Today you should read: Daniel 8
“But I was appalled by the vision and did not understand it” (Daniel 8:27b).
If you are anything like me after I read this chapter I felt just like Daniel. There seems to be a lot of bad stuff predicted and I can’t understand any of it. All I know is that there is one horned flying goat that means business. Well I want to take a moment to share what some biblical scholars have had to say about this chapter.
“The vision of the Ram, the Goat, and the little Horn: In this vision, Daniel sees what is to come of the Medo-Persian Empire, Alexander the Great’s empire, and the Hellenistic empires that succeed it. The upheavals to come will mean terrible times for the people of God, but they must endure, knowing that God rules over it all.” (ESV Study Bible Notes).
So God is showing Daniel what is about to happen among the nations at this time and letting him know that things are not going to be good for God’s people. This had to be disheartening to Daniel who is currently living in Babylon because the Babylonians came in and ravaged Israel. He knows what Persecution looks like and more is coming. Why did God show him this? I think the answer to this question will be helpful to all of us.
God wanted to remind his people that He was in control everything.
25 talks about how the “little horn” will even rise up against the “Prince of princes” (God himself) but he will be broken by God “by no human hand.” There is comfort in these words because even in the midst of great struggle Daniel can rest in the fact that God ultimately has everything under control. This is not only a word for Daniel but it is a word for those who are believers in Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 2:8 reminds us that all things are under the feet of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our hope and comfort in times of trial is that our savior is king and ruler over all. Even if we face great trials in this world we know that ultimately we will be with him and He has defeated all things (Hebrews 2:14-18).
Because of his faith Daniel continued to serve.
“Then I arose and went about the kings business” (v.27).
This statement caught my attention because I would be ready to quit or run and hide after hearing this news. Yet, Daniel not only did not quit, but he continued to engage the culture around him and faithfully served the Babylonian society. Often, we are unhappy with the things that our government does or the things that nations around us do. This can cause some of us to disengage with our culture but we must engage even more and be even more intentional because we as believers should have big picture goals. I challenge each of us to remember the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23:
“For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.”
Posted by: Chad Wiles