 weeks (Dan. 10:2). Again, Gabriel informed Daniel that God had immediately heard and responded to his prayer. Yet, this time it took Gabriel 3 weeks to carry out God’s command. For there was spiritual warfare with the “prince of Persia” (Dan. 10:13) that delayed him.

In both cases, the Lord heard and responded to Daniel’s prayers immediately, but the time of the response varied from 3 minutes to 3 weeks.

So, what may we conclude? God hears our prayers and responds immediately, there is no time delay. However, from our perspective, we must continue to faithfully pray, for the arrival of the answer can vary greatly.

“As my vision continued that night, I saw someone like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven” (Daniel 7:13 NLT).

November 30, 2018

WHO IS THIS SON OF MAN?
There are two threads of Messianic prophecy in the Old Testament. One, speaks of the Suffering Servant, as in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53. The second, of the Victorious King, who would judge the nations and establish His eternal kingdom, as in the verse quoted above. The first advent (“Advent” means “coming” or “arrival”) was announced by angels to the shepherds in Bethlehem. The second advent, according to Jesus, will be announced by “the mighty blast of a trumpet” (Matt. 24:31) and the appearance of the Son of Man in the clouds (Matt. 24:30).

Who is this Son of Man? When Jesus was brought before the Jewish council and the high priest asked, “Are you the Messiah?” Jesus responded, “I AM. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14:62). Jesus used the covenantal name of God, “I AM” (“YHWH”) and quoted Daniel 7:13 in His response.

Jesus is both Son of Man and Son of God. He has come and He is coming again.

“My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in his sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty” (Daniel 6:22 NLT).

November 29, 2018

WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF PRAYER WERE BANNED?
Ask Daniel. Daniel’s story is instructive to those who live as a religious minority under a worldly government. God gave Daniel wisdom to navigate the political tangle of Babylonian and Persian rule and yet remain steadfast to his faith. Even so, he still often experienced persecution and threats to his life.

How do we live out our faith at work or school, when expressing our faith is discouraged by company policies or prohibited by federal laws? As Daniel did, we should submit to the authorities over us, unless they cause us to break faith with the ultimate Authority, our God. Daniel feared the Lord more than the lions. And the Lord rescued him.

“Suddenly, they saw the fingers of a human hand writing on the plaster wall of the king’s palace, near the lampstand. The king himself saw the hand as it wrote, and his face turned pale with fright. His knees knocked together in fear and his legs gave way beneath him.” (Daniel 5:5-6 NLT).

November 28, 2018

HAVE YOU SEEN THE WRITING ON THE WALL?
King Belshazzar of Babylon gave orders to bring the gold and silver vessels from the treasury that his predecessor, Nebuchadnezzar, had taken from the Temple in Jerusalem. He and his nobles partied, praising the gods of silver and gold as they drank from Jerusalem’s Temple goblets. It was at that moment that a disembodied hand appeared, writing on the wall. The drunken king was immediately sober with fear. The prophet Daniel was summoned to read the unreadable script, which warned Belshazzer of his imminent demise. Daniel reminded the king that he had witnessed the humbling of his forebearer, Nebuchadnezzar, yet he had not humbled himself before God. Instead, he had proudly defied the Lord, even drinking from the sacred cups.

This was not Belshazzer’s first warning. He knew all of the stories and had surely heard the testimony of Nebuchadnezzar concerning the greatness and righteousness of God. Yet, he did not repent. He should have known what was in store for him. Especially, after he saw the “writing on the wall.”

“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven. All his acts are just and true, and he is able to humble the proud.” (Daniel 4:37 NLT).

November 27, 2018

WILL WE SEE OLD NEB IN HEAVEN?
This is a most unusual testimony. A pagan king bends the knee and worships the Most High God.

The Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, had defeated Judah, destroying Jerusalem’s walls and Temple. He carried off thousands of Jewish exiles, among them a young man named Daniel. After conquering much of the Middle East, old Neb settled down and turned Babylon into one of the Seven Wonders of the World, its hanging gardens, city walls, and palace, among the richest and most beautiful any where. Yet, in spite of God’s warning through the prophet Daniel to humble himself and stop sinning, Nebuchadnezzar was full of pride and unrepentant.

