Some things have happened recently that have caused me to adopt the motto “Faith over fear!” I do plan to write about them at some point, but I don’t know when. As I have been reading and studying the book of Daniel, I have seen faith over fear over and over again. I wanted to share my thoughts and revelations from the book of Daniel with you all, and hopefully it has the same impact on you all as it has had on me. Daniel has twelve chapters so I will break this up into four posts – three chapters each.
I used my physical bible, the YouVersion bible app and my bible study worksheet (which you can get here for free). Let’s get into it!
Sometimes you have to deny what you think is pleasurable, for what is right (vs. 1-16)
- In the first chapter of Daniel, we find Nebuchadnezzar taking over Judah and becoming king. Nebuchadnezzar ordered for one of his chiefs to bring to him young men who were handsome, without physical defect, and who were overall qualified to serve in the king’s palace. These men would be trained for three years to enter the king’s service. Among the men brought to King Nebuchadnezzar were Daniel, Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meshach), and Azariah (Abednego).
- The king gave the men a daily amount of food and wine from his table, but Daniel refused to eat it. Verse 8 says, “But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.” Daniel told the chief official that he & his friends would eat nothing but vegetables and water for the next days, and they would be better off than the other young men who ate the royal food. This proved to be true.
- Sometimes you have to deny what you think is pleasurable for what is right. I’m sure that all of the other young men were ecstatic to be eating food from the king’s table but Daniel knew that indulging in the food would ultimately be degrading who he was.
- Think About It: Has there ever been a time in your life where you’ve enjoyed what was pleasurable in the moment instead of doing what God told you to do?
Sacrifice precedes promotion (vs. 17-21)
- Another big idea in Daniel is that God doesn’t promote us without us having to do some work. In this section of the chapter, sacrifice preceded Daniel’s promotion
- Daniel chose to deny the king’s food. He then received knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning from God. He could also understand visions and dreams of all kinds.
- After the end of their training the king found nobody greater than Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Verse 20 says, “In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.”
- Think About It: Have you ever made a sacrifice and ended up with something greater than what you had in the first place?
Give God the credit (vs. 1-28)
- In the beginning of chapter two we find Nebuchadnezzar looking for someone to interpret one of his dreams. Wise men, magicians, and astrologers were brought before him. He asked them to not only interpret his dream, but to tell him what the actual dream was. Of course, none of them could do it. This made Nebuchadnezzar angry so he ordered the execution of all the wise men of Babylon, which included Daniel and his friends.
- When Daniel heard of the decree, he went to the king and asked for more time so that he might interpret the dream. Remember that in chapter one (vs. 17), God gave Daniel the ability to understand visions and dreams. Some of us are in situations right now and you don’t understand why God is letting you go through it. I promise you that what you learn and what you gain from your current test will help you pass your next one!
- Daniel returned home, explained the situation to his friends, and asked them to plead with God for him to reveal the dream. That night, God revealed the dream to Daniel, and the FIRST thing that Daniel did was praise Him. Verses 19-20 say, “During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven and said: “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his.” When God reveals something to you, do you stop to praise Him before anything else?
- The biggest thing that stood out to me happened when Daniel was taken in front of the king to interpret his dream. Daniel was asked if he was able to interpret the dream. He replied, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he had asked about, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries”. Daniel immediately gave God all of the credit. He knew and acknowledged that he could not have done it all on his own. As humans, it’s easy to get cocky when you receive compliments, awards, and accolades for things that we’ve done. However, we have to remember that we can do nothing without God and He deserves all of the credit.
- Think About It: Can you think of a lesson that you learned that prepared you for another chapter of your life?
Obedience precedes promotion (vs. 46-49)
- After Daniel was able to interpret the dream, Nebuchadnezzar fell down in reverence before Daniel. He ordered that he be given an offering and incense. He also acknowledged that Daniel’s God was the God of gods and Lord of kings. Verse 48 says, “Then the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men.”
- In chapter one, a sacrifice preceded Daniel’s promotion. In this chapter, Daniel’s obedience preceded his promotion. Daniel could have ignored his gift and done nothing to save the wise men. Instead, He used the gift that God had given him to not only save people, but to also glorify God.
- Think About It: Can you think of a promotion you might have missed out on because you were not obedient? What can you do next time to make sure you don’t miss out on your promotion?
God will fight on your behalf (vs. 1-27)
- In the third chapter, we find Nebuchadnezzar making an image of gold and commanding that everyone worship it when they heard the sound of the horn, flute, harp, etc. The three young men, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, refused to worship the image of gold. When they were brought before the king, he told them that if they refused to worship the gold image, he would throw them in the furnace. The three men replied in verses 16-18, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
- More of us need to remember that we have a God that will fight on our behalf. There’s no need for us to respond to anybody who talks bad about you. There’s no reason to respond to anyone who doesn’t acknowledge the greatness within you. There are going to be situations, or battles, that God will put you in where all you have to do is be still. God will fight on your behalf.
- Think About It: Can you think of a time where God took care of your enemies for you?
Your trials will bring God glory (vs. 26-36)
- At the end of this chapter, the three young men were seen walking around the fiery furnace, along with a man that had the form of the Son of God. The three men walked out of the furnace looking the same as when they had walked in.
- Nebuchadnezzar said blessed is their God and he made a decree that no one was allowed to speak badly about the God that delivered them from the fiery furnace completely unharmed.
- I just want to encourage you that the testimony of your trials and your tests might be the only thing that shows someone who your God is!
Thank you for doing this bible study with me! I really encourage you to read these three chapters on your own and see what speaks to you. If something other than what I’ve said stands out, please comment it down below!
My prayer for you today is that you have the strength to deny your fleshly desire for things that seem pleasurable, in order to receive the best that God has for you. I pray that you see that God will fight your battles for you and you need only to be still. I thank Him in advance for your promotion because of your obedience and your sacrifice.
As always I want to thank God for using me as His messenger. If no one has told you recently, you are loved and you are worthy. You mean something to me and you mean something to God. He has a great plan for your life if you make the decision to follow Him. I hope that this post will resonate with you in your day-to-day life as you began to work on the things that are stopping you from living your best life.