A key statement from the commentary: Some Jews and Christians have read this cryptic language, “time of the end,” to refer to the end of the world; but others believe the context points to the “time of the end” of the exile of God and His people from the full and final restoration of temple worship in Jerusalem.
So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.
I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed:
Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws (NIV).
I find Daniel’s unwillingness to pray privately in Daniel 6 fascinating.
He knew he’d be thrown to the lions.
But he stuck to his regular habit of praying in front of his windows anyway.
I wonder if he was really several steps ahead of his adversaries and sensed that his God would save him from the lions.
This is one of the best reminders in the Bible that prayer really does make a difference.
What is my Achilles’ Heel? The thing that I’m unable to give up, even if it costs me dearly?
For Daniel, it was his faith and obedience to God.
In chapter 4, Daniel interprets one of the king’s dreams accurately.
Even though the consequences were brutally negative, they were true.
Reasonable people appreciate truth, even if it’s difficult.
Speaking difficult truth is a large part of what makes Daniel an inspirational character.
In chapter 2, King Nebuchadnezzar demanded that his advisers tell him the details of his dream and then interpret it.
How would I react if someone asked me to tell me their dream and interpret it? How would you, dear Reader? Probably the same way that the advisers responded:
Your Majesty, you are demanding the impossible! No king, not even the most famous and powerful, has ever ordered his advisors, magicians, or wise men to do such a thing (2:10, CEV).
Then, under penalty of death, Daniel asked the king for time and prayed to God for insight.
When God gave him the answer the king required, Daniel saved his own life and the lives of all the other advisers. Just like in the previous chapter, Daniel responded to unimaginable pressure with calm and reason.
In Daniel 1, we meet Daniel and his three friends, captured and recruited for the new political power in town.
It is amazing that Daniel is so wise and tactful without compromising his faith.
When faith collides with the workplace, appeal to data and evidence-based results.
If my faith gets in the way of my work then I’m misapplying my religious beliefs, I’m in the wrong line of work, or I’m employed by the wrong people.
When my faith improves my results, I need to allow it to be put to the test objectively.
In the Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary Vol. 1 OT introduction to the book of Daniel, the authors write, “The principal theological emphasis in Daniel is the absolute sovereignty of the Lord, the God of Israel….A second theological emphasis is the power of persistent prayer.”
Daniel’s life is a case study in the power of God and the power of prayer.