When You Ain't Got It All Figured Out
So today, we will read Daniel's vision about the ram and the goat. And rather than do a lot of explaining here, I'm just going to read the text and explain the vision as I go. So if you're reading today, you might just need to watch the video today.
I raised my eyes and saw, and behold, a ram standing on the bank of the canal. It had two horns, and both horns were high, but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last. I saw the ram charging westward and northward and southward. No beast could stand before him, and there was no one who could rescue from his power. He did as he pleased and became great. As I was considering, behold, a male goat came from the west across the face of the whole earth, without touching the ground. And the goat had a conspicuous horn between his eyes. He came to the ram with the two horns, which I had seen standing on the bank of the canal, and he ran at him in his powerful wrath. I saw him come close to the ram, and he was enraged against him and struck the ram and broke his two horns. And the ram had no power to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled on him. And there was no one who could rescue the ram from his power. Then the goat became exceedingly great, but when he was strong, the great horn was broken, and instead of it there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven. — Daniel 8:3-8
So you are probably wondering how I know all this. And the answer is simple. The text tells us so. Or at least the text gives us enough of the big clues that the little clues are easy to interpret.
So we are going to skip down to verse 15. Here's how the text reads:
When I, Daniel, had seen the vision, I sought to understand it. And behold, there stood before me one having the appearance of a man. And I heard a man's voice between the banks of the Ulai, and it called, "Gabriel, make this man understand the vision." So he came near where I stood. And when he came, I was frightened and fell on my face. But he said to me, "Understand, O son of man, that the vision is for the time of the end." And when he had spoken to me, I fell into a deep sleep with my face to the ground. But he touched me and made me stand up. He said, "Behold, I will make known to you what shall be at the latter end of the indignation, for it refers to the appointed time of the end. As for the ram that you saw with the two horns, these are the kings of Media and Persia. And the goat is the king of Greece. And the great horn between his eyes is the first king. As for the horn that was broken, in place of which four others arose, four kingdoms shall arise from his nation, but not with his power. — Daniel 8:15-22
So, fellas, Daniel received this vision in 553 B.C., and Alexander the Great conquered the Persian empire in 334 B.C. And the four kings who followed Alexander the Great were Philip III Arrhidaios (323–317 B.C.), Alexander IV (323–310 B.C.), Olympias (317–316 B.C.), and Cassander (315–297 B.C.) This means God gave Daniel a vision of events that would span almost 250 years into the future.
So why is this important?
It's important because it validates that God knows all things, including future events, and that he wants to make these events known to us to strengthen our faith and give us present peace and future hope. And yet so many want to dismiss the Bible as just another book so they can dismiss God. But the Bible is not just another book. And our God is not just any God.
Just consider everything that was prophesied about Jesus hundreds of years before his birth.
It was prophesied in the Old Testament that:
- Jesus would be born of the heritage of Abraham, Jesse, and David.
- He would be born of a virgin.
- He would be named Emmanuel.
- He would be born in Bethlehem.
- People would come to adore Him.
- There would be the murder of children in Bethlehem.
- He would be called out of Egypt.
- He would be preceded by John.
- He would be a prophet like Moses.
- He would start his ministry in Galilee.
- He would live in poverty.
- He would be without sin.
- He would be rejected by his Jewish brothers.
- He would be betrayed by a friend.
- His disciples would abandon Him.
- He would be sold for thirty pieces of silver.
- He would die with intense suffering but be silent.
- He would be struck on the face.
- He would be spit upon and mutilated.
- His hands and His feet would be nailed to a cross long before crucifixion was invented.
- He would be forsaken by God.
- He would cry out, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"
- He would be mocked.
- He would be offered vinegar on the cross.
- His garments would be torn.
- Lots would be cast for his clothing.
- He would die but not a bone of his body would be broken.
- He would be pierced in the side.
- He would be buried with the rich.
- His flesh would not see corruption.
- He would be raised from the dead.
- He would sit again with God in heaven.
These are precise predictions, given we can't even predict the next election. So maybe it is time for you to see the Bible and God differently today? Have confidence in the Word, and put your faith in God. And remember, when you ain't got it all figured out — God does.
ASK THIS: What are you confused about in your life today?
DO THIS: Trust God. He's got it figured out.
PRAY THIS: God, I am going to start trusting you. Thanks for showing me that you've got it all figured out. Today I am living with peace and hope.
PLAY THIS: Yes & Amen.
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