Daniel 9:20-27, Daniel 10:10-21
While I was speaking, praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my petition before the Lord my God concerning the holy mountain of my God—while I was praying, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the first vision, reached me in my extreme weariness, about the time of the evening offering. He gave me this explanation: “Daniel, I’ve come now to give you understanding. At the beginning of your petitions an answer went out, and I have come to give it, for you are treasured by God. So consider the