Further Thought: “The Bible was designed to be a guide to all who wish to become acquainted with the will of their Maker. God gave to men the sure word of prophecy; angels and even Christ Himself came to make known to Daniel and John the things that must shortly come to pass. Those important matters that concern our salvation were not left involved in mystery. They were not revealed in such a way as to perplex and mislead the honest seeker after truth. Said the Lord by the prophet Habakkuk: ‘Write the vision, and make it plain, … that he may run that readeth it’. Habakkuk 2:2. The word of God is plain to all who study it with a prayerful heart. Every truly honest soul will come to the light of truth. ‘Light is sown for the righteous’. Psalm 97:11. And no church can advance in holiness unless its members are earnestly seeking for truth as for hid treasure”. — Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, pp. 521, 522. “Study the history of Daniel and his fellows. Though living where they were, met on every side by the temptation to indulge self, they honored and glorified God in the daily life. They determined to avoid all evil. They refused to place themselves in the enemy’s path. And with rich blessings God rewarded their steadfast loyalty”. — Ellen G. White, Manuscript Releases [No. 224], vol. 4, pp. 169, 170.
- As we study the book of Daniel, one powerful point will come through. God is not only sovereign over all the nations but also intimately acquainted with each of us, at even the deepest level. For example, as we will see in Daniel 2, He was able to give a pagan king a dream. To be able to get into someone’s mind while that person is sleeping and implant a dream reveals a closeness that we cannot even begin to fathom. At the same time, as we will see, the nature of the dream reveals that God is ultimately in control even of the world’s vast empires and knows how everything is going to end. What comfort and hope can we draw from these depictions of reality? At the same time, how does it make you feel to know that the Lord is so close that He knows your very thoughts? In this context, why does the promise of the Cross become so important?
- In class, discuss the difference between classical and apocalyptic prophecy. What other examples of both can you find in the Bible?