My King of Kings! Key Themes of Daniel

A Vacation Bible School Curriculum by Barry McWilliams
an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America

Daniel is an extremely relevant book for our modern times.

It is a book for young Christians living in a sophisticated world where God is not honored. It is a book that teaches young Christian men and women to take strong stands for the Lord. And to be rigorous in faithful witness, in devotion to the Word of God and prayer.

It's basic theme is The Sovereignty of God. Daniel is a book about God's powerful rule over the mighty and powerful of this world. It teaches us about the dangers of sin, of the pride and pleasure and power that are trying to build man's secular kingdom apart from God. Daniel teaches us about the nature and need of repentance and faith.

We see God's wisdom and power contrasted with all worldly powers:

God's sovereign wisdom and power gives us courage to take a strong stand for Him.

Daniel served God and His people in a sophisticated "modern" [humanistic and secular] world much like our own. Daniel and His friends were barely teenagers when they were taken to the great metropolis of Babylon, to be educated by its finest scholars, in training to become leaders. They were immediately put into situations where their faith was in conflict with the society around them.

At the same time, Daniel, while a man just like you and me, was an example and leader of God's people in its first cross-cultural leap, into the empire of Babylon. There was no longer a temple, sacrifices or a priesthood - they lived, as we must, by the Word of God, Faith, obedience and Prayer.

Daniel teaches us about God's rule over all rulers and their rule (Cf Rom 13:1-7; 1 Tim 2:1-2). The Babylonians and the Medo-Persians are shown being used as instruments of God both to punish and to preserve His people and finally to restore them to Jerusalem.

Daniel teaches us that personal obedience to the ways in which God has revealed that we are to live must be our priority - even if it is costly to us personally. In God's eyes, who we worship, how we use our Bibles and how often we pray are life and death matters. God honors faithfulness with His providence and protection.

In Daniel, power, wealth, pleasure, worldliness are strongly contrasted with true godliness. The idols which still are worshiped in our modern world are confronted and smashed by God.

There is both a present and a future reigning (judgement) of God presented. In the present first in God's providence in my daily life, as God executes His will through me. And in moving history - the affairs and hearts of men whether good or evil - and every event to His own plan, in accordance with His will. All this looks forward to the final accounting of men and nations for their sins and the deliverance of His own people.

The presentation of the gospel in these stories is several-fold:

Two special notes: 1. Unfortunately Liberal Scholarship has been very influential in questioning Daniel's authorship and authenticity. Even some evangelical writers may assert that Daniel was written in the times of the Maccabees (c 164 B.C.), rather than in the days of Babylon. In consulting Bible study resources while doing your study, beware of these skeptics.

2. Many writers devote much energy to discussing prophecies concerning the last times found in Daniel. In dealing with any controversy over Daniel's eschatology, and the various interpretations of the visions in chapters 7-12 (the millenial question), we will not try to to sort it out - but instead stick to the basic truths and their significance to us: The Lord is going to return with Judgement - What sort of people ought we to be until He does! (See 1 Thess 5:1-8, 2 Peter 3:8-13). Since we are focusing on chapters 1-6. This will not be a problem.

© 1988 Barry McWilliams and Mission Church Fellowship,
Hypertext Version © 1996 Barry McWilliams
For Permission to reproduce and use these materials and other information
Contact Barry McWilliams at eldrbarry@eldrbarry.net
http://wwweldrbarry.net/vbs/2/king2.htm