Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Know your God

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Daniel 11:21-45

TO CHEW ON: "... but the people who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits." - Daniel 11:32b

The angel Michael's prediction continues on from our reading of yesterday—a detailed prophecy of events yet to come. Here is how the writer of Eerdmans Handbook to the Bible continues with matching these predictions to history:

"... Verses 21-24 (Daniel 11:21-24) aptly portray his character and policies (talking about Antiochus IV here). Through the treachery of Ptolemy's own men, Antiochus briefly gained control of Egypt in 173.

On his return he attacked Jerusalem and slaughtered 80,000 Jews (Daniel 11:25-28). The next time he attacked Egypt he was thwarted by the Roman fleet (Daniel 11:29-30). He turned on Jerusalem again and desecrated the temple (Daniel 11:31).

He was aided and abetted by some Jews, but others reused to compromise their faith though they died for it (Daniel 11:32-33).

Judas Maccabaeus instigated a successful revolt, so helping the faithful (Daniel 11:34).

Daniel 11:36-45 does not describe actual events at the end of Antiochus' life. These verses may refer to the end of Syrian domination, at the hands of Rom, the new king from the north. Or they may anticipate events at the end of time, which the sufferings of God's people under Antiochus foreshadow" - Eerdmans Handbook p. 437.

I get a sense of inevitability as I read these predictions—the same feeling I get when I read Jesus' prophecy about end times (Matthew 24:4-31). And the question arises—What can a person do in the face of such acts of people and nature that the earth seems to be headed for?

Here is one answer.  Get to know God:
"...but the people who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits."

In the angel's prophecy, the folks who did this stayed strong and more (though the next verse and the history imply that some of them were killed for their efforts - Daniel 11:33).

The Bible is full of pleas to "know the Lord."
  • From the Old Testament prophets: Jeremiah 9:24; Ezekiel 35:11; Hosea 6:3.
  • From Jesus, who intimated that obedience was the route to such knowledge (John 7:16,17), that it was the pathway to true freedom (John 8:31,32), and the means of eternal life (John 17:3).

In this vein I see the picture of the white-robed martyr overcomers from Revelation: Revelation 6:9-11 and 12:11:

"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death."

PRAYER: Dear God, help me not to be lulled into complacency by my relatively trouble-free life. Rather, help me to use this time to get to know You, so that when trouble comes, I can overcome (even if that overcoming is accomplished through death/martyrdom). Amen.

MORE: A heavenly scene:

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”  All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying:

“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,
Thanksgiving and honor and power and might,
 Be to our God forever and ever.

Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?”

And I said to him, “Sir, you know.”

So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Revelation 7:9-17

Bible Drive-Thru

Bookmark and Share


  1. Hi Violet. Thanks for this devotion. I was grabbed first by the scripture... "the people who know their God shall be strong..." I am struggling with Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome so much lately, feeling like a dead old wrung out dishrag. I said in my prayers to the Lord this morning (before I saw your blog), "Lord, I feel discouraged. OK, maybe I should be just having faith but my faith feels like a 2 watt light bulb. Help, Lord." And I felt like he said, "Abide in me and you will bear much fruit. (John 15 Keep abiding (ie, living, being) in Me, (Jesus), don't worry about anything else, don't worry about your tasks and expectations. Your strength is in Me (Jesus)."

    There was more, but you get the picture. God's Spirit was telling me that for now at least, I need to just do only one thing... be in him. I don't know what fruit I will bear. That's up to Him. I can't impose my ideas and expectations on myself and God. I have to wait for Him (another scripture says, "Wait for the Lord and you will mount up on wings like an eagle).

    This is a long comment. I just wanted to say, once again God spoke to me thru you, Violet. Thank you. Many blessings to you.

  2. Diana, I am speechless in the face of your courage and so grateful that God can use these words to help you carry on. I wish I could do more, like make the weakness go away. Keep soldiering on, my friend. You are an inspiration!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...