[Originally posted March 12, 2007]
This is a quick summary of the outline of the first 6 chapters of Daniel that Pastor Mark Dever (from Capitol Baptist) presented at the 2007 Shepherds’ Conference. It was a solemn warning that the Christian church in the United States must be prepared for intensified opposition and even active persecution in the foreseeable future. Rather than the Book of Daniel primarily being a showcase for the incredible courage and faithfulness of Daniel and his friends, Dever pointed to the focus on what the Sovereign God is accomplishing through the faithful. The major theme = God Causes His Faithful to Survive.
(You can check out my emphasis on the Sovereignty of God over the kingdoms of men in Daniel 1-3. The Book of Daniel shows us that the Supreme God Reigns Over All and is working out His kingdom program down through history.)
Dever highlighted 3 Myths that are Exposed in the first 6 chapters of Daniel:
I. The Myth of the Godless World — God is Our Only Hope
God is Sovereign and He is a Good God
We need to deconstruct the false hopes of the unsaved in order to liberate them from the errors of the times
II. The Myth of the Hopeless LIfe — You Can Survive Opposition
David survived not only 2 of the most powerful kings of all time, but an entire empire! God continued to prosper him. (Although faithfulness is no guarantee of prosperity in this life — in fact the opposite is more common.)
Keep our Hopes centered in the Gospel.
III. The Myth of a Moral World — You Will Face Opposition (as a believer living out the righteousness of God)
Our liberty and material prosperity and comfort — while certainly a blessing from God — have crippled us for the upcoming hard times when the saints will be under more direct attack.
The church needs to be instructed to be prepared for hard times and not to have false expectations.