The Message of the Book of Daniel
Message of Daniel
Theme: God’s Sovereignty over Kingdoms and History
I. Assertions and evidences of God’s sovereignty
A. Assertions of His sovereignty
1. Direct theological statements (2:20-22, 47; 3:28-29; 4:3)
“Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings...” (2:20-21).
“His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation” (4:3).
2. Through His names
a. The Highest One (7:22, 25, 27)
b. The Most High/the Most High God (4:2, 17; 5:18, 21; 7:25)
B. Evidences of His sovereignty
1. His control of nations and kings
ÞDespite the self-exaltation and pride of kings
·Nebuchadnezzar (4:30-35, 37)
2. His preservation of His people
a. Three Hebrews and the fiery furnace (ch. 3)
b. Daniel in the lion’s den (ch. 6)
3. His governance over and knowledge of future nations and kingdoms
The last half of Daniel illustrates the sovereignty of God over all history by showing that God has charted out the course of history before it has even transpired. The jockeying of the nations for supremacy is but the working out of God’s plan for the ages.
Even the progress of history is determined; historical events will happen at their “appointed time” (8:19; 9:24-27; 11:29, 35).
II. The agents of God’s sovereignty
As one studies the book of Daniel, one sees that ultimately almost everything one encounters functions as an agent of God’s sovereignty.
A. Rulers and kingdoms
Example: Daniel 1:2: God gave Jehoiakim into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar. Unknowingly, Nebuchadnezzar was an agent of God’s sovereignty.
B. Believers (1:19-21; 2:48-49; 3:30; 6:2-3)
Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego affect the decisions of kings and the destinies of kingdoms through their positions of influence.
C. Angels (6:22; 10:18, 20; 12:1)
D. Messiah (7:13-14; 9:24, 26)
III. The Intended end of God’s sovereignty: The establishment of His kingdom
God’s sovereignty over history is not an end in itself. He is sovereignly guiding history according to the counsel of His will. The intended end of God’s sovereignty over history is simply this: He is ordering all affairs on the earth in order to bring about the establishment of His kingdom.
A. The coming of His kingdom will end all earthly kingdoms (2:34-35, 44).
B. Christ is the King in this eternal kingdom (7:13-14).
C. The resurrected righteous will shine in this kingdom (12:2-3).