Four introductory thoughts:
- Just because the Bible is inspired, that doesn’t mean that every time we read it we are going to be inspired. The goal of reading Scripture is understanding not inspiration.
- Labor to ensure that your life and thoughts aren’t shaped by present realities instead of ultimate realities.
- Prophecy is not recorded history before it happens. Prophecy is present and future history interpreted from the perspective of the Bible.
- The goal of this vision is to encourage Daniel to prayer. So if we don’t walk away from this morning more oriented towards prayer then we have failed to understand this vision.
1. Kings- North and South, v. 5-19
- Make sure what you worship is the one true God, v. 8
- Be known for what you are for, not just what you are against, v. 14
- We can act against injustice in ways that demonstrate that it’s all still in God’s hand, v. 14
“The kingdoms of this world often seem overwhelming in their power to accomplish great things, a power that can easily either cow Christian into a state of depressed submission or, alternatively, seduce them into trying to use the world’s power to do God’s work. Some Christians seem to believe that they can hasten the coming of God’s kingdom by achieving certain political goals. Yet at the end the story, and for all their vaunted power, the kingdoms of this world can neither destroy God’s work nor establish it. They are merely tools in the hand of a sovereign God who is able to declare the end from the beginning because he alone ultimately controls the affairs of men and nations.”-Ian Duguid; Daniel: Reformed Expository Commentary
2. Individual- Antiochus IV, v. 20-35
- Even the wicked are under God’s sovereignty, v. 27, 29
- Some will abandon the faith because of difficulty or desire, v. 30
-1 John 2.18-21
- A right knowledge of God will serve you will, v. 32
- Good uses our stumbling, v. 35
3. Final- Antichrist, v. 36-45
- The existence of evil is not a threat to God’s sovereignty, v. 36
- The goal of history is to put our lives in perspective
- If what we read today is true, and it is, how do you live in light of it?
- Where is the balance between doing nothing and feeling responsible for everything?
- What are you doing to grow in your knowledge of God?
- When is the last time you stumbled and what did you learn from it?
- What will you pray as a result of what you heard today?