Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The vision made him sick

"Gabriel Speaks" - woodcut, unknown artist
"Gabriel Speaks" - Woodcut, Unknown artist
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Daniel 8:1-27

TO CHEW ON: "And I Daniel, fainted and was sick for days..." Daniel 8:27a

We would call Daniel a mystic and describe the experience he tells of in Daniel 8 as mystical.

[Mystical: of the nature of a direct or subjective perception beyond the ordinary range of human experience. Having a spiritual character or reality beyond the comprehension of human reason - Funk & Wagnall's College Dictionary.]

Some don't believe it is possible for people to be able to foretell events like Daniel apparently did here. Secular historians who look at the Bible, and this incident specifically, debate the date of when Daniel was written because of how his dream came true:

"The precise fulfillment of Daniel's prophecies concerning the defeat of the Medo-Persians (the ram vs. 4) by the Greeks (a male goat vs. 5) and the events that led up to Antiochus Epiphanes has caused secular historians to declare that the Book of Daniel could not have been written earlier than 200 B.C. for they deny the supernatural source of the Scriptures"  Coleman Cox Phillips, Commentary on Daniel, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1133.
Contrast this with the commonly accepted date of when Daniel was written: before 530 B.C.

Daniel, for his part, was an unquestioning believer. He gave himself to the vision and to discovering what it meant, even though the experience drained and sickened him physically. The result, for us, is the foretelling of an event that strengthens our faith in God and His sovereignty over history. Our commenter calls it "... a confirming testimony to the remarkable prophetic anointing that rested on Daniel for the detailed foretelling of forthcoming events" p. 1133.

I can't help but look with awe on the prophets who heard God's voice and gave themselves soul, spirit, and body to communicating God's messages to the people of their time, whatever the cost to them.

What is God asking us to give soul, spirit, and body to for the advancement of His kingdom? Are we willing to abandon ourselves to Him as Daniel and other Old Testament prophets did?

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to give myself to You for whatever purposes You want to achieve through my mind, emotions, spirit, and body. Amen.  

MORE: Abandon

"Never consider whether you are of use; but ever consider that you are not your own but His" - Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, March 4 reading.

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