This is part of the 66 in 52 Bible Journaling Challenge. Over the course of the 52 weeks in 2018, I am focusing in on one verse from each book of the Bible with many others who have signed up to join me. Each week I will post a summary page with some thoughts about that week’s book(s) of the Bible along with some links that may help our reflection. Click here to sign up if you want to join us at any point along the journey! Click here to see where we’ve been so far!
The Big Picture of Daniel:
I bet when most of us think of the book of Daniel two main stories come to mind: Daniel & the Lions Den and The Fiery Furnace. Perhaps you’d add the feast with the hand writing on the wall (yes that’s where that phrase came from), but mostly narrative historical stories come to mind. It’s easy to forget that a whole chunk of this book is prophesy as well. In the bigger context, this book takes place during the Babylonian exile. Daniel and some of his friends are chosen basically to be indoctrinated into the ways and teachings of the culture at that time. They find ways to do this while still remaining true to God and He shows up in some pretty miraculous ways in the process. God continues to have favor on these faithful young men and others discover the One True God through them. The last have of the book includes many prophesies including some about the Messiah. Many of the prophecies in Daniel are echoed in Revelation.
Themes and Big Ideas in Daniel:
- God’s got this! He’s in control and won’t let us down!
- Even if things don’t go as we imagine, God is still good and we will still follow Him.
- Suffering and persecution should be the expectation not the exception.
- We don’t have to give in to culture or to fear in following God. He is bigger than all of that and will help us stand firm.
- Jesus is coming and will make all things new!
A Few Key Verses and Possible Reflection Questions/Prayers:
Some of us are planning to read through the whole book each week, while others are just focusing in on one verse. This section of the weekly intro post might help you narrow down a verse to reflect on for the week, but you do not have to choose one of these verse, pick any section of the book you want! These are just some ideas.
- “At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food.” (Daniel 1:15)
REFLECTION: Do you have any examples from your life where following God turned out to put you “ahead” in the game even if it didn’t seem to make sense on the surface?
- “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[ from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 10:12)
REFLECTION: Where in life are you at a moment that calls you to say “But even if he does not…”?
- “Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.” (Daniel 10:12)
REFLECTION: Where have you been waiting for answer to prayer but the answer seems delayed? How can this story be an encouragement to you?
- “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people – everyone whose name is found written in the book – will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.” (Daniel 12:1-2)
REFLECTION: Who are the people in your life who don’t yet know Jesus? Spend some time in prayer for the names of those you long to see written in the Book of Life.
Some Other Resources:
- The Bible Project summary video of Daniel
- A Pinterest board with resources and pictures for Daniel
- The 66 in 52 Schedule and Tracking Sheet
So now it’s your turn! Pick a verse and settle in this week, or read through the whole book. If you post any picture or blogs on social media, tag them with #66in52challenge so we can all share in this journey together!