Keep On Keeping On
Coming Lord, draw me closer to You this Advent. Occupy my life in a new way so the Your honor will be lifted high.
Read Daniel 7:15-28
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Never forget, the final word lies with God. We need to keep on trusting God when there seems little to trust about.
Some parts of the church give undue attention to the second half of Daniel and speak with great authority about its meaning. As for the rest of us, we are not left to walk totally in the dark. Images here are taken up in the New Testament and, in the text itself, explanation is given to reassure a troubled Daniel, who knew from the inside how power works. This is the time of Belshazzar, who has no redeeming features in Scripture but only arrogant self-regard.
The angel confirms the parallels with chapter 2 in its broad brush strokes—four empires emerging one after the other but all in the end replaced by the kingdom of God. People of faith need a long view. The reassurance is that, whatever they are called to face, the final word lies with God and his victory is secure. Each empire will flout human rights, trample on the poor and oppress its people. The fourth, however, will be worse than the rest, challenging God directly and singling out God’s people for special treatment. Even then, as the gospels put it in older versions, we read that “it came to pass” (e.g., Luke 2:1, KJV).
This is not a message to make you cheerful, for there is little cheer about. We are not talking about a bad day or even a horrible year, but about a whole life lived under unpredictable, irrational, hostile forces. When it looks as if things can never change, they will. When it looks as if evil has triumphed, it won’t. When common sense says “despair,” then don’t. God will win through and his Son will rule. Until then we must trust in God, wait with patience, be on our guard, show resolute courage and stick to our task. That takes daily faith and obedience.
What encouragement and hope have you taken from this passage?
Mighty Lord, even though the world and my world can be an unpredictable, irrational place, keep me centered on You. You are my Rock!