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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Fast Forward (Daniel 10:1)

 "In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel (who was called Belteshazzar). Its message was true and it concerned a great war."

Aren't you glad that God is in control of world events and that nothing catches Him by surprise? The world lives in fear, fear of the alleged "Swine Flue Epidemic", terrorism, the meteoric rise of tyrants in S. America, Asia, Africa and maybe even in our own country, and global recession. No one a hundred years ago could have imagined the issues we face today. Yet God allowed Daniel to experience a 2,500 year fast forward to see the events which are unfolding even in our day.

God knew then and He knows now. He revealed His future plans to various prophets along the way. Christianity is the only religion that provides hope and prophetic guidance. Writings from other religions are noted for their lack of prophetic insight or chronological story timeline. Man cannot see into the future. Future things must be revealed and they can only be revealed by Someone who is "in the know" and God is "in the know".

Can you imagine trying to navigate troubling times without confidence in the Sovereign One who upholds all things by the word of His power? Fear, therefore, should not characterize the children of God since the LORD encourages those who know Him with these words: "With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant but the people who know their God will firmly resist him" (Daniel 11:32). Peace, then, should characterize those who know Him who is "in the know."

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
Ezra 3
  • What is the first thing on the Israelite's agenda after they settled into their homes?
  • What do they have to over come as they begin building? Read Proverbs 29:25
  • What guide do they use as they re-institute the Feast of Tabernacles?
  • How do older people respond to the completion of the temple's foundation? Why?
Psalm 92
  • What do the people come to understand about God? The wicked? The righteous?
Psalm 126
  • What happens to those whom the Lord restores?
Daniel 10, 11 (This is Daniel's final vision; exiles had already begun returning to Israel and rebuilding the temple. This vision shatters any hope that Israel would enjoy long term peace. Many conflicts were in their future. Many of the conflicts have taken place over the past 2500 years; yet, at least one great battle remains.)
  • How does Daniel's vision affect him? What does this tell you about the vision?
  • How long does Daniel live with the mystery and devastation of this vision? What does this tell you about evil forces?
  • How does Paul describe spiritual warfare in Ephesians 6:12?
  • How does the angel address Daniel's fear? What does this tell you about fear? Its treatment?
  • What is the Book of Truth? 
Daniel 11:2 
The first ruler was Cambyses, Cyrus' son in 530 BC; the second was Pseudo-Smerdis in 522BC; the third was Darius I Hystaspes in 521-486 BC; Xerxes (reigned in the book of Esther) ruled form 485-465.
Daniel 11:3-35 
The events in this passage are now historical fact. The mighty king was Alexander who conquered Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt and the land of the Medo-Persian Empire. He died in 323 BC. The king of the South was Ptolemy 1 Soter. He died in 285 BC. Antiochus IV is the contemptible person in verses 21-35.
  • Who does Antiochus target?
  • Daniel 11:36-39 The ruler mentioned here a ruler who has not yet reigned. What will happen to Israel under his rule?
Turning truth into prayer
Ask the Lord to open your eyes and heart to spiritual truth and enable you to walk in His ways, path, and truth.