To you, O King, as you lay in bed came thoughts of what would be after this, and he who reveals mysteries made known to you what is to be. But as for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because of any wisdom that I have more than all the living, but in order that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your mind.” -Daniel 2:29–30
Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. -Revelation 19:10
We have gone far and wide to understand why Daniel’s book was written the way it was. But now that we have unraveled the genre knot and traced its chiastic structure, what does this teach us about the Scriptures and our Savior?
It is always nice to be able to study something special, something impressive and out of the ordinary; and this series had no lack of elaborate and exotic stuff. But perhaps the most surprising feature of this exploration was just how unsurprising it turned out to be. After all the academics, the ancient literature, and the exegetical analysis, we found ourselves right where we hoped to arrive all along: at the feet of a Savior. I had never read Daniel according to its chiastic outline, but having read it in a new way, I have to confess that it feels like coming home. Why is that?
I think what I am getting at here is that the venture and its endpoint was what my heart had anticipated from the first; much like a well-worn path to the home of a friend. In Daniel 7 we found a surprise, and that surprise incited our curiosity. As we investigated further, we found a structure that led us to seek significance, and that search for significance led to the arms of our Savior.
Skeptics sneer at statements like these, dismissing the experience of faith as mere sentimentality. But the question remains: “If it wasn’t Him, then who?” We live in a universe of incomprehensible enormity and microscopic complexity, a creation that is incredibly unique and precise, but also inescapably united and reliable. We are composed of, surrounded by, and informed through an innumerable array of patterns and structures that add up to what we know as reality and existence. Humanity cannot shake their intuition that all this has been established for the sake of a relationship; we recognize His intelligence and activity in the fabric of our existence and it ignites in us a yearning to know Him (Isa. 28:24-26).
In the midst of all of this, God has given what we couldn’t have learned simply through observation: He has given us divine revelation in the pages of the Bible. Yet, even that revelation has been provided in forms and patterns that fit seamlessly into the reality that we have been learning about since infancy (Ps. 22:9; Acts 17:28). All of this testifies to an incredible truth: we are known and desired by our Creator.
“Come and Dine”
The Gospel is the only logical paradigm for the human mind. If God made us for Himself, it stands to reason that He would make Himself known to us. And what better way to do so than through our curiosity (Psa. 36:8–9; 97:11)? The One who knows all things created us with curiosity to woo us with questions and lead us into increasing wonder and delight.