January, February, March 2020

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: From Reading to Understanding (1 Corinthians 1, Daniel 2, Zechariah 9 & 14)
Currently, I'm reading a delightful book that explains why the outspoken opponents of God are idiots. That may sound a little undiplomatic, but this book is filled with humor and logic, and it pokes a hole in the so-called scientific gasbags that publically attack the existence of God. My problem is that when I read some of the logical arguments in the book, I have to think about them to be sure I'm understanding what I read. That should be our constant quest. Even when reading something that we think we understand, we need to take a moment to be sure. Then we need to explore whether what we just understood makes sense. That is our study this week. As we begin our exploration of the book of Daniel, are we prepared to really understand it? Do certain distinctions make sense? Let's dive into the Bible and see what we can learn!

Lesson 2: From Jerusalem to Babylon (Daniel 1)
Has your life been radically changed at some point? How did you react to that? Last year my car was totaled in a multiple car accident. A driver who was not paying attention rammed me, and the impact caused a chain reaction with other cars. Thank God, I walked away from the wreckage. The accident could have come out differently and changed the rest of my life. Our study this week is about a life-changing event. Let's plunge into our study of the Bible!

Lesson 3: From Mystery to Revelation (Daniel 2)
My neighbor was sitting on the curb at his front lawn. His head was in his hands. This was unusual, so I walked over and asked him what was the matter. He told me that he felt as if a black cloud was following him around because he faced a series of problems. Daniel and his three friends might have a similar complaint. They have been taken captive, their homeland and their traditional lives destroyed, and now they face execution! Those problems are worse than faced by my neighbor. Let's jump into our study of the lesson and find out how to deal with "black cloud" times of life!

Lesson 4: From Furnace to Palace (Daniel 3)
Have you been in a crowd which is standing to praise a person? What if you did not agree that special praise was due? Did you stand anyway? Have you been in church when they asked those to stand who wanted to make a new commitment to God, and you were fine with your current commitment? If you stood because of peer pressure, or a concern about how you might look, imagine if your life depended upon standing up? For most people, sin comes to them in small decisions. It is not, as we study this week, one big, clear decision that determines life or death. Let's jump back into our story of Daniel and his friends!

Lesson 5: From Pride to Humility (Daniel 4)
Do you like to avoid being embarrassed? I do! Being publically shamed is one of the worst things for most people. It hurts even more if you have a very high status in your community. The Bible warns in Proverbs 16:18 that "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." Our study this week is a warning to us. Let's jump into our study and learn more!

Lesson 6: From Arrogance to Destruction (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 Babylon 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 7: From Lion's Den to Angel's Den (Daniel 6)
Last week the Babylonian empire was defeated just as Daniel was reinstated to a very high position - number three in the empire. The Medo-Persian empire took over and Daniel faced real turmoil in his life. He might be concerned that his life would be taken by the new conquerors. We know that God has Daniel's life in His hands. Let's turn to our Bibles to see how Daniel does and to follow him through yet another adventure!

Lesson 8: From the Stormy Sea to the Clouds of Heaven (Daniel 7)
A new development this week! Daniel is the recipient of a vision, not merely the interpreter of the king's dreams. This personal vision parallels the "history of the world" dream given to Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel chapter 2. That dream dealt with the political power of a series of empires. That made sense since Nebuchadnezzar was a man concerned about political power. The parallel vision we study this week in Daniel 7 has to do with the personal or spiritual nature of these empires. Let's dive into our study of the Bible and see what we can learn!

Lesson 9: From Contamination to Purification (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, as about the future. Let's jump into Daniel's dream and see what we can learn about the future!

Lesson 10: From Confession to Consolation (Daniel 9)
When we studied Daniel 7 and 8 did you ask yourself, "What relevance does the cleansing of the sanctuary have to me?" Hopefully, you discovered the relevance in these lessons. But, if you had these feelings, you can be sure that Daniel did not. The idea of having a sanctuary again was the subject of greatest interest to Daniel. It would tell him about when his people would be allowed to return to their homeland and rebuilt the temple. Let's dive into our study of Daniel and learn more!

Lesson 11: From Battle to Victory (Daniel 10)
This week we begin our study of Daniel's last major vision. Daniel is now an old man, probably around 90 years of age. In the prior visions Daniel has been shown the sweep of history among nations. This week we find another, critical, aspect of history - the supernatural side of the conflict. Let's jump into our study of Daniel and look at this from a new point of view!

Lesson 12: From North and South to the Beautiful Land (Daniel 11)
Let's review. Three weeks ago we found Daniel praying and fasting for understanding of the appalling vision he recorded in Daniel 8. (See Daniel 8:27.) Gabriel came to Daniel in our study two weeks ago (Daniel 9) to explain the vision. Last week, in Daniel 10, Daniel receives a revelation about a "great war." Once again, he is praying for an understanding. Gabriel again comes to explain. This week and the next, we study this great war. Let's dive into our study and learn more!

Lesson 13: From Dust to Stars (Daniel 12)
This week we finish both Daniel's final vision and the book of Daniel. Are you ready for Jesus to return and bring an end to sin and death? This last chapter not only talks about the end of sin, it gives us additional information on what we have previously been told about the vision. Let's jump into our study of the Bible and see if we can learn more!

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