From a distillation of some of the wisdom from the Puritans, in Living Zealously:
…the zealous parent will make more use of the power of prayer than of the rod of correction…and will talk to God about his children more than to his children about God.
This might seem extreme, but if so, we need to reassess our opinion of prayer. Do we really believe in it? And if so, do we have a correct assessment of its power? Do we really trust in the One whom the power resides, or are we trusting more in our own efforts, in our own system of thought?
The book of Judges is an action-packed, gruesome book. It is God working on a grand scale, working through men and women to conquer armies and kingdoms, all so He can bring about salvation for His chosen people, a people who don’t deserve that salvation. Over and over again.
The Christian life is a call to a life of risk-taking. Not foolish risks, but risks that are taken in faith after one has counted the cost (Luke 14:28). This is even inherent in the central rite of the church, the Lord’s Supper, which takes one of the most common of human activities and intensifies it with profound meaning.
This is a compressed, summarized timeline to provide some context for the book of Daniel. This is based on some of the information provided in Jordan’s Handwriting on the Wall.
This assumes the Biblical dates are accurate and takes them seriously. It also makes the assumption that ancient kings had many names for themselves for different times and contexts, and many of them more like titles, such as Ahasuerus. A Biblical example is 1 Chronicles 5:26. There are also more modern cognates, like James I of England was first James VI of Scotland.