The book of Daniel has inspired Christians throughout the centuries to faithful and obedient service in the face of danger and persecution. It calls us to dedicated commitment to God and his kingdom. In this EP Study Commentary, Allan Harman shows how Christ must have supremacy in everything as we await the final revelation of his glory.
As humans we can never fully understand the mind of God, but he has revealed what is necessary for us to know of himself and his ways. God has given us sufficient teaching to encourage us to persevere, but we are also able to look forward with expectancy.
Daniel and his companions were living far from their own homes and land, in a culture that was dominated by a faith situation completely antagonistic to their own, yet they remained conscious of their continuing commitment to the God of Israel. While occupying significant posts in the Babylonian empire, they refused to abandon their loyalty to, and trust in, God, sometimes at great personal cost, and were prepared to die rather than renounce their faith.
Faced with the might of Babylon, the exiles might have been tempted to doubt whether the God of Israel was truly God, or whether there was any hope for his covenant people. However, the prophecies revealed to Daniel assured them, and Christians today, that, though human kingdoms will continue to rise and fall, and despite seeming setbacks from time to time, God’s kingdom will ultimately prevail and he will be acknowledged as the sovereign Ruler over all.
Allan Harman was Professor of Old Testament at Free Church College, Edinburgh, from 1966 to 1974, at Reformed Theological College, Geelong, from 1974 to 1977 and at Presbyterian Theological College, Melbourne, from 1978 until his retirement in 2001. He also served as Principal of PTC from 1982 to 2001, and is currently Research Professor at that institution. He has also lectured at Tyndale University College and Seminary in Toronto, Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi and Kosin University in Busan, South Korea.