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Title: Studies

Studies in Daniel
Studies in Daniel
Presentation 09
The Table of Contents

Chapter 1v1-21 Compromise or
Else Chapter 2v1-49 A Disturbing Dream
Chapter 3v1-30 Dare to be Different
Chapter 4v1-37 God Humbles the Proud
Chapter 5v1-31 The Destiny of Man
Chapter 6v1-28 Finding Yourself on the Menu
Chapter 7v1-28 The Four Beasts
Chapter 8v1-27 The Little Horn
Chapter 9v1-27 Daniels Prayer
Chapter 10v1-11v1 Spiritual Conflict
Chapter 11v2-35 Historys Pattern
Chapter 11v36-12v-13 The End
Daniels Prayer Chap 9v1-27
Presentation 09
Some of the obituary notices carried in our daily
newspapers are designed to tell us what those who
have died will be particularly remembered for.
Their distinctive contribution to society is
outlined, an appreciation of their worth is
publicised. If such obituaries were published in
Daniels day, I wonder what theyd have said
about Daniel. Would they applaud his wisdom, his
integrity and fearlessness? I wonder if many
would mention the fact that he prayed and yet
one can say without equivocation that Daniels
greatest contribution to society and to the
kingdom of God was his praying.
Presentation 09
In a section of the book, which is trying to help
us to come to terms with the events of world
history, we see right in the centre a man at
prayer. The focus in this chapter is not his
daily discipline but the substance of his prayer.
These are challenging verses. Here is a man so in
tune with God that his prayers are being used to
advance Gods purpose in history. Daniel
believed that prayer shapes and influences
historical situations. Its so easy to allow
prayer simply to revolve around our personal
daily requirements help me pass my driving
test, find a house, work well in the office.
But there are larger issues which God wants to
draw us into when we pray.
Presentation 09
Background to the Petition
The Jews had been transported from Israel by the
Babylonians, who in turn had been defeated by the
rising Medo-Persian Empire. The temple in
Jerusalem was destroyed, and the worship and
sacrifice centred there was discontinued. Second
and third generation Jews born in exile felt
settled in Persia. Daniel wanted to know if the
exiled remnant would play a part in Gods future
plans or would they be passed by? He heard
Jeremiah preaching in Jerusalem many years
previously and now Daniel reads the prophets
words in Jer. 25.10-11 and 29.10-13. He realised
that the 70 years of exile was almost up. God
had promised the exiles would return home and so
Daniel prayed for God to fulfil his word.
Presentation 09
Background to the Petition
What a great example to follow. Many peoples
anxieties would evaporate if only theyd do what
Daniel did, instead of running to the nearest
astrologer or seeking oblivion in a bottle of
wine. People sometimes say, I dont know what I
should be praying for! Daniel didnt have that
problem. He studied Gods word, learned what God
planned and promised and prayed for that. Paul
writing to the church a Ephesus says, Understand
what the will of the Lord is Eph 5.17. How do
we do that? By becoming familiar with scripture.
Robert Murray McCheyne a Scottish minister gave
this advice to a young Christian who had
difficulty knowing how to pray turn your
Bible into prayer. Daniel did that!
Presentation 09
Background to the Petition
This is important for our understanding of
prayer. The basis of intercession is to discover
what God has promised to do. When James describes
the prayer of the man of faith in James 5.15 he
describes prayer that rests on the promises of
Gods word. Prayer is asking in accordance with
Gods revealed will. The prayer of faith asks
with unwavering trust for what God has already
promised to do. Faith does not depend on our
looking inwards to see what we feel we are
capable of asking for, rather faith looks
outward to see what God has promised in his word!
Presentation 09
Background to the Petition
Note too that Daniel was an old man in his 80s
when he began this prayer. God used not a large
number of people but one frail old man. Daniel
didnt say, Im too old to pray this through, I
leave it to the younger generation. Nor did he
say, Since I seem to be the only one who is
concerned about this why should I pray? He gave
himself to prayer. God often works his purposes
through minorities. We must decide whether or
not to be a part of a minority that will take
the burden of praying for our nation upon our
shoulders. Heaven is going to be full of
surprises. And one surprise will surely be those
who are closest to Christ - not necessary high
profile Christians whose service was most public
but men and women who gave themselves to prayer.
Presentation 09
Substance of the Petition
Our approach God is one of the most important
things about prayer. The approach of some is
casual, others are formal, or presumptuous. But
Daniels approach is steeped in awe and reverence
v4. He was on intimate terms with God but he did
not allow himself to forget the awesomeness of
his presence. When we pray do we pause for a
moment to remind ourselves that we are coming
into the presence of a gloriously transcendent
and holy God? Sadly some attempt to bring God
down to their level and describe him as the
man upstairs. When we lose a sense of awe in
our approach to God we lose a sense of his worth.
Presentation 09
Substance of the Petition
Daniels prayer involves confession, cf v4-6,
weve sinned, weve rebelled, weve not
listened. He identifies himself with his
peoples sin. Why does a prayer that is concerned
about the future of Gods people begin by
grieving over past sin? Daniel knows that
Israels present captivity was as a result of her
past sin. Israel had been unrepentant and
rebellious. She had closed her ears to Gods
prophets. There could be no future blessing
until the past was dealt with, until her sin was
brought out into the light confessed, forsaken
and forgiven. This principle is very
important. Individuals, communities, and nations
often want new beginnings but want to forget
about past sin as though it did not happen. That
is a recipe for disaster and Daniel knew it.
