We are continuing to share with you the opinions of 17 Bible prophecy experts concerning various questions related to the book of Daniel. You should find these interviews fascinating and very informative. The interviews were conducted at a national Bible prophecy conference that was held in the Dallas, Texas area.
The fifth question is based on the fact that people normally think of the book of Daniel as being only a book of prophecy about the First and Second Comings of the Messiah and about the Antichrist and the Tribulation. But, the book also contains some great principles for victorious living. It's also a book that tells a fascinating story about a young man taken into captivity to a foreign nation where everything he believed was challenged.
So the question for our experts is this:
#5. What is the fundamental non-prophetic message of the book of Daniel?
David Reagan, Lamb & Lion Ministries
I personally have always believed that the fundamental non-prophetic message of the book of Daniel is how to live a righteous life in the midst of a pagan society. Righteousness in the midst of paganism — that is a message that is very relevant to today as we find ourselves living in a society that is rapidly becoming more secular and pagan in nature.
Michael Norten, Author of Unlocking the Secrets of the Feasts
I believe that the book of Daniel demonstrates an incredible message to show us that we can live a holy life in a wicked society. We can be vindicated in that, and God can be glorified. Even the name of Daniel indicates a vindication of God.
Andy Woods, Sugar Land Bible Church
We have to put ourselves in the shoes of the original audience. It was the Jews who had gone into the Babylonian captivity. Something had happened to them that they never thought would happen, and that is that they had been pulled out of their promised land. They had been pulled 350 miles over into the east into Babylon.
Because of their banishment, the Jewish exiles needed encouragement and a reminder of the fact that God was still in charge and in control. God provided that because He had long before given them a standard by which they were to live. The law of God only taught the Jews how they were to live inside the land. But, now that they were outside of the land, how were they to live? Well, they have role models such as through Daniel. They have role models through Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
What did the role models teach? Simply this — put God first and He's going to take care of you during the times of the Gentiles. Even Daniel, having been thrown into the lion's den, was protected by God. And so, it's a powerful message to the exiles that God was still in control, even though they had been ripped out of their land.
The book of Daniel also contains a tremendous testimony about God's faithfulness. We learn how God keeps His promises. Just because the Jews were out of their land, that doesn't mean that God wasn't watching over His covenanted nation.
August Rosado, Today in Bible Prophecy Ministries
The non-prophetic message of the book of Daniel I would have to say can be found in two of Daniel's chapters — Daniel 3 and Daniel 6. The reason why I love those two passages, and of course my favorite is Daniel 9, can be found in Daniel 3 where it talks about three God-fearing Jewish boys — Hananiah, Azariah and Mishael, or as we better know them as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, which are their pagan Babylonian names. These guys were going up against a pagan government that was forcing them to worship a 90-foot pagan idol. These guys refused to do that. They would not compromise. They would not sell out. They would stay true to the one true God, the God of Israel. Even knowing they were giving up their own lives, they said, "We're not going to bow down and worship this 90 foot pagan idol."
Then there's Daniel in Daniel 6:10, knowing that prayer was illegal at that time, showing Daniel opening his windows and praying towards Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day.
What I get out of Daniel 3 and Daniel 6 is that we should never ever compromise our values to today's world system. First John 2:15-17 says, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." So, we should never compromise our values to this world system. Those three Jewish boys didn't do that, and neither did Daniel, nor should we.
Brian Thomas, Blessings to Israel Ministries
Uncompromising faith is my answer. When we look at Daniel we find a boy who came into Babylonian captivity as just a teenager. He was merely a boy. We find that he was faced with the proposal to eat of the food that had been presented in idol worshipping to the Babylonian gods. Daniel refused to eat, and we find that by taking that stand for God that God blessed Daniel. God actually gave Daniel the Bible says wisdom ten times greater than the other so-called wise men in the Babylonian kingdom.
Then we fast forward to where Daniel's nearly the age of 90, and we find Daniel once again was faced with a proposition to obey an order of the king that he could not pray to anyone other than the king himself. Once again Daniel refused to do so, and so the king threw him into the lion's den, but God supernaturally saved him.
When we look at Daniel, we see a man of great faith, loyalty and dedication to our Lord. Daniel's example is something that we as Christians today should take note of and live the same life spiritually as Daniel did. Just as the prophet Ezekiel stated that Daniel was one of the three most righteous men who have ever live, we see that's because Daniel had an uncompromising and unwavering faith when it came to our Lord.
In the fifteenth part of this series on the book of Daniel, the remaining members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will continue to answer, "What is the fundamental non-prophetic message of the book of Daniel?"