Use one or both of these questions to introduce the lesson:
1. List some occult practices people might use to try to get a glimpse of the future (examples include horoscopes, psychics, and palmistry). When people pay for such readings, they are usually told positive things, or at least things within their control. Why do you think that is?
2. Dystopian fiction, stories about a frightening world coming in the near future, have been popular over the years. Think of one of those stories with which you are familiar. How would you feel if you knew for certain that the events of that story would become reality by the end of this year?
Read Daniel 10:10, 11.
1. In Daniel 9:1-19, Daniel prayed that God would keep his promise to release Israel from exile very soon (see last week’s lesson). God would do so, but he gave Daniel visions of the disasters that would befall his nation after their return (Daniel 9:20–10:9). Why do you think Daniel’s reaction to a peek into the future was understandable (10:8-11)?
2. The visions in these latter chapters of Daniel are subject to much debate. Some interpret them as applying to events that would occur in the next few centuries after the life of Daniel. Others interpret them as applying to the end times which are yet to come. Regardless of how they are to be understood, what does Daniel’s attitude teach us about approaching Bible prophecy?
Read Daniel 10:12-14.
3. The angel spoke of two goals to which Daniel set his mind. What were they? Why do you think that his second goal kept Daniel from falling prey to the kind of knowledge Paul would later describe (1 Corinthians 8:1, 2)?
4. The command not to be afraid is one of the most common commands found in Scripture. Look up and summarize how that command was given in these contexts: Genesis 15:1; Exodus 14:13; Luke 2:10; Matthew 28:5-7. Why did the angel tell Daniel that he had no need to fear?
5. What unseen spiritual battle did the angel tell Daniel about? How does the outcome of that battle agree with Paul’s words about spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:10-13)?
Read Daniel 10:15-19.
6. What had to happen to Daniel before he was able even to hear the angel’s message about things to come? How do we gain the strength to understand and apply the Word of God to our culture?
7. Look up the words to the hymn, I Know Who Holds Tomorrow. Sing a verse or two as you meditate on the message of this lesson.