1. Share about a time when your favorite team was the underdog and they won.
2. Share about a time when you were in an underdog role and came out on top.
3. When have you gone through tough times, only to awaken and find out things came out okay?
4. How is Daniel affected by this vision (verses 15, 19, 28)? How does he learn its true meaning?
5. How might you go about cracking the code of the four kingdoms? (Modern attempts to do so are based on comparisons among the visions of Daniel in chapters 2, 7 and 9. With a chronology of major empires we know in retrospect from secular history.)
6. In judgment, what role is played by the “saints” (verses 18, 21, 22, 25, 27)? By “the Most High”?
7. How does Daniel’s view on saints in judgment compare with that of Jesus and John (see Matthew 19:28, 29; Luke 22:29, 30; Revelation 1:6; 20:4 – 6)?
8. What will kingdom possession by the saints mean, now and in the future, for the arrogant? The meek? For you?
9. Daniel shows us that God doesn’t always side with the strong or victorious (athletes, candidates, military) but with the exiled, defeated and oppressed. How might this relate to you?
It has been perhaps 10 – 12 years since anything has been heard from Daniel, God’s captive servant who was put into the service of King Nebuchadnezzar as a young man. During this time Daniel has achieved great respect in the royal palace, primarily due to his successful interpretation of various dreams and riddles. Now in his later years, Daniel has served a succession of Babylonian leaders.
During the first and third years of Belshazzar’s rule, Daniel has two of the most amazing prophetic dreams since Ezekiel’s vision of the great battle against Gog and the hordes of evil. Interestingly, there are events and characters in Daniel’s dreams which seem to correspond with things Ezekiel saw in his great temple vision. We will consider the dream of four beasts (chapter 7) this week. And the vision of ram and goat (chapter 8) next week.
1. What animals or birds represent the following?
2. What are your favorite animals, wild or tame?
3. What are your favorite animal cartoon characters?
4. What animal scares you to pieces?
5. Jesus takes Daniel’s royal “Son of Man” title as His own, but fuses it with a suffering motif (see Isaiah 53). What aspect of Christ and His kingdom, then, is Daniel predicting in verses 13 and 14? How does this compare to the other four kingdoms?
6. To what does Daniel liken the four beasts? What’s distinctive about each? What do you make of the 10 horns? The “little horn” with the big mouth?
7. What picture does the “Ancient of Days” bring to mind? Senility or wisdom? Venerability or vulnerability? Sentimental softy or moral purity? Why?
8. What do you think is implied by “the books were opened” (verse 10)? Does your answer say more about God’s control or human freedom?
9. How does Daniel convey transcendent and earthly aspects of God (verses 9 – 14)? What is the coming kingdom and its heavenly leader like?
10. How do you react to “wild, scary and beastly” forces within your world? Within your life? What reason does Daniel give you to trust God “has the whole world in his hands”?
11. Take a minute to draw the scene in verses 13 and 14 in your imagination. What does this emphasize to you about Jesus Christ? Why is it significant to you that He is like this?