If Daniel’s apocalyptic prophetic visions were only for Israel between Daniel’s time and Jesus, or only for Christians at the very end of history, what good are they to anyone who lives in between? But what if these visions have relevance and help for every Christian who has ever experienced pain, loss, frustration, and despair at the living nightmare of their world? Spoiler alert - they do!
- What are some assumptions or understandings about Daniel and apocalyptic prophecies in the Bible that have been challenged, or even changed, as a result of this series on the book of Daniel? Are there some things Ben or Rob have said that you struggle to believe or fit with what you believed before?
- These 4 chapters, as well as the vision in chapter 7 and the dream in chapter 2, are all about the same period(s) of history. Review what that period of history was, and how each vision/dream predicted and symbolized it.
- Rob said pretty much everyone believes these visions apply to both the period of history between the time of Daniel and Jesus, and to the end times, but rejected the approach of only focusing on how this applies to Jesus’ second coming, and using these passages to predict when that will happen. Why? Do you agree with this approach?
- Do you like or agree with his view that these visions also apply to every time in history when evil is running rampant on a global or national scale and Christians are in despair, and even to when individual Christians feel like their lives are a living nightmare?
- What do all the numbers in Daniel really mean?
- How do you understand the ‘peak behind the celestial battle’ images in chapter 10 when an angel talks about battles with other rulers of nations?
- Discuss each of the following lessons Rob pulled from these visions, how they relate to the passage, and more importantly, how are they helpful to Christians in distress:
- I beg your pardon - I never promised you a rose garden.
- God is in control, no matter what it looks or feels like. Keep Calm and Carry on - Trust God and be faithful.
- There is an end date to the evil and suffering.
- Justice will be done. Doing/being good is no guarantee for anything in the short term, but it is a guarantee for everything in the long term.
- Our actions, faithfulness, prayer, etc. matters now, not just later. We are called to be good, not great (or effective).
- Which of the above is the most difficult to believe, or the most helpful and powerful for you?
- Rob used some external resources and stories - which was the most helpful and why?
- The Bible Project summary of Daniel
- Sky Jethani’s story about Hitler and Daniel, from “The Idol of Effectiveness”
- His testimony of the Metis woman in a wheelchair.