Many of us are familiar with the story of Daniel—from the lion’s den, the fiery furnace, to the handwriting on the wall, and the prophecies about world events. But pastor and writer Bryan Chapell suggests we are missing key aspects of this Old Testament book if we don’t read it with a Christ-centered approach.
What can we learn about the life of this minor prophet? Dr. Chapell says we tend to make Daniel “the object of our worship or the subject of our debate.” If we don’t hold him up as an outstanding model of faith in exile, we spend time picking apart the prophecies in his writings and try to set up end-time chronologies. Both, Bryan says, miss the point. “God has been gracious to us. Daniel is preparing us to understand who Christ is… and the grace of God that will culminate in Christ.”
Bryan says, every book in Scripture points us to Jesus. We can see this in a number of ways:
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were righteous men, but they were righteous because of God’s power
The intercession or “mediation” of Daniel on behalf of his people in exile
Daniel was willing to pray for specific things, but he was willing to trust in the sovereign plan of God. “Our prayers are to submit to God, not manipulate God.” Bryan points out that the Old Testament prophet was also persistent – he prayed for King Nebuchadnezzar for 40 years before he saw a change in the king’s heart.
The frequent connection between faithfulness and suffering. Daniel prayed and lived a faithful life in the midst of a pagan culture, yet he was thrown into a den and left for dead. Likewise, Jesus lived a perfectly holy life under submission to His Father, and He was crucified by the people of His day. Both men suffered, but God used their suffering for His glory – and in the case of Christ, the ultimate salvation of His people.
Dr. Chapell’s new book is The Gospel According to Daniel.
This program has been previously aired.