to my nephew
DONALD EARL BENISH
I count myself happy in the privilege of commending “Aunt Hattie’s” story on Daniel to young people everywhere. It is a true cause for thanksgiving that this dear servant of God has undertaken to introduce her readers to this most interesting and instructive book of prophecy.
God is working behind the scenes in the affairs of the nations, and history is just His-Story. In the Book of Daniel much of His-Story is revealed, dating from ancient times to times yet far in the remote future. To help folks to understand these things is a real service, and this is precisely what, in this book, “Aunt Hattie” has done. May God own and bless it to many of His people.
William L. Pettingill
My Dear Young Friends:
Another Bible story ready—this time of a different type and written especially for you of teen age.
Since I began the book the following conversation or its equivalent has occurred several times:
“Do you mean to say that you are writing the story of Daniel for youth? Certainly, then, you are telling only the stories and omitting the visions and dreams.”
“I am writing it all. Why not?”
“Oh, it is so controversial and the prophecies are hard to understand.”
To me, the prophecies are God’s incentives held out to encourage believers to endure as good soldiers of Jesus Christ, and a warning to sinners to repent.
It is true that He has clothed some of these promises for the future in mystery but the ultimate victory and glory of Jesus Christ at His return and the establishment of His earthly kingdom are written definitely, clearly, and in language so plain that all may understand.
It is my prayer, as I send forth this little story, simply worded, that it may inspire you, my young friends, to a prayerful, persistent study of the whole Word of God, that you may become the lamp-lighters of your generation to carry the good news of salvation and the glorious return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
History is a record of events written after they have happened. Prophecy is a record of events written before they happen.
Almost any one who has any knowledge of events can write history. Who, but God, can write prophecy? He, and He alone, knows the future.
As soon as man sinned in the Garden of Eden, God promised He would send One who would redeem man from sin. That promise was the first prophecy recorded in the Bible.
After many hundreds of years God chose the Jews to be the nation through whom the Redeemer should come. Out of this people He chose special men called prophets to whom He made known His future plans concerning their nation and the coming of Messiah, the Son of God.
Sometimes the events prophesied were in the near future and then again so far away that the prophet himself did not understand the words which God gave to him. But, nevertheless, those faithful men made a record of what God said, and sometimes the very fact that they told the word of God as it came to them cost them great persecutions and suffering and sometimes even their lives.
To Daniel in the Old Testament and to John in the New Testament God gave very special revelations of His future plans. Then to many other prophets, like Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Paul, and Peter, He also gave messages of coming events. Just before the Lord Jesus was crucified He talked to His disciples about the plan of the ages to come.
Therefore to know fully all that God has told us about the future, we have to collect all that He has said through all of His prophets and through His Son. When we have done so, we will find it is one complete story of the first coming of Jesus Christ as our Redeemer from sin, and His second coming to reign in power and glory.
The first chapters of the book of Daniel, as we have seen, are stories of the captivity. In the last chapters Daniel tells of the prophecies that God gave to him in visions and dreams from time to time throughout the years that he spent in the court of the king of Babylon.
In recording the prophecies that God gave to him, the Old Testament prophet, Habakkuk, said that God told him to “Write the vision and make it plain.” That is what I mean to do for you, to write these dreams of Daniel and the interpretations and to make them plain. I shall not be able to go into the prophecies of the other books to any extent but will try to tell you the leading events of the future as God revealed them to Daniel, and by doing so I hope that you may become so greatly interested that you will study your Bibles and learn them all.