2006-06-11 - Daniel
We're about to embark on a new adventure. It is filled with faith, hope and courage. There is plenty of danger, from lions to fiery furnaces. There are arguments against the book by those who reject the reality of a God Who intervenes in the affairs of men. There are historic events and promises of things yet to come.
And so the study of Daniel is a look at the history of Israel, and prophetically, its future. But the study should not be a speculation of that which God has sealed until the time of its fulfillment. In order to provide a bit of clarity on the subject, we will take a session between chapters 6 and 7 to discuss some basic principles of understanding biblical prophecy. But for now, let's move into the basic overview of the book of Daniel.
Introduction: Daniel is a book which has constantly been attacked by the liberal critic. The reason is because it is because it is so overwhelmingly filled with the supernatural. Baxter expresses it this way:
" there is a special reason why the supernatural is so prominent in Daniel. Israel was now in captivity. Jerusalem was ruined. Even the temple - the last hope - was gone. Jehovah, after all, had proved unequal to the gods of the Babylonians! Bel-Merodach had conquered Jehovah! That is what the Babylonians exultantly supposed. That is what the Jews were tempted to believe. There seemed no possibility now of national restoration. What though Jeremiah had given it as Jehovah's word that there should be a return after seventy years? Had not Jehovah's promises to David and Solomon now proved false? Now the miracles in this Book of Daniel were a sign from God, both to Israel and the Gentiles." 2
Signs and wonders were always part of God's reassurance to Israel of His presence and their continued security in His program. This is why, as the Church becomes more Gentile, signs and wonders are no longer normative. However, as Israel moves back to center stage in future events, they will begin to occur with greater frequency.
2 Baxter, J. Sidlow, Explore The Book, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1960, p. 50.
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