What do the following things have in common?
An abomination that causes desolation, two horns being crushed, a ram, a shaggy goat, raging people, astounding devastation and the time of the end!
A. The things you find cleaning out the van after a family road trip
B. The plot for Mandalorian: Season 2 on Disney Plus
C. It’s what happens when the Kansas City Chiefs play the L.A. Rams
D. When Dad is left at home with the kids for a weekend
E. The totality of your experience at the tag office
F. Some of the apocalyptic descriptions in the book of Daniel
Though elements of the list above can be found in some of these answers, only “F” contains all of them. They are part of the visions, dreams and interpretations found in the Old Testament book of Daniel, written in the 6th century BC. What are we to draw from each of those descriptions? These parts of Daniel are admittedly obscure and difficult to understand, but I believe they are all very practical and can help guide, enlighten and encourage us today. I invite you to dig deeper into these connections as we gather in-person and online this Wednesday, November 4th from 7-8pm in the Big Room for Digging Deeper into Daniel Week 2. If you missed Week One, you can go to Hope’s website to the media tab, then media archive, then Hope Institute.
Why is it important to work through this information? As I’ve studied how Daniel can point us to Jesus, I am reminded how so many in Jesus’ time misunderstood these Daniel prophecies about God’s forever kingdom. I love the words Jesus spoke as he was about to be crucified: “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” (John 18:36) Wow! How awesome is that?! It is almost like Jesus is saying, “Your concerns and your scope of this world is so small! I’m not trying to fight my way to power in terms of how you understand it! MY kingdom is otherworldly. MY kingdom is transcendent. MY kingdom is beyond what you can even comprehend.”
Jesus explained that if his goal had been to establish a physical kingdom on earth, his followers would have fought for him. The ironic thing is that one of them did. When a group approached Jesus to arrest him, Peter tried to defend Jesus. He drew his sword and cut off someone’s ear! This was the same Peter who Jesus had recently scolded: “You are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” (Matthew 16:23b) What we see is a disciple who still had some learning to do regarding this “Kingdom of God”.
It is important for us to know the True Ruler of this world and understand His mission for His followers. May God give us the discernment and focus to hear from Him and to know the difference between the things of man and the things of God. I think a closer look at the book of Daniel can help us to that end. I hope you can join us on Wednesday. What else do you have going on anyway? …Cleaning the family van?