Welcome to the book of Daniel. After covering the first half in the last issue of Explore, we're diving back in halfway through.

So it's well worth reminding ourselves of the main themes of the book...

The book of Daniel is set in Babylon, where Daniel and his friends have been taken into exile.

Read Daniel 3 v 8-12, 6 v 10-14

  • - What challenges have Daniel and his friends faced?

Read 3 v 28-29, 6 v 26-27

  • - What have been some of the main lessons in living for God so far?

Read 2 v 46-47, 5 v 22-28

  • - What have been some of the main lessons about God Himself so far?

The book of Daniel is all about living faithfully for God in a pagan land. It is at a time when God's people are in exile and so God appears to have been defeated. But the main theme is: God remains the true God, so stay faithful to Him.

So the first six chapters see Daniel and his friends living faithfully for God, even when under pressure not to, and being rescued and vindicated for doing so. And we've seen pagan kings being brought to recognize God as the true God.

.............................................

TIME OUT

It's sometimes hard to see how Daniel's experience of the world can have much to do with ours. Most of us aren't Jewish, pining for a return to Israel. None of us are serving a Babylonian king while trying to live for God.

But in the New Testament, Peter describes Christians as "strangers in a world, scattered' throughout the earth (1 Peter 1 v 1). None of us are yet living in the ultimate land of heaven. All of us face the daily tension of living for God in a world which doesn't recognize or respect Him.

In fact, Daniel's world isn't so very different from our own!

.............................................

APPLY

  • - In your own life, where are the tensions between how everyone expects you to act, and how God tells you to act?

Peter says Christians have "an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you" (1 Peter 1 v 4)

  • - Is that what you're most looking forward to today?

.............................................

PRAY

Pray that as you spend the next few weeks in Daniel, the true God would be encouraging, equipping and challenging you to stay faithful to Him.

.............................................

This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from The Good Book Company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

Click here and enter the code bstexplore61 when you check out to get the next quarter’s Explore for $5.84, a 10% discount.

Click here and enter bstexploresub when you check out to buy a year’s worth at 25% off—just $16.

Keep a record of what God is teaching you with "My Bible" at BibleStudyTools.com

MORE BIBLE READING PLANS