5/10/15: The Greatest Story Ever Told: DANIEL (2)
On Sunday we dug deeper into our study of the prophets and the Book of Daniel. Though most readers associate the prophets with predictions of future events, that was only a very small part of the biblical prophet’s task. God’s prophets served as his spokesmen, his messengers. Bible scholar Gordon Fee writes, “They were like ambassadors from the heavenly court, who relayed the divine sovereign’s will to the people.” Their primary message was to urge Israel to keep its covenant with God. They reminded Israel of the blessings of obeying the covenant and warned Israel of all the curses they would incur for violating the covenant. Sadly, their voices often went unheard.
Our class studied three passages from Daniel this week that highlighted God’s unchanging sovereignty despite the boasts and mockery of worldly kings.
First we considered Nebuchadnezzar’s humiliation and restoration in Daniel 4. What a powerful hymn of praise this humbled king offers God after being restored to his right mind (Daniel 4:34-37)!
Next we observed Belshazzar’s blasphemies against the God of heaven in Daniel 5. After being called in to interpret the handwriting on the wall, Daniel made this indictment of the drunken king: “And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honored” (Daniel 5:23). That very night Belshazzar forfeited his kingdom and his life.
Finally we discussed Daniel’s vision in chapter 7 of the “Ancient of Days” and “one like a son of man” to whom was given “dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him” (Daniel 7:14). The clear message? Earthly kingdoms, no matter how mighty, will crumble and fall…but there is an unchanging King over all who reigns forever: “his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:14).
What a joy it is to teach these Middle School students about their glorious King!