Read: Daniel 12
And so we come to the last chapter in the book of Daniel. It was probably more appropriate to keep this chapter with the previous post, but I wanted some time to reflect on the brief writings of this prophet.
The dream continues and the interpretation is rich:
There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. Daniel 12:1
He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand. Daniel 12:9-10
I’ve said before, I’m in no hurry for the end of time, for many have yet had the chance to fully come to know Jesus, but this assurance does indeed provide confidence for those who have committed their lives to Christ. The question I have surrounds the word, committed. Have I fully committed? Or only said the words that my name might appear in the book of life?
We know Daniel from the first half of the book, chapters 1-6, where we learn of his integrity through several trials, including three of his comrades. The big takeaway from the first half is we should fully trust in God, whether or not he saves the mortal body from peril. The second half is visionary, covering events that speak to the end of time as a means to encourage the remnant of those days who were scattered about as well as today and years to come.
What Did We Learn?
Hugh Whelchel, Executive Director of the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics, poses the question: Conform or Transform?
Yet, like Daniel, we must not withdraw from the world in which we live. We must engage it in obedience to God’s call on our lives, working for his glory and the common good.*
I would suggest we need to take it one step further. Not only must we not withdraw from the world, we must engage with our surroundings to accurately live out our Christian worldview and change the culture around us. I think we often get lost in this quest by thinking we must change the world, create a movement that gets picked up by Christianity Today or CNN, make a big splash in the ocean.
What if we just followed Daniel’s lead and walked in integrity? What if we were known for honesty and compassion that princes of this world called us for advice? What if people saw that we really were all about love first?
Daniel’s short 12 chapters give us examples of trials and success in the same, then hope for a greater future–all without compromise. These are the lessons I hope to learn from Daniel, to learn and put into action.