Warnings For Christians About Prophecy
Remember, an angelic being is explaining to Daniel numerous future events. He has explained hundreds of years of tension between Egypt in the south and Syria in the north. And before we read the following text, you must remember that Daniel's childhood home was Israel. His home was sandwiched between these two warring nations. So I would assume as all this was being explained to him, all he could think about was his childhood home — Israel.
And then the angel tells him this:
"In those times many shall rise against the king of the south, and the violent among your own people shall lift themselves up in order to fulfill the vision, but they shall fail. — Daniel 11:14
So this is important because what this angel is prophesying is that followers of God are going to read this text. And because they were privy to the prophecy, they would insert themselves into the story. I would assume they grew weary of the warring and the waiting. Therefore they mounted an army that sought justice. Thus they justified their actions with violence by reading themselves into the text as those would save and reestablish the nation.
I think this text is so important for followers of Christ right now. It's a warning about many things. First, it's a warning about inserting ourselves into a prophecy we are privy to. This is the danger of all prophecy in the Bible — that God-fearing people who are given it know just enough of it to claim we understand all of it, thus elevating ourselves. Don't do this. You don't know it all. Do you know how I know you don't know it all? Jesus said he didn't know it all. In Mark 13:32, Jesus said, "But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." So if he doesn't know it all, then you don't, so don't claim to know it all. Second, this text is a warning about justifying counteractions and violence under the claim of a vision given by God. I want you to know I am always weary of any man who claims God has given them a vision. But I am especially suspicious of the man who claims God gave him a vision and then justifies his actions based on that vision alone. Justification is a dangerous business. And you know how I know this? Because the Bible states there is only one who justifies. Roman 8:33 states, "God is the one who justifies." So when we justify counteractions or violence in an uprising against nations or governments, we might want to check our motives because we might be moving against God, which is what these God-fearing people did here and failed. Third, this text is also a reminder that God is the Author of the story. He's writing it, and he knows how it ends. And we need to trust him. I know so many of us right now don't like how things are playing out. And I am with you. I'm not too fond of it all, either. But we don't get to write the story. Daniel didn't get to write it, either. He just wrote down the story God told him because God's the Author. That's because it's his story. He's telling it, and we need to trust him.
ASK THIS: How are you convicted today?
DO THIS: Trust the Author; it's his story, not yours.
PRAY THIS: God, I trust you, the Author of all life, including mine. You are writing my story, and I am good with that!
PLAY THIS: My Story.
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