Thoughts About What We’re Reading!
This week, our reading plan takes us to the book of Daniel. When reading this book I suggest you stay focused on the central theme of the book – God’s sovereignty. You will see this throughout the book.
We read the book of Daniel in two parts. The first half contains narratives concerning the lives of Daniel and his three friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
The second half of Daniel, contains apocalyptic visions, designed to reassure God’s people that in spite of persecution and suffering, God is in control and will ultimately be victorious.
In the first half of the book, Daniel and his friends are taken as captives from Israel to Babylon and are introduced into a new culture. We see how their belief in God enables them to endure, and even succeed, in an alien culture.
We see the mighty hand of God rescue them time after time. When reading the narrative portion however we should not miss the big picture – Daniel and his friends trusted in God throughout the ordeals, and were willing to live or die according to His will and purpose.
The sobering thought in the last six chapters of Daniel is that God calls all nations, all kingdoms that oppose Him into judgment and destroys them. There are times when God uses them to fulfill His purposes for a span of time, something we can find hard to understand.
But scripture teaches us that God remains sovereign over all the events of world history. It is also comforting to know, even when we do not feel or see it, His greatest concern remains with His people.
God is sovereign over all of the kingdoms of this world, the book of Daniel teaches us that all the kingdoms of this world will come to an end and be replaced by the Lord’s Kingdom.
Much like Daniel and his friends, we too are aliens and strangers in a land not our own. We are citizens of heaven.
At times, when we read about the market, the terrorist attacks in Paris, Ebola and other global events that impact all of us, when we feel the pain of death of our loved ones, divorce and other issues that strike our hearts, we think the time must be near, the end must be coming.
We do not know the day or hour but we know where our hope lies – and it causes us to raise our eyes toward Jesus.
Someday the end of the world will indeed come. Jesus will return to draw history to its conclusion and to usher in a new heavens and earth.
Indeed, our God Reigns.
Until next time… Keep reading!
Sources used: ESV Study Bible, Bible Knowledge Commentary, Daniel by Philip Ryken