There are things we, as servants of Christ, must do in preparation for the end times. Some of them are written about here.
One thing we might not think about in particular is shown us in Daniel chapter 1—and that it applies especially to the end times.
Daniel 1 Applies to the End Times
We may not think of Daniel 1 as applying to the end times, for it is not a prophecy like Daniel 7 or 8, but the chiastic structure of Daniel shows this to be true. With careful study, we can see that both (1) chiastically, and (2) with a plain reading, Daniel 1 is a model of the end times.
First, By Chiastics
To begin with the chiastic aspect, the Figure below shows us Daniel 1 is a parallel echo of Daniel 12, via seven parallel words and phrases. Marker 1 (the “1” in the two boxes in the Figure) echoing between Daniel 1:1 and 12:1 speaks of besieging and then a time of trouble—not that these two events are the same thing, but the words themselves show us an echo. Marker 2 is bringing versus running. Marker 3 is teach echoing knowledge increasing, and so on. The reader is encouraged to check out the similar words and phrases used for the remainder of the markers. With seven parallel markers, Daniel 1 and 12 are echoing, parallel grammatical structures. (If there were only one or two echoing phrases, there would be nothing significant here, but with seven pairs of echoes, and in order, we have a structure bearing further investigation.) This means Daniel 1 and 12 are related to each other somehow—either spiritually, or thematically, or as two aspects of the same account.
Now, plainly Daniel 12 is telling us about the time around the Great Tribulation. Daniel 12:2 clearly tells us of the resurrection of the saints. Verse 7 tells us the hard times will be three-and-one-half years in duration. Verse 13 shows Daniel being told he will rise at the end of days to realize his inheritance.
Since Daniel 12 tells us of the end time, and the parallel structure is evident between Daniel 12 and Daniel 1, we are given a clue Daniel 1 is also a picture of the end times.
Second, by a Plain Reading
Secondly, a careful plain reading of Daniel 1 should also show us that chapter tells us of the end times. Before I researched Daniel in Chronicles, I hadn’t thought of Daniel 1 as a picture of the end times, but the chiastic structure directs us that way. So, what does Daniel 1 tell us in this regard?
In Daniel 1:3–4 the king wishes some people to be trained so that they might be qualified later to serve the king. Verse 5 says this training, this time of testing, is to take three years. This sounds suspiciously similar to the period of Daniel 12:7. It could’ve been two years or five years, but no, it was three.
In verses 12–14 Daniel has the palace guards test he and his friends for ten days. Where have we heard “ten days” elsewhere in the Bible? It’s in Revelation 2:10. God tells the church that some will be tested for ten days. Revelation 2:10 and 3:10 tell us of two destinies: chiastics shows us this. In 2:10 some are to be tested for “ten days.” In 3:10, some are excused from testing.
Interestingly, in Daniel 1:18 the NKJV says, “At the end of the days” those who were taught and tested were brought before the king to be proved they were ready for entering the service of the king.
Finally, in verse 20 we are told Daniel and his friends entered the king’s service.
The One Thing
So it is in Daniel 1:8 Daniel purposed in his heart—he resolved—to not waver from obeying God’s commands. Not only did this resolute determination result in he and his friends to be better than all the others being tested, but it saved his three friends from the fiery furnace in Daniel 3, it saved Daniel from the lion’s den in Daniel 6, and it allowed Daniel to interpret the dreams and problems in Daniel 2, 4, and 5. Notice in Daniel 6, verses 16 and 20, Daniel is known by the king to continually serve God. This includes no wavering.
The word in the Hebrew translated “purposed” or “resolved” is sum (Strong’s #7760, soom). Its simplest meaning is to place or to set something. In this case, Daniel put into place the decision to always follow God. Period.
Daniel 1 is a model of the end times, particularly of the time of the Great Tribulation. Daniel the prophet teaches us that we must resolve to always follow God before the testing comes so we do not waiver, so we do not fail.
We should always serve God, but Daniel reminds us this is paramount during the tough times to come in the end times. If you haven’t already, repent of your sins and sinful lifestyle, turn to God and what He would have for your life, and resolve to always follow Christ, and do it today.