A Meditation on Doing Exploits for God From the Book of Daniel
“The people that do know their God shall be courageously resolute, and act with effect.” (Daniel 11:32)
Editor’s Note: An “exploit” is defined in our modern English as a bold and daring feat. The following meditation is a grouping of passages from the book of Daniel centered around the idea of believers living courageously and effectively for God (i.e. “doing exploits”) no matter the circumstance and in the face of intense opposition. With the exception of a few editorial comments from Gary, it is simply the Biblical text. It is not an exhaustive study, but is intended to provide thoughtful discussion for families and further digging into God’s Word.
Ten Qualities of Doers of Exploits
1. Wise, Apt to teach. And those of the people who understand (to be prudent, be circumspect, wisely understand, prosper) shall instruct many.
2. Incorruptible. But the people that do know their God (know by experience, to recognize, admit, acknowledge, confess) shall be courageously resolute, and act with effect. (Implied: Not be flattered by promises to divide the spoil.)
3. Persecuted Teachers. And those of the people who understand shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.
4. Chastised Teachers. And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end.
5. Assisted by Angels. And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince who is standing for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
6. Confident of Eternity. And they that be wise (to be prudent, be circumspect, wisely understand, prosper) shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
7. Scripturally Guided, Undistracted. But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
8. Aware of the Wicked. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand;
9. Understands the Times. But the wise shall understand (to have insight, discernment). And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that makes desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waits, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.
10. Faithful to Ones Calling and Assignment. But go thou thy way (proceed with your manner of life) till the end be: for thou shalt rest (settle down and remain) and stand (endure, hold one's ground) in thy lot (portion, reward, inheritance) at the end of the days.
(Daniel 11:31-36; 12:1, 3-4, 10-13 KJV/NKJV)
Six Examples of Exploits
1. Serving with Excellence in a Hostile Environment. “Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skillful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.” (Daniel 1:4 KJV).
2. Seeking Divine Wisdom in Puzzling Situations. “Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven” (Daniel 2:19 KJV).
3. Standing Firm in the Face of Persecution. “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed–nego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18 KJV)
4. Showing Divine Secrets to Gentile Rulers. “But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream, saying,” (Daniel 4:8 KJV)
5. Speaking God’s Truth to Corrupt Kings. “There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers; Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation.” (Daniel 5:11-12 KJV)
6. Staying Faithful Despite the Opposition. “Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.” (Daniel 6:4-5 KJV)
Five Opponents of Exploits: Treacherous Rulers & Their Demonic Princes
1. The Demonic Fourth Beast/Kingdom
“Thus he said: ‘As for the fourth beast, there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all the kingdoms, and it shall devour the whole earth, and trample it down, and break it to pieces...He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. But the court shall sit in judgment, and his dominion shall be taken away, to be consumed and destroyed to the end. And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”
(Daniel 7:23,25-27 ESV).
2. The Little Horn/Foe of The Prince and a Bold-Faced Demonic King
“Out of one of them came a little horn, which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the glorious land. It grew great, even to the host of heaven. And some of the host and some of the stars it threw down to the ground and trampled on them. It became great, even as great as the Prince of the host.
And the regular burnt offering was taken away from him, and the place of his sanctuary was overthrown. And a host will be given over to it together with the regular burnt offering because of transgression, and it will throw truth to the ground, and it will act and prosper.
Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to the one who spoke, “For how long is the vision concerning the regular burnt offering, the transgression that makes desolate, and the giving over of the sanctuary and host to be trampled underfoot?” And he said to me, “For 2,300 evenings and mornings. Then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state.”
“And at the latter end of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their limit, a king of bold face, one who understands riddles, shall arise. His power shall be great— but not by his own power; and he shall cause fearful destruction and shall succeed in what he does, and destroy mighty men and the people who are the saints. By his cunning he shall make deceit prosper under his hand, and in his own mind he shall become great. Without warning he shall destroy many. And he shall even rise up against the Prince of princes, and he shall be broken—but by no human hand.”
(Daniel 8:9-14, 23-25 ESV)
3. The Abomination of Desolation Prince
“And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”
4.The Prince of Persia v. Daniel’s Prince of the Jews
“But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.”
Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. Matthew 17:21
... “In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel.”
“...And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days. And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb.”
... “Then said he, do you know why I have come to you? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come.
But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holds with me in these things, but Michael your prince.”
(Daniel 10:2-4, 11-15, 20-21)
5. The Abomination of Desolations King
“For the ships of Kittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant. And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that makes desolate. And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.
And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be helped with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.
And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. But in his estate shall he honor the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.
...And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.”
(Daniel 11:30-39, 45)
Exploits Until the End
“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
...And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
...Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.”
(Daniel 12:1-4, 6-7, 10-13)