So God humbled him, making him live like a beast of the field. After a year, old Neb came to his senses and worshiped the Lord. His testimony of the Lord’s righteousness and power has led many to think that old Neb truly placed his faith in the God of Israel. Perhaps he became a true believer. I wonder, will we see old Neb in heaven?

Facing End Times

May 6, 2018 | Daniel 12 | end times, exposition

Full Transcript Available

Do you fear death? Do you wonder about life after death? How do you face life, death and eternity? With confidence? Or do you avoid thinking about it?

The Lord wanted Daniel to think about it. But only so that he would know how to live in view of the end. Any wise person who takes a trip must think about the destination and how to get there. In the final chapter of Daniel, the Lord instructed Daniel how to live in view of the time of the end.

God’s Appointed Times

April 29, 2018 | Daniel 11 | exposition, prophecy

Full Transcript Available

Do you ever worry about the future? You watch one of the 24 hour news channels and all you see is war, terrorism, school shootings, natural disasters… “What’s this world come to?” you ask. Perhaps you don’t worry about yourself, but you worry about your kids’ future? But what if you could trust God with your future and your families’ future? What if God had already appointed times for the future, so that He not only knows what the future holds, but He has ordained it? And what if God would let you in on some of the details? In Daniel 11, the Lord revealed His future appointed times for His people, so that Daniel would understand what was to come. We can understand the times the Lord has appointed and respond accordingly.

He Touched Me

April 22, 2018 | Daniel 10 | exposition, prophecy

Full Transcript Available

As exiles in this world, we often need strength and encouragement for the journey. Some of us are in mourning for the loss of a loved one or the loss of some other precious thing to us. Some are weak in body and need healing. Others are weak in spirit and need encouragement. Some are afraid and need someone to alleviate their fears. Some of us are lonely and have gone all week without the touch of another person.

But what if we could experience the touch of the Master’s hand? His touch to strengthen and to guide. His touch to heal and wipe away our tears. His touch to know that He is with us no matter what storms may lie ahead. We have a very basic human need for touch, especially for the touch of our Creator hands.

In chapter 10 of Daniel, the Lord responded to Daniel’s mournful prayer for understanding by touching him and strengthening him with a revelation of things from God’s heavenly perspective. We can be strengthened in our understanding of things from God’s heavenly perspective.

The Covenant Keeping God

April 15, 2018 | Daniel 9 | exposition, prophecy

Why do we need a “covenant-keeping” God? Because our world is full of broken covenants and broken promises. We sign contracts and promissory notes, but we over-extend ourselves and don’t pay what we owe. We make promises to our children, but something more important comes up and we don’t keep our promises. We promise to “love and to cherish til death us do part,” but our world is filled with broken marriages and fractured families. We even make promises to God to change, to do better, maybe even to join a church, but we are a covenant-breaking people. We want to change, but only a covenant-making, covenant-keeping God can save us from our brokenness.

In the book of Daniel chapter 9, Daniel called on the covenant-keeping God of Israel to forgive and restore His people and His city, Jerusalem, and God not only answered his prayer, but also revealed to Daniel details about the coming of the Messiah and His eternal kingdom. We can be encouraged because our covenant-keeping God still answers prayers for forgiveness and restoration through the promise of His Messiah, Jesus Christ, and His eternal kingdom.

How Long?

April 8, 2018 | Daneil 8 | exposition, prophecy

Do you remember when you were a kid and your parents took you on a trip, you always wondered, “How long before we get there?” I would drive my Dad crazy asking, “Dad, how much longer?” We’re still asking the Father, “How long?” How long must I endure suffering? How long will I hurt? How long before I am reunited with my loved ones? How long will I be lonely? How long must I pray for my marriage is healed? How long for a a prodigal child to faith? How long, Lord, before you make things right?

In the eighth chapter of Daniel, he recorded a second vision that contained greater prophetic detail about the next two world kingdoms and specifically about a ruler that would severely persecute his people for a short time before the Lord removed him and restored their worship to its rightful state. This vision was fulfilled within 385 years. Although Daniel’s vision has already been fulfilled, we can still let it give us confidence in God’s plans for our future, for it foreshadows an ultimate fulfillment of a time of tribulation that the Prince of Princes, our Lord Jesus, will return and bring to a close.