Daniel was a man who was in touch with a supernatural God who was a revealer of secrets.
Daniel heard, with tremendous clarity, the voice of God and saw with some regularity the supernatural activity of God.
The Book of Daniel has been ‘savaged’ by liberal critics. Their main point of contention is the supernatural elements in this book.
They claim that there is no way the things recorded in this book could be true – people don’t survive being thrown in fiery furnaces, been thrown into lion’s dens and the so called prophetic revelations of Daniel are far too accurate to be believed.
Their conclusion is that they were written after the fact of the historical events predicted, and then presented as if they were uttered before them.
You can only arrive at this point if you start with a conclusion before you examine the evidence.
Daniel provides a significant problem for them because it is full of the supernatural activity of God.
I don’t think I have to argue for the fact that God is a God who speaks or who acts in our world.
What I would like you to note is that Daniel wasn’t a ‘full time’ minister, prophet or priest.
He was a civil servant.
He was what we sometimes [unfortunately] call a ‘layman.’
Yet this book, and his life, is full of the supernatural activity of God.
Don’t count yourself out of encountering a supernatural God and becoming a channel of God’s supernatural activity because you aren’t in full time service.
The reality is that the Bible is a story full of God’s interactions with, and revelations to, people who weren’t in ‘full time ministry.’
Some of the greatest heroes of faith were not, and never became, full time workers.
· Abraham was a livestock owner.
· Joseph was a government official.
· Joshua was a soldier.
· Ruth was a housewife.
· David was a shepherd, soldier and finally King.
· Nehemiah was in the civil service.
· Esther was a Queen.
I don’t want to be unrealistic at this point.
Some people claim God is doing miracles in their lives every day, all day, on the hour. This sounds wonderful, desirable and exciting, but I’m not sure how realistic it actually is.
It seems to me that there are significant periods of our lives where we live in what seems ‘the mundane’ activities of life, without dramatic, supernatural interventions of God.
Because it doesn’t happen every day, it doesn’t mean it won’t happen on any day.
It is a matter of finding that balance between not being unrealistic in our expectations and not being unbelieving about anything supernatural occurring at all.
Daniel was pre-eminently a ‘man of the spirit.’
The word ‘excellent’ used here is used only 8 times in the Old Testament – all in Daniel.
He is described as having an ‘excellent spirit.’
It literally means that his spirit was ‘preeminent, it was extraordinary; it jutted out.’
When you encountered Daniel you were immediately in touch with a man of the spirit.
When you meet some people you are immediately aware that they are dominated by their fleshly appetites – they exhibit sensuality, laziness; they are undisciplined with food or drink. It is what encounters you – it ‘juts out.’
With others it is the area of the mind that ‘juts’ out and encounters you. They are intellectually curious, or perhaps opinionated or argumentative.
With others it’s the will or the emotions that dominate and that ‘protrude;’ they may be stubborn and wilful or moody and unpredictable.
In all of us something dominates, protrudes or ‘juts out.’
Whatever we give ourselves to and cultivate is what we communicate.
With Daniel it was his spiritual life; his excellence of spirit. He was a man of the spirit who had cultivated a dynamic relationship with a supernatural God who acted and spoke.
God reveals secret things to people, ordinary people, like Daniel.
I think there are three things that the Scripture speaks of that position us to receive revelation about the secret things of God.
1. Cultivating the fear of God.
“The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him…”
“The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever…”
It’s pure and this purity puts us in a place where we can see and hear with clarity.
Matthew 5:8 says that “the pure in heart shall see God…”
2. Cultivate Integrity.
“For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the upright.”
“The integrity of the upright shall guide them…”
3. Cultivate a servant’s heart.
“Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he reveals his secret unto his servants the prophets.”