The Book of Daniel 2:1-30

The Book of Daniel
2:1-30

Introduction

Without God’s intervening favor, Daniel is faced with the prospect of death. So, he rushes to his community for prayer. The result is amazing – he is used by God to communicate to Nebuchadnezzar’s dream without even knowing what the dream was about.

Discussion

    1. What does the connection between Daniel and Matthew tell us about the inspiration of scripture? What does it tell us about the Bible in general?
    2. It was suggested that the language change in Daniel (from Hebrew to Aramaic and back to Hebrew) was to parallel the story of redemption. What does this say about God’s love of the nations?
    1. Daniel had faith that God would intervene, so he got together with his community to pray. How important is corporate prayer as a body of believers?
    1. The wisdom Daniel received was not his own, but it was given to him by God. What is stopping us from receiving wisdom from God?
  1. Even though Daniel was in a culture hostile towards his, it seems that he wanted to see those people saved. This is quite opposite of Jonah’s story. Today, would we rather see judgment or salvation for our culture? Why or why not?

Application

The importance of cooperate prayer is stressed to us in the picture of Daniel running to his friends in time of need. Do you seek after cooperate prayer enough? If not, how can we encourage one another to pray in community more than we currently do?

Prayer

Please pray for the outgoing missions teams that will be taking the gospel to Portland, Sarajevo, and Chicago this summer.

The Book of Daniel 1:17-21

The Book of Daniel
“God Gave” // 1:17-21

Daniel records that he was given great wisdom by God, which will be clearly demonstrated as the events of his life begin to unfold. God-given wisdom will be required to navigate the murky waters of remaining faithful in Babylon. Likewise, God gives us wisdom to help navigate through life.

Discussion

    1. When Daniel boasts, he does so in God’s favor. How do we boast in God’s favor? What does boasting look like if we don’t boast in him?
    2. Daniel trusted God in the little things. Do you think it’s more difficult to be faithful in the little things God gives us or the big things?
    1. What is the relationship between knowledge and wisdom?
    1. Our world often confuses knowledge and wisdom. (Knowledge is gained from observation while wisdom is gained in application.) How can we differentiate between the two in our everyday lives?
  1. Daniel is fond of reminding his reader that “God gave” everything he had. Do we truly appreciate how much God gives us in all areas of life?

Application

How do we implement wisdom in the every day details of life as opposed to simply our own limited knowledge?

Prayer

Spend some time in prayer with one another for things drawn out of the discussion.

The Book of Daniel 1:8-16

The Book of Daniel
The King’s Table // 1:8-16

Introduction

Daniel’s first test of resolve comes when he is forced to chose between bending to Babylonian culture or upholding God’s commands. By living out his faith, Daniel opts for the latter and sees God’s providential hand at work in his life.

Discussion

    1. Why do bad things happen to good people and why do good things happen to bad people? How do we reconcile this with a good God?
    2. How is it that God uses dire circumstances to refine us?
  1. When it comes to culture, is it our ultimate goal to be right or to be witnesses and agents of change? Why?
  2. Daniel was placed in the situation of choosing between Babylon’s culture or upholding God’s law. At what point do we go against what culture commands in order to uphold what God commands?
  3. Daniel experienced God’s providence as are result of living out his faith. How does this small story strengthen your own resolve in the face of standing for God’s law in the face of adversity?

Application

There are times in our lives (and there are times quickly approaching) when it is imperative that we maintain God’s standards of law rather than obeying the conflicting laws of culture. How does (or will) community help us stand in these difficult times?

Prayer

Spend some time in prayer with one another for things drawn out of the discussion.

The Book of Daniel 1:1-7

The Book of Daniel
Taken to Babylon // 1:1-7

In the first few verses of Daniel, we are given an in-depth look into the relationship between sin, salvation, and sovereignty. While sin exiles us, taking us back from where God called us, salvation liberates. While sin destroys and exiles, God’s sovereignty preserves us. Daniel’s words are the answer to how we sing God’s praise in the midst of exile.

Discussion

  1. How does the Babylonian exile demonstrate that God is in control?
  2. How does God’s sovereignty sustain us through times of exile?
  3. Why is it that our first reaction to chaos in our life is to question God’s goodness and sovereignty?
  4. How do we remind ourselves of his goodness and sovereignty?
  5. In what areas do you think the church has been more influenced by Babylon than Jerusalem?
  6. In what ways have you been more influenced by Babylon that Jerusalem?

Application

As a community, we are all Daniel’s living in Babylon – a culture foreign to the one we call home. How can we help on another walk through the difficulties of being in of our culture without being of our culture?

Prayer

Spend some time in prayer with one another for things drawn out of the discussion.