Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window or tab)
1. What do you like better; starting a task or ending it? Why?
2. For Daniel and his readers, what is the good news in verses 1 – 4? What is the bad news?
3. This is the first and only use of the term “everlasting life” in the Old Testament. What does that tell you about what most Jews in Daniel’s day believed (or didn’t believe) about life after death?
4. How does Daniel’s embryonic doctrine of the Resurrection compare with the New Testament view that we are saved “by grace alone”? In this regard, what does it mean to be “wise”? To “lead many to righteousness” (verse 3)?
5. Verses 1 – 4 imply that the kingdom of God is assured to the faithful and wise, but that destiny is born out of tribulation and soul-searching. How does that relate to the faith of Jesus (see Mark 13; Matthew 24:8; Revelation 12:1 – 6)? How does Daniel’s view compare with Jesus’ view of the Resurrection of the righteous and the wicked (see John 5:24 – 30)?
6. Compare verse 9 with Revelation 22:10. How do you account for the difference?
7. Did Daniel have all his questions answered (verses 4, 8 – 10)? What is left unanswered for Daniel (and you)? What does this say about the basis of faith for a believer?
8. Do you expect to find your name “written in the Book”?
9. Daniel was told to go on with life even if he didn’t understand. When have you had to cope in faith with the perplexities of life?
10. The bottom line for Daniel is that the royal power of the Most High God always triumphs over the kingdoms of men (chapter 7:11, 26, 27; chapter 8:25; chapter 9:27; chapter 10:13; chapter 11:45; chapter 12:13). How is that evident for Daniel personally? For the kings and subjects he treats? For the readers he comforts? For you?
This ends the record of Daniel’s life and marvelous encounters with the world beyond. Challenging as his visions sometimes may be, they are invaluable in stretching one’s imagination to the time when all mysteries will be revealed.