Man oh man there is too much to talk about from today’s reading! There’s a year of sermons in these three chapters…OK, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but there is so much we could talk about. Let me make a couple of quick bullet points instead of one long post.
1) Chapter 10 contains perhaps one of the most detailed descriptions of actual heavenly conflict in the entire Bible. Daniel is given details by “a glorious one” about the conflict happening between heavenly angels and other “princes” of the spiritual realm. Paul refers to these same entities in Ephesians 6:12. It is amazing that these details are revealed to us through Daniel
2) The Kingdoms of the North and South in chapter 11 can be confusing, because there is a mixture of prophesies here, some that have been fulfilled already and some that have not. As a guidepost, I would recommend seeing verse 36 of chapter 11 as the turning point between history past and history present. The verses of chapter 11 before verse 36 deal with history that is traceable and identifiable (even though Daniel was written much before the events predicted) and the verses after 36 deal with the future rise and reign of the figure identified in Revelation at the Antichrist, and then his fall through the appearance of God as judge at the beginning of chapter 12.
3) Finally, let me draw attention to verses 5-13 of chapter 12. Daniel receives this massive vision, a huge download of spiritual information and prophesy, which leaves him confused and full of questions. His first question: how long? To this question he receives a cryptic answer: “a time, times and half a time” which is really no discernible answer at all as a “time” is not defined for us. Many are the attempts to interpret this passage of time, but none have proven correct. What I find interesting is that Daniel asks a second question that he receives absolutely no answer to at all. He asks: “What will be the outcome of these things?” He is told, essentially, not to worry about such things but to continue on the journey God had laid out for him and trust that he will “rise to your destiny at the end of the days.” Talk about cryptic! But it reminds us that even those who received these visions were not privy to a full understanding of them, their timing or how they will full play out.
This does not end our exploration through prophetic scripture, in fact there are some incredible things still for us to read in Zechariah and then of course as we begin our journey into the New Testament early next month. Prophesy gives us proof of God’s control of history (in that some of it can be verified as completed) but it also assures us that God is in control and will fulfill his purposes in time.
- What was familiar from this passage of scripture? What was something I already knew?
- What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
- Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
- How does this passage apply to my life, here and now? Do I need to do anything about it?
- What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?
Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezra 1-3