October, November, December 2004
Want to learn more about Daniel? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 13-part series.
Lesson 1: "To Eat or Not to Eat - That is the Question" (Daniel 1)
The memory of September 11, 2001, is burned into my mind. I had just walked up the stairwell to my office to find that the Pentagon was under attack. My fellow workers reported that they felt the shockwave from the Pentagon explosion. What world power had the ability to launch a military attack on Washington, D.C.? Certainly, it must involve nuclear weapons! As I sat in my office pondering the confused reports, I concluded that I might very well be living the last few minutes of my life. If I survived, life would probably never be the same - at least not for a long time. Our study today is about a young man who had those same feelings. Except in his case, his fears were realized. Let's dive into our study!
Lesson 2: Nebuchadnezzar's Image (Daniel 2)
Have you ever wondered if someone was telling you the truth? If so, did you take any steps to determine the truth? Have you had times when you wondered whether God "is true?" Have you taken any steps to find out? Or, is this just another one of those things you can never be certain about? Daniel chapter 2 tells us the story of a king who wanted to be sure he was being told the truth and four men whose lives depended upon finding the truth. Let's dive into our study about the king's dream and being honest!
Lesson 3: The Fiery Furnace (Daniel 3)
How does temptation come to you? Is it in the big issues or the small issues of life? Our study this week is about three young men who were faced with the issue of worshiping a false god or losing their life. You may be thinking, "I've never had anything like that, and I hope I never will!" Remember, however, that these three young men started out with the issue of their loyalty to God when it came to diet. Is it possible that we have not faced the big, dramatic choices because we fail in the small choices? Or, have we lost sight of the big picture - that all issues of loyalty to God, both large and small, are ultimately a question of life and death. Let's dive into our study and see what we can learn about being loyal to God under terrible pressure!
Lesson 4: Nebuchadnezzar's Judgment (Daniel 4)
When I was a boy I would watch the Walt Disney program on Sunday evening. The program always began with the same musical introduction. When I heard that little tune, I knew that I was about to be entertained with a story of some sort. Our study this week in Daniel 4 starts out in a similar way. We have this royal proclamation by King Nebuchadnezzar which praises the true God of Heaven and says "I've got a testimony - a story - for you." Let's dive right into our study of this amazing story!
Lesson 5: Surprise Party (Daniel 5)
Chapter 5 of the book of Daniel has a very interesting background. King Nebuchadnezzar died in 563 B.C. Chapter 5 takes place about 25 years after his death. King Nabonidus is now on the throne, but he shares his authority with his evil son, Belshazzar. The Persians, lead by King Cyrus, attack the Babylon empire and defeat the troops led by King Nabonidus. King Nabonidus moves the main Babylonian army to Borsippa, and King Cyrus heads for the city of Babylon and surrounds it. My guess is that before Cyrus got to Babylon, a great number of officials fled to the city for protection. Babylon was protected by a massive double wall and had a sufficient food supply to last for 20 years. The setting for our study today is that Vice-King Belshazzar is within the safety of the walls of Babylon, King Cyrus and the Persians surround the city, and the main army of Babylon is off licking its wounds. Let's dive into Daniel 5!
Lesson 6: An Ancient Death Decree (Daniel 6)
Remember last week that Daniel was promoted to the number three position in the Babylonian empire just minutes before it all collapsed before the military onslaught of the Persians? "Number two" (Belshazzar) was immediately killed by the Persians. Imagine being Daniel. No wonder he told Belshazzar he could keep his promotion! How do things turn out for Daniel? Is God still looking out for him? Let's jump into Daniel 6 and find out!
Lesson 7: Daniel's History Lesson (Daniel 7)
In our study of Daniel this week, we go back in time to examine a dream that was given directly to Daniel, and not the ruler of the kingdom in which Daniel lived. Recall that Daniel seemed to have fallen out of power and authority during the reign of Belshazzar? Perhaps he had some extra time on his hands. Whatever the reason, that is the time period to which we return in our study of Daniel 7. Let's jump into our study!
Lesson 8: The Pre-Advent Judgment (Daniel 7)
Last week, our study of Daniel 7 taught us that Daniel had a grand dream in which the entire sweep of history was brought to his mind. The dream was very much like the prophetic dream of Nebuchadnezzar, which we studied in Daniel 2. Daniel's dream, however, has some curious differences that add detail to the period of time after the fall of Pagan (secular) Rome. These details include the description of a world power portrayed as a "little horn" which holds power over the saints for 1,260 years. This reign is followed by a glimpse into a heavenly court which sits to begin business. Let's dive into our continued look into Daniel's future and ours!
Lesson 9: The Sanctuary Attacked (Daniel 8)
Two years after his first dream, Daniel dreams he is strolling by the water when suddenly he is face to face with a powerful sheep with two big horns - and no one is there to rescue him. It turns out his dream is not so much about danger, or adventure, but rather about the future. Let's jump into Daniel's dream and see what we can learn about the future!
Lesson 10: The Sanctuary Cleansed (Daniel 8)
Last week we ended our study with a number of questions unresolved. We agreed that the 2,300 days of Daniel 8:14 had to be symbolic days (meaning a day equals a year), not literal days. So, what happens at the end of this 2,300 years? What does it mean for the sanctuary to be reconsecrated? What sanctuary are we talking about? Is this the end of the world? Is it the beginning of the first judgment in heaven that we discussed in connection with Daniel 7? We agreed that we would pick up our study of this mystery this week. So, let's jump into our study!
Lesson 11: God's Timetable (Daniel 9)
Last week we studied about Daniel's vision of reconsecrating (cleansing) the sanctuary. Daniel had been a captive and a foreigner for most of his life. His fondest hope was to have his country and the sanctuary rebuilt so that the Jewish people could go home and properly worship God again. Hold that thought while we jump into our study of Daniel 9!
Lesson 12: When Kings Go to War (Daniel 10)
Daniel is now an old man. In the series of dreams and visions which have been a critical part of his life so far, God has revealed to him the sweep of history on earth. The lesson for us is that God controls kings, kingdoms and the future. This week Daniel reveals another dimension to history - the conflict over the course of history in the supernatural. Let's dive into our study which gives us a rare glimpse into the cosmic conflict between good and evil!
Lesson 13: The Time of the End (Daniel 12)
Are you ready for Jesus to return and bring an end to sin? The book of Daniel has opened our eyes to God's control over the sweep of human history. This week Daniel brings us to the end of that history. Let's dive in and examine what God reveals to us about His final victory!