Daily Reflections October 27, 2017
Daniel 11 ends with the coming of an oppressive king called the Antichrist and his rule during the Great Tribulation. He will deceptively exalt himself above all gods, invade many countries, and attack the Holy Land. He will make war with God’s people, causing great distress and death.
But Daniel 12 begins by telling us that the reign of the Antichrist will end with the resurrection of believers. Christ will come wherein both believers and unbelievers will rise from the dead. The people of God whose names are written ‘in the book’ will rise to everlasting life with Christ and those who have spurned God will rise to eternal, conscious life of shame and contempt. In the trials and suffering that will come as well as the death of loved ones at the hands of the lawless one, it is great comfort to know that God will make all things right. The pain and death are not the end for his people. Gloriously, God will bring them home and he will make them shine like the stars
Many postulate about the times and reference given to Daniel’s questions about when the end would be. However, it is interesting to note that although some information is given, Daniel is confused at the first answer and told to “go your way” in the second. Daniel is not given a straight answer so that he can calculate and determine the exact time. God has given him, and us through this book, of visions of these times without a clear determination of the exact time. Because of this, although we ought to be watchful of these things, we should not spend frivolous time trying to pinpoint when Christ will return. Verse 12 tells us that the person who will be blessed is the one who waits for and reaches till the end. So focus on being patient and persevering till the end.
David is told, “As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.” This is sober instruction for us as well. We may be tempted to be fearful or anxious about the end times. But David is not told to act erratically because of the coming days. He is told to keep doing what he’s doing, not to quit his job or sell all his possessions. When Jesus speaks of the end times in Matthew 24, he alludes to this when he says,
“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.” (Matthew 24:45-47).
Keep serving Christ. Be busy in the Kingdom—even when it gets hard, you are persecuted, or die. You can be confident that Jesus will come back, he will conquer all evil, and raise you up more gloriously than you could ever imagine.
Yours in Christ,
Associate Pastor Evan Webster
When reading the three sections contained within Psalm 119:49-72, it is interesting to observe what themes David continually revisits. One of the most obvious themes in today’s reading is endurance of faith in the midst of hardship. Note the following three verses:
“The insolent utterly deride me, but I do not turn away from your law.” (V.50)
“Though the cords of the wicked ensnare me, I do not forget your law.” (V.61)
“The insolent smear me with lies, but with my whole heart I keep your precepts.” (V. 69)
David is clearly a man that knows how to suffer well. It is fitting, therefore, that we look to his words for instruction on how we might also persevere through times of hardship and rejection. From our reading this morning we learn the following three points:
1. David takes comfort in the promises of God.
In verse 50 David writes,
“This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.”
This is a theme that we have revisited throughout our readings of the psalms. Time and time again the psalms show us that those who love their God find great refuge in His promises. They believe that God is both faithful and powerful in the keeping of His word. This is the mindset which all of God’s people must strive to adopt. Are you facing difficulty in this life? Remember the ways that God has mightily intervened throughout the history of His people. Remember that Christ is the great high priest who sympathizes with your weakness. Remember that one day Jesus will wipe every tear from your eye.
2. David has the LORD as his portion.
In verse 57 David writes,
“The LORD is my portion; I promise to keep your words.”
What a remarkable thing it is to be able to declare that the LORD is your portion. David is proclaiming that God is the one who satisfies all of his needs and desires. No matter what might come his way, David can persevere because he has been satisfied in the Lord. We find the same statement in Lamentations 3:24.
“’The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in Him.’”
Can you confidently make the same declaration? Or are you reliant on people and things other than God for your satisfaction? Remember that it was Jesus who said:
“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst” (John 6:35).
If you hear these words and draw near to Christ in belief, then He promises to be your portion.
3. David has eyes to see the positive.
In verse 71 David writes,
“It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.”
What a wonderful way to respond to affliction. If many of us were honest we would choose to forego affliction at almost any cost. David, however, chooses to see affliction as an opportunity to lean into God. The Bible repeatedly tells us that God uses the fire of affliction to refine His people. Listen to these words of the Apostle Peter:
“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith- more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire- may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7).
As trials come your way, as they inevitably will, make a decision to lean into God rather than looking for immediate escape. The result, as both David and Peter testify, will be a more fervent and obedient faith that leads to the praise, glory, and honor of God.
Director of Youth Ministries Ryan Shevalier