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Is it just coincidence that, in the same year the temple foundation is laid and the restoration has begun in earnest, God should bring to Daniel another amazing vision of both near and future events? This is a time of great expectations! It is a time for perspective and overview. It is a time for reassurance. As with Daniel’s previous visions, this vision is too filled with symbolism – with names apparently having double meaning and with oblique references to future historical events.
1. When have you been scared stiff? What experiences have left you drained? How did someone help you through?
2. How do you feel when touched physically by your spouse? Sweetheart? Parent? Child? A friend? A stranger?
3. Daniel’s Babylonian name links him with the past. What other links orient the reader in these opening verses?
4. Some see Christ in verses 5 and 6. How is this fantastic image like the one in Ezekiel 1 or Revelation 1:12 – 16? Do you think these are different images of the same divine figure? Why? Do these images fit your picture of Jesus? Why or why not?
5. If Daniel’s companions did not see this figure, what caused them to become terrified (verse 7)? How did they “know” something they did not “see”? How does their experience compare with Saul’s Damascus road experience (see Acts 9:7)?
6. What impact does this rendezvous have on Daniel (verses 8 – 10)? What brings him to his feet?
7. What in this continuing encounter (verses 12 – 19) would you find comforting? Scary? Why?
8. How many times do God’s messengers “touch” Daniel (verses 10 – 18)? What does the progression of these touching moments say about Daniel? About God’s means of self-revelation?
9. Repeatedly Daniel is told he is “highly esteemed” (verses 11, 19 see chapter 9:23)? Is it as tough for you to trust such good news from God? How so? Who in your circles needs to hear this good news?
10. How has God “touched” your life? What new strength and resources can you now embrace due to His touch?
11. Daniel finds that messengers from God are friendly (verses 10 – 19), though at first terrifying and draining (verses 5 – 9). What does this mean for you? Other Christians?
12. Daniel’s prayer seems to have been opposed by an evil power. When has this happened to you? How did you persevere?