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The Great Test of Faith

Daniel 1.12

An extremely long life of remarkable instrumentality in the preservation of God’s people along with unique prophetic insights began with a pivotal and risk-laden test. Here is the proving of Daniel and other young Israelites by which they denied the world and obeyed God.


The book of the prophet Daniel makes a gentle start, beginning so beautifully and so perfectly structured from a literary point of view. It then proceeds into depths of theology, prophecy and narrative concerning the proving of the Lord and his provision for his people.

There are magnificent things in the book of Daniel, including fresh Old Testament revelation, touching on themes unseen in any earlier books. You can’t really – for example – study the theology of angels without the book of Daniel. You can’t think very deeply about the doctrine of the resurrection of the body without the book of Daniel. So to Daniel was given tremendous privileges of revelation, quite apart from this book demonstrating God’s sovereign power to bless the survival of his people and their integrity through the ages.

The historical Daniel is undoubtedly the author of the book. On a number of occasions he uses the phrase ‘I, Daniel’ (although he only begins to write in the first person, in an autobiographical manner, from chapter seven on). It’s almost as though, dare we say, Daniel could not bring himself to write in an autobiographical manner at the beginning of the book, because he’s obliged to record what might appear to be his own accomplishments. He ascribes them all to the Lord, but he avoids the first person until that’s all over and done, and only then does he speak in terms of his own experience.

It’s often said that there is nothing bad recorded about Daniel either in this book or anywhere else in the scripture. He’s one of very few Bible characters of whom that can be said. The Lord, in His inspired word, didn’t wish anything bad to be said about Daniel. He was a fallible person, as we are, but so great was his faithfulness that his reputation is preserved in every respect.



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