God’s ultimate sovereignty
Written to encourage the exiles in Babylon, the book of Daniel reminds God’s people of god’s ultimate control over human history. Daniel, exiled to Babylon while still a young man, rises through the ranks of the royal court to become a trusted adviser to several Babylonian (and Persian) kings. A man of flawless integrity, Daniel also becomes a significant prophet in Israel’s history, recording God’s plan for the rise and fall of several empires, demonstrating God’s plan for the rise and fall of several empires, demonstrating God’s power over human government while protecting those who trust in him.
Daniel begins this book by detailing his life in Babylon and relating the importance of obeying God in all details of life (Da 1). In response to Daniel’s faithfulness, god gives him the ability to interpret one king’s dreams and a mysterious, handwritten message that appears on another kings palace wall (Da 2; 4; 5). Yet even this supernatural skill does not remove Daniel and his friends from situations that test their faith in God (Da 3; 6). The book ends with Daniels visions of God’s power and sovereignty over Gentile nations and with visions of a righteous kingdom that will last forever (Da 7-12).
The many Jews exiled in Babylon feared that God had forgotten them, that he was no longer in control of the swirl of human events. Daniels life and prophecies gave them –and – us –hope and restored faith in the sovereignty of their God. Life may appear to be running out of control, but Daniel’s words assure us that is not the case. God is in control, and we can safely frame our lives on resolute trust in his care.