The Bible in a Year. 28 August.

If this is your first viewing, please see my Introduction before reading this.

28 August. Daniel chapters 1-2

The book of Daniel is placed immediately after Esther in the Hebrew scriptures (unlike the Christian Bible where Daniel is reckoned as a prophet). The exaggerated style of the telling of his story is not dissimilar to that of Esther, with the threat of murder being suddenly reversed and him being made provincial governor instead. But it seems that unlike Esther, Daniel was probably a real person, since he is referred to in the prophecies of Ezekiel.

What distinguishes Daniel from other books of the Old Testament, including the other prophets, is that God speaks to him through dreams – either his own or those of other people – and that the interpretation of those dreams clearly points to the future, rather than to present circumstances.  In this, and in the nature of the dreams, it has much in common with the Book of Revelation, and both are classed as ‘apocalyptic’.

Something else that is notable about the stories of Daniel is that he is so committed to the worship of God that he lets nothing distract from that. In these two chapters he (and his companions) refuse the Babylonian food and wine, insisting on a vegetarian diet; when he is given the gift of understanding the king’s dream, his first response is to praise God; and when he presents the interpretation to the king, he insists that it is God who has given it, not Daniel himself.  “To God be the glory” should be the response of everyone who recognises his work in our lives.

The Bible in a Year – 13 January

If this is your first viewing, please see my Introduction before reading this.

13 January. Genesis chapters 37 to 40

Joseph is remembered for being a ‘dreamer’.  Often that is used as a derogatory term, as it was by his brothers when they decided to kill him, a sentence that was commuted to being sold into slavery. When I was at school teachers often criticised me for looking out of the window, ‘daydreaming’, rather than concentrating on what they were saying. But it didn’t mean I wasn’t listening. Just that sometimes we have to let someone else’s words take flight in our own minds in order to apply them to ourselves.


I also tend to have quite vivid dreams at night, some of which can be understood in the morning as relating to my current situation, and others prompt me to pray for the people who have appeared in them.  I don’t think of these as revelations from God as certain of Joseph’s dreams were, but perhaps he had a similarly ‘overactive imagination’, as my wife says, as a precondition for being open to God speaking to him in this way.


Many of Joseph’s divine dreams, or his interpretation of other people’s dreams (discernment, which is said in the New Testament to be one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit), took a long time to come to fruition.  Even when his interpretation of a fellow servant’s dream in prison foretold that man’s release, he himself did not benefit until his interpretation was remembered two years later. Gifts that God gives are usually for the benefit of other people, not ourselves, and prophetic dreams, like any other prophecy will be fulfilled at the ‘right’ time, which calls for patience. Thank God fo trhe gift of imagination, and dreaming.