How do you respond to evil and suffering? What keeps your head above water when life seeks to drown you in despair and depression? What do you have to hold onto? Over and over throughout our study of Daniel’s life, we’ve seen him come face to face with persecution, death and terrifying visions of the end of all things. Where does he derive his strength? It seems throughout Daniel’s life he has been strengthened by specific promises from the Word of God. He does not merely read the Word and remain unaffected, but he clings to it for life, and for the promise of the Lord’s victory over evil, sin and death.
This week, we will be considering Conflicts and Rescue to Come , from Daniel 11-12. To say that the future will be turmoil and destruction is an extreme understatement. There will be extreme conflicts between kings who are bent toward self-exaltation and total domination. Those who “have insight” will fall by the sword, by flame and by captivity. In other words, the future holds significant disaster and tragedy for the people of God. So how can we be encouraged by this? We can be encouraged in the following ways: First, notice how Daniel records the manner in which the desolations occur. At least five times in this passage we read the phrase “at the appointed time.” Even as Daniel recounts the various trials and desolations that will occur in the future, he acknowledges “for that which has been decreed will be done!” He even remarks that these times will “purge, purify, and refine many…but the wicked will not understand.” So, these are not random, unlucky or coincidental events. These disastrous events are ordained by God for His own glory and for the good of His people. What will be the result? Verse 32 proclaims that “the people who know their God will display strength and take action.” What an encouragement!
So, how can we be sustained through trials and seemingly “out of control” circumstances? We cling to the promises of God. We reflect on the sovereignty and majesty of the one who created all things, and sustains them with a mere word! We contemplate how this amazing, terrible God desires fellowship with rebellious nobodies like you and me. We can be those who display strength and take action, because we know our God!! Do you know Him like this?
How Blessed is He!