Presentation 09
Substance of the Petition
Daniel would know 2 Chron 7.14 if my people who
are called by my name will humble themselves and
pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked
ways, then I will hear from heaven and will
forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Therefore he acknowledged that his peoples
captivity was deserved v11 -14. However, when
praying for God to reverse their captivity his
focus is upon Gods glory cf. v17-19 hear the
prayers.. for your sake. His prayer was not
only people orientated it was God-centred. His
heart beats with a zeal for Gods glory. He
appeals for mercy for the people because they
bear Gods own name v19. He appeals for the
restoration of Jerusalem because it is Gods own
city v18-19. He longs for the rebuilding of the
temple because it is Gods own sanctuary v17.
Presentation 09
Substance of the Petition
Daniel magnifies God and humbles himself. Hes
saying, Lord I dont want your great name to be
shamed, I dont want you to be made a laughing
stock because of your people Israel or your city
Jerusalem. Cf Rom 2.24. Do you see his passion
for Gods glory. He knows that God is jealous for
his namesake and it is on this basis that he
pleads. There is surely a great deal we can
learn from that. Lord dont let me be the means
of bringing your name into disrepute. Lord dont
allow your church in our land to be the cause of
you being held up to public ridicule, visit us
again with your blessing. Are we concerned for
Gods glory, his good name, his reputation?
Presentation 09
Answer to the Petition
In v20 ff. God answers Daniels prayer in a quite
remarkable way. Not simply in terms of the angel
messenger who brings the answer but the scope of
the answer itself. Daniels concern was that
Israel be allowed home after their 70 years in
exile and that Israel would not be bypassed in
Gods purpose in history. God says, Im going
to provide you with much more than the
information you asked for.
Presentation 09
Answer to the Petition
The fine details of these verses are open to a
vast number of interpretations. There is no
unanimous view among biblical scholars concerning
the measurements of time given here. God wants to
provide Daniel with the assurance that certain
things will happen rather than tell him exactly
when they will happen. For this reason the time
scale may be purposefully obscure. A time scale
of 70 x7 is mentioned - sometimes referred to
as 70 weeks. This period is subdivided into
three. A period of 62 sevens, and a period of 7
sevens followed by a period of 1 seven. What is
clearer is that Daniel is assured that 3
important events will take place.
Presentation 09
Answer to the Petition
At the end of the period described as 7 times
seven v25, we discover that Israel would indeed
return from their captivity this happened under
the reign of Cyrus at the end of her 70 years
captivity and that some years after that 49
years Jerusalem would be rebuilt. This work was
indeed carried out under the leadership of Ezra
and Nehemiah.
Presentation 09
Answer to the Petition
Secondly, and after a longer span of time
described as 62x7- 490years? the anointed one,
the Messiah would come to Jerusalem, sin would be
dealt with and thered be a way by which sinners
could be made everlastingly right with God. This
speaks not of Jesus birth but of his ministry.
One writer suggests that the wise men, who came
looking for Jesus in Jerusalem would have been
familiar with the book of Daniel, since he had
lived in their land it was not inconceivable
that a copy of his writing was in their
archives, so that when the star appeared using
this passage they assumed they would find the
anointed one in Jerusalem.
Presentation 09
Answer to the Petition
During the last smaller period of time, the final
seven, which represents the days of Jesus
ministry, the Messiah he would put an end to
sacrifice and offering by being cut off but not
for himself marginal reading and killed. cf.
Isa 53.8 cut off from the land of the living
For the transgressions of my people he was
stricken. As a result of which v26 a foreign
power would come against the city and destroy
both city and temple. Many see this as reference
to 70 A.D. when Titus and his Roman legions did
exactly as these verses describe.
Presentation 09
Answer to the Petition
Jesus made it clear in Lk. 2327-31 that as a
result of his rejection by the Jews in Jerusalem
this terrible destruction would take place. Verse
24 of our passage, which refers to the whole
period of the seventy weeks in its totality,
underscores for us one more thing Christ came to
do, to seal up the vision and prophecy. Jesus
is the fulfilment and terminus of all revelation.
In him God comprehensively unfolds both the
nature of Gods character and his saving
purposes. cf. Heb 1.1 God has spoken...
literally, once and for all. In other words,
Jesus is Gods last and final word to men.
Presentation 09
The answer to prayer was certainly far greater
than Daniel had expected. There is a sense in
which Daniels prayer was used to advance Gods
plans for the Jewish nation and the arrival of
the Redeemer of the world. Sometimes older
Christians say, all I can do at my age is pray.
Dont underestimate this ministry. It is the
greatest single contribution we can make to the
advance of Christs kingdom. Through prayer the
church is revived. Through prayer history is
shaped. Martin Luther wrote, The Christians
trade is praying. May God help us to make
prayer individually and corporately our trade!
Presentation 09
Gods answer to Daniels petition went beyond
talking of the restoration of Jerusalem and the
rebuilding of the temple. Gods ultimate purpose
for his people was not a temple made with hands
and a holy place entered once a year. But as a
result of the sacrifice of his Son, which
brought forgiveness to those who placed their
faith in him, a living temple has been created,
a people who have become his dwelling place!
Christ in us is the sure and certain hope of
glory! But for those who place barbed wire
around their hearts and refuse him entry there
remains only eternal separation from God.
Presentation 09
If Gods answer to Daniels prayer was far
greater than he expected then Gods answer to our
prayers often exceeds our request and
expectations. We can come to God with material
concerns and leave with spiritual riches. The
gospels speak of a man brought to Jesus by his
friends, who were in search of physical healing.
Jesus said to the paralysed man, Your sins are
forgiven you Mk. 2v5. God longs to give us
more than we expect from him when we approach
him in prayer? And in giving us Jesus as
Saviour, God has given us all we will ever need.
Presentation 09
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