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Signs of The Times - Dan 11

Mar 1, 2008
I don't watch soap operas. There's something about them that I've always detested. The storylines seem so dreary and hopeless.

According to Wikepedia, "Soap opera[s] sometimes weave intricate, convoluted, and sometimes confusing tales of characters who have affairs, meet mysterious strangers and fall in love, and who commit adultery, all of which keeps audiences hooked on the unfolding story twists" As I said, I don't watch them, but sometimes when my car is in the shop and I am waiting in the customer lounge where there is a TV blaring loudly, it is hard to ignore. And what I see is so depressing. The characters seem so selfish and power hungry.

As far as the interpretation of the chapter there are three factors we should remember: Daniel 11 begins with a reference to King Cyrus, who was reigning at the time.

That means the interpretation of Daniel 11 covers a long period of time. In that sense it parallels the broad sweep of history that is encompassed in Daniel 2, 7, and 8.

Important landmarks in the chapter are in verses 22 and 31. The "Prince of the Covenant" in verse 22 is Jesus Christ in my interpretation. That means by verse 22 we are at least in the time of Christ. So by the time we reach verse 31 we must be well into the Christian era.

We would expect, then, that Daniel 11 would follow the same pattern. What is there in Daniel 11 that gives us encouragement?

It's time to discover the hope in Daniel 11. Daniel 11:27, And as for the two kings, their hearts shall be bent on doing evil. Daniel 11:35 and some of the wise shall stumble, so that they may be refined, purified, and made white, until the time of the end, for it still awaits the appointed time.

Evil forces will ascend into prominence, but there will be a limit to their selfish control. God puts a check on evil, earthly rulers. There is an appointed time for them to begin and an appointed time for them to end.

Is it that nothing surprises God?

You see, with God's plan, no evil will be in total and complete control. God puts a limit on those evil forces. What's the response of God's people to the events of this world? First, they are to know their God so well that they can be strong and carry out God's purposes for their lives.

Reading Daniel 11 and thinking about this message reminds me of another time and another place. Imagine a very tired Jesus sleeping soundly in the stern of a very fishy smelling boat. There's a flurry of action all around Jesus. It's a time of fear, as the disciples realize they're in a losing battle with the wind and waves.

For me, that story in Mark 4 symbolizes the history that Daniel 11 is describing for us. It symbolizes the strife, the uncertainty, the dangerous times in which we live. Have you ever cried out, "God, don't you care?" Daniel 11 tells us, "Yes, God does care." The winds of strife and the seas of evil people in the world, but also the struggles in our own personal lives all of those things are subject to God's will.

God can speak "Peace, be still!" If we determine to know Him, we will have peace, we will have the trust and faith we need during these times.

How does a person know God? Only by spending time reading God's Word. So spend time reading Matthew, Mark, Luke and John to come face to face with the clearest revelation of God.

Is it knowing God? Knowing God gives us hope.
The road is rough at times; life seems almost unbearale.
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