Friday, July 10, 2009

Daniel chapter 11 & 12

Today feels like it could be the last normal day of my life. Tomorrow I am leaving on a week-long vacation. Afterward, there will be a large number of changes that will likely take place over the next few weeks and months. I am terrified of it as well. I have lately felt like my life has been on fast forward, and I have felt disconnected from God to the point where I constantly feel alone, waiting my eventual death that is coming faster each day. There is no reason for this fear, either, since God is in full control.

Now imagine being Daniel in these final two chapters. He is given information that not only talked about the rest of his life, but the end of the world as we know it. It is generally accepted that the prophecies given in chapters 11 and 12 relate to the end times when God will set up His kingdom here on earth. WE are even given a promise for those already dead at the time. Why then, does the world doubt this information?

2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. 4 But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge." – Daniel 12:2-4

This shows that everyone, regardless of standing, will be accounted for when the time comes. This is the first specific mention of resurrection in the Old Testament, and it is one that includes everyone. God gives us a direct way to reconcile ourselves to God through the death of His Son, Jesus. Why then, is life still a struggle if our destination is known?

It is because we must act on these things in faith. Part of our fragile human construct is that our faith ebbs and flows throughout our lives. Last year at this time I was at a peak of faith. Then, a great spiritual mentor stepped out of my life on to more important things. Since then, I have been lost and things have gotten progressively worse. The same happened to Daniel, as each vision terrified him more than the last. Still, he knew what he had to do and moved on.