The book of Daniel is very well-known among Christians, but I’d hazard a guess that most of them have no idea what it’s about. Most people only focus on two parts of the book: Daniel and the Lion’s Den and the seventy weeks prophecy. I’d also guess most people don’t even have any idea what those are about. Some people spend a lot of time trying to parse out the prophecy with various degrees of unwarranted certainty, and you’ll find various accounts of Daniel and the Lion’s Den in every children’s Bible storybook in existence, each with various degrees of focus in the wrong direction. But, while those parts contribute to the overall point of the book, they don’t stand alone. There’s a lot more to it.
The main point of the book is its constant refrain (and its variations): his (God’s) kingdom is an everlasting kingdom.
In every story and prophecy in Daniel, we see the absolute rule of God over the world, even as his people find themselves in captivity to the greatest world powers of the time due to their constant faithlessness. God consistently trumps the pagan kings we read about. There’s even a particularly hilarious account of a king made to act like an animal in the wild until he acknowledges God as Lord. He also thwarts scheming counselors and mighty armies.
Through all of this, his message rings loud and clear: God’s kingdom is an everlasting kingdom — the only one. Anyone in the greatest positions of earthly authority are only there because God has put them there. He has the power and the right to remove them — and he will. Not only that, but he will establish his own kingdom on earth — one that will never be destroyed, one from which no one can unseat him.
It’s on these themes that I’d like to dwell for a while. This short post serves as an introduction to a series on the book of Daniel. I have no exact release schedule, but by the will of God I hope to write on the whole book.
I encourage you to read Daniel — the whole book. Pay attention to repeated ideas. Notice how the various characters interact with and respond to God. Ask questions and seek out answers. Pray for understanding. And be filled with longing for his coming everlasting kingdom.