Daniel 2 – Courageous faith in a hostile world
1. Can you think of a situation where you have tried to live “courageously” in your workplace, family or among those who aren’t believers? How did people respond?
Read Daniel chapter 2.
Focus: Verses 1–16
2. How did pagan cultures view the gods? How does the pagan view of the gods contrast with Daniel’s view of God in the passage?
Focus: Verses 17–30
3. What can we learn about Daniel and what he believes about God from his actions/prayers?
4. When Daniel hears the news, he does five things. What are they? What can we learn from each of the steps he took?
5. Before explaining the vision Daniel makes a clear statement (verse 28) that God has made known the interpretation to him. What can we learn from this?
6. Daniel’s prayer of praise mentions knowledge and wisdom a lot. What is the difference between them and why does he use these words so much?
Focus: Verses 31–49
The gold, silver, bronze and clay represent four successive human kingdoms, which will dominate the coming centuries of human history. However, the rock cut out “not by human hands” represents the Kingdom of God, which will crush human kingdoms and fill the earth. This Kingdom will be established ultimately by the Messiah, Jesus. We are told that the head of gold is Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom, verse 38). As for the other kingdoms we are not told in the text who they are. However, many scholars follow this interpretation:
· Head of gold – Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar)
· Chest and arms of silver – Medo-Persian Empire
· Belly and thighs of bronze – Greek Empire (Alexander the Great)
· Legs of iron with feet of iron and clay – Roman Empire and empires until the end of history
7. What contrasts do you see between mankind’s kingdoms and God’s eternal Kingdom?
8. Share situations in your life where you need wisdom and knowledge (verse 21) to live courageously.