History and prophecy. This passage gives us hope for the future. Understanding how God fulfilled the now historical aspects of Daniel’s vision in the past gives us confidence…it strengthens our faith and hope that He will do the same with those aspects that are yet future. God is sovereign over, and is actively involved in, the events on the world stage…past, present and future; and He’s also sovereign over, and actively involved in, the events of our lives as well. Don’t give up, don’t give in, God wins.
The description of the political and military intrigue of this passage is a kind of blueprint of history…folks fighting back and forth, trying to expand their kingdoms by any means necessary, whether by deceit or treachery or outright war. It’s true of both nations and individuals. As Solomon famously said, “There is nothing new under the sun.” But even more fascinating is the battle that has raged for millennia over this one piece of real estate…Israel. We see it even today. And no doubt that current events are playing somehow into Daniel’s vision of the future.
We are reminded once again that evil will not ultimately triumph. Good overcomes evil. The Seed of the woman crushes the head of the serpent. God wins in the end. Jesus defeated Satan at the cross, but we await the final working out of his defeat. In the meantime, we live under the dominion of the beasts, where evil is called and good is called evil. We should expect this to be a time of suffering and opposition from the enemy, as we are called to follow God and to oppose wickedness. And like the martyrs under the altar in Revelation 6, we may wonder, “How long, O Lord…?”
Though “evil does not reign supreme, neither will it ever cease altogether until God reigns supreme.” The road is not an easy one, and our determination to follow the Lord will be tested again and again. Sadly, many of the Jews living at the time of Antiochus IV gave up on the faith of their fathers and gave in to the culture. But there were those who refused to give up or give in…those who had insight, who relied on their God, gave understanding to the many. The answer to “how long?” is, “not forever.” And the good news is…we are not alone in the struggle. Jesus promises never to leave us or forsake us. He’s also placed us in a body of believers so that we can bear one another’s burdens and take up arms for the spiritual battle together. We look forward to the day when God, who has rescued us from sin and death through the life, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus, will one day bring us into His glorious kingdom. Our hope is resurrection…Daniel 12. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. God wins.
Until next time…stay salty.
This post is based on our Daniel series entitled Reclaimed. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster