Just a quick glance at the daily news reveals a world filled with compromise, scandal, and dark secrets. One thing lacking in so many of our would-be heroes and media-made mentors is integrity.
The world needs a return to integrity, not sinless perfection but absolute honesty and an absence of duplicity. Impossible? Let's let Daniel's life answer that for us.
Few character qualities are more important than integrity. Courage is perhaps the only one to precede it, since it stiffens our spines and sets our feet.
When we turn the page from chapter 6 to chapter 7 in the book of Daniel, we leave the relatively easy narrative and biographical sections of the book to enter the more difficult and mysterious sections of prophecy. Daniel 7 offers an overview of God’s grand design for humanity. In this collage of prophecy, we’ll see the sovereignty of God once again—sovereignty we can trust in.
The exotic—even bizarre—symbols used to describe the Beast in Revelation 13 are not just frightening features conjured up to illustrate the monstrous character of the Antichrist. The vision of the Beast is drawn from specific images in the book of Daniel.
Two years elapsed between Daniel’s first vision in chapter 7 and his second vision in chapter 8. Like the first, this vision involved animals. Unlike the first, this vision provides great detail about one of the most famous men in history, about one of the least known men in history, and about one who will appear in the future and will be the most nefarious man in history. To Daniel, it was all future. To us, most of it is history—a history worth studying to prepare us for the future.
People often make the mistake of not only judging books by their covers but also by their length—believing that longer is more difficult and shorter is easier. Many times it is the reverse. This is especially true of the last four verses in Daniel 9.
The last four verses in Daniel 9 are not difficult to read but pose a challenge to understand. Daniel had Gabriel to help him. We’ll rely on the Holy Spirit and the rest of God’s Word, not only to help us understand this prophecy of the 70 weeks but also to help us apply some principles to our lives.
The gradual eroding of the Judeo-Christian ethic to reveal a more secular society does not bode well for any nation, not just Canada. Daniel understood that national sins—forgetting God—lead to discipline, so at the dawn of a new administration he prayed for his nation, Israel. And he left us an example to follow.
The ancients were comfortable with the truth that reality exists in two worlds—the physical and the spiritual. Yet we moderns sneer at such ancient mythology, while our hobgoblins whisper, “The ancients were right.” Daniel understood that two realities exist. And with another angelic visitation he would come to know how real the unseen world really is.