Even though Daniel wrote thousands of years ago, his book provides clarity and relevance for today — a prophetic book you need to understand. In the middle of Jesus’ private briefing to his disciples on the end of the age in Matthew 24, Matthew inserts a parenthetical statement — “Let the reader understand” — you should understand prophecy for the clarity and understanding it provides current events.
Yet some fear Daniel’s book (and Revelation), viewing end times as scary, fearful events. Yet they should not be. God gives us knowledge for a reason — if He didn’t want us to understand, He would not have revealed it.
On the other side, others devote too much time to prophecy, derailing other more profitable studies. Every time a war breaks out in the Middle East “experts” appear starting a debate on whether it’s the beginning of Armageddon. But who really cares? Yes, we should know and understand times and events, but not be consumed by them; we don’t know if any specific event triggers the final week of Daniel’s prophecy, so understand but don’t obsess.
Daniel’s writing thousands of years ago provides euphemisms still in use today (even in secular circles):
- “handwriting on the wall”
- “your numbers up”
- “idol has clay feet”
- “thrown to the lions”
Daniel’s prophecy and narratives provide many learning opportunities — not as stories for entertainment, but events which should change our actions.
For whatever things were written in earlier times were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (Romans 15:4)
Most importantly, Daniel provides the antidote for one of the biggest heresies heard today — God no longer involves the Jews in His plan. Some teach since the Jews didn’t accept their Messiah the promises made to Abraham transferred to the church; the Church replaced the Jews in Bible prophecy. Is this scriptural? Does the Bible contain any such teaching? Never — the promises made in Genesis are unilateral and irrevocable:
And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee. (Genesis 12:3)
That’s something we need to understand as we mess around with foreign policy (and it’s a promise still in effect which should guide how we handle the Middle East mess). It’s bizarre to imagine, but the creator of the universe parceled out a tract of land He calls His own, and when we mess around with Middle East policy we’re poking a finger in the eye of God — God’s covenant with Abraham in Genesis 15:1–18 is unilateral. …