Study Guide

Book of Daniel Power

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The Book of Daniel has a lot to say about power. Its message is usually "Not so fast—it belongs to God." Every king we encounter—from Nebuchadnezzar to Antiochus IV Epiphanes (the "little horn")—ultimately is humbled in some way, whether by realizing God is above all or by being totally destroyed (yep, those are the two alternatives pretty much). Daniel keeps demonstrating that all power and glory belong to God and shows that God will give that power—and take it away—from kings and conquerors when he pleases. The examples given in the quotes are mainly examples of power getting taken away from someone—showing how all power ultimately needs to go back to God.

Questions About Power

  1. Does God have total power over everything that happens in Daniel—or is there a little "play in the wheel"?
  2. To what degree is having or pursuing power a totally bad thing? Can it be good, ever? Do the kings in the stories ever use it well or wisely?
  3. Why does God allow bad kings to continue having power for so long before he takes it away?
  4. What are the differences between the kings who get to keep their power until they die a natural death, and the kings who lose it—like Belshazzar?

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