There is a lot in Daniel’s short book. There are amazing accounts of triumph from trial and deliverance from execution. Daniel and his three companions refused to compromise their convictions, and even though that kind of stand could have cost them their lives, it ended up ensuring their protection and elevation to the very top in the administration of foreign empires. Kings trembled in awe before them and made them their counselors and confidants. If all this book contained were these accounts, it would still be one of the Bible’s most read and loved books.
But there is much more. It is the Old Testament’s single most prophetic look into the future. It contains amazingly accurate predictions of events that were to follow its writing, events now fulfilled to the letter, which we now can only sit back and marvel at. They are so accurately fulfilled that skeptics, in order to debunk them, claim that the predictions post-dated the events. They can’t deny the accuracy, so they snipe at the delivery.
Yet it is not the fulfilled prophecy that is the greatest thing in this book. It is the prophetic predictions of the soon-to-be-upon-us future, the Endtime, that are its greatest gift to us. For by them we are forewarned and forearmed and at least somewhat prepared to face those coming days with faith instead of fear. Being aware of what is occurring and knowing what their outcome is and how long they take can give us faith to endure. They will be momentous days, and the Antichrist will be a dreadful and demonic tyrant who will do his damnedest to destroy all believers and lovers of the one true God.—Not to mention the war and havoc he will wreak on the world.
Yet his doom is sure. He and his puppet master, Satan, are destined for calamity and defeat. We can rest assured that even if at times it looks like they are the sure winners, they are nothing but the ultimate and foreordained losers. And even when it looks like we are losing, we are the sure winners because it has been written in God’s book that we are. For we are on the side of the One Who cannot lose, the God of love Who is also the unbeatable God of gods and Lord of lords.
The events of the future covered in this book might sound frightening to some, and understandably so. They will be dark days for the world, but we who believe in and love Jesus, and do our best to serve Him, have His special protection. The book of Revelation states that the servants of God are sealed and that at least some of the calamities and plagues of the Tribulation only affect those who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads (Revelation 7:3; 9:4).
Furthermore, we must remember that Jesus has a vested interest in preserving us. He wants us to reach others with His love and truth, and so if we are doing what we can in that respect, then we can be assured that He is doing His part to protect us. Daniel wrote that those “that know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits” (Daniel 11:32). You may not feel capable of that right now, but He gives power for the hour, usually when you need it and not before.
Christians have endured many hard times before. But the end result has always been a victorious one for Christianity. It is in time of trial that Jesus has the greatest opportunity to show His power. The accounts in Daniel of his and his companions’ deliverances from danger are not just for us to enjoy reading. That same power will be put to use on our behalf by the same God who protected and prospered them. You might not feel you have the same courage or faith to face dangers like they did, but you do. It is not our strength that will save us but God’s. He doesn’t expect us to be fearless, but He will make us fearless and bold and triumphant as we call out to Him to come to our aid. His Word says, “’I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:5–6).
I pray that this book leaves you with your faith strengthened. We have nothing to fear. Even if there are some dark days ahead, those days are numbered. And after that, those who believe in Jesus and His atonement have only the brightest of futures—everlasting and filled with joy and happiness—to look forward to.
I look forward to seeing you all there!