Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Short Essay on Personal Insights
Gained from the Book of Daniel
In Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Course
GSEM511-001 Dr. Jacques Doukhan
October 7, 2010
The goal of this essay is to share personal insights gained from studying the book of Daniel. These insights fall under the umbrella of the human dimension. A great majority of the sermons, lectures, and talks I’ve heard on the book of Daniel deals mainly with the prophetic chapters of the book (Daniel 7-12). The person of Daniel is often brushed over if not totally overlooked. My reading of the text has made me realize that Daniel was certainly a man of great character and wise leadership. These two elements of his person are worthy of imitation so this is my focus. The primary passage I would like to consider is Daniel 1:8-16. This text reveals something about Daniel that caused me to evaluate myself as a leader. This passage is widely known for Daniel’s resolve not to partake of the king’s food. But more than that, this passage is also a revelation of Daniel’s wise leadership. It reveals his love for people and his willingness to risk his own life for the sake of others. The text says, “Daniel asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself in that way (Dan. 1:8).” This one text shows three things about Daniel’s character and leadership skills. First of all, Daniel was assertive without being arrogant. He asked rather than demanded even though his theology was “superior” to his authorities. Secondly, in his asking there is also evidence of his courage. His status as a slave, a foreigner, a captive of war heightens Daniel’s act of bravery (Dan. 1:1). He was taking a great risk by asking that question. Not only was his putting his life in danger but he was also putting the life of his overseer in danger (Dan. 1:10). Thirdly, Daniel’s love and consideration for others...