When did the tsunami hit? It feels like it began long ago, yet the tide is still surging. The present-day mind is in jeopardy of a super-abundance of information flowing at an incredible rate, and closing in upon it from several directions simultaneously. A flood of push notifications, memes, tweets, podcasts, vlogs, blogs, texts, emails, and updates now press upon a humanity that hasn’t even learned how to cope with the information breakthroughs of the previous century—ringing phones, blaring radios, glowing movie screens, screaming televisions, vibrating pagers, always-on computers, and books that talk. Is it any wonder that so many people are passing through life in a state of overwhelm and delusion?
Is it possible to navigate through the mayhem and wreckage with only five senses, a three-and-a-half-pound brain, and a few waking hours? Surprisingly, the ancient Book of Daniel has a lot to say about this question. Daniel was frequently subjected to too much information in too little time. In his youth Daniel was carried off as a war captive of the Babylonian army. Nearly all of what he knew and relied on was gone forever. In its place came a flood of new, fearful facts, figures, and features closing in on him at an alarming speed.
Daniel’s life was characterized by such unpredictability and urgency that it may even make our own circumstances appear tame. Invasion, deportation, indoctrination, execution, administration, assassination, and revelation all pressed upon Daniel, sometimes more than once, often in quick succession, and with little to no warning. Yet Daniel overcame these pressures so capably that he was acknowledged in his own time as the wisest and most admirable man alive (Ezek. 14:20; 28:3) and left a legacy that endured through New Testament times (Mt. 2:1-2;24:15) and into our own. How did he do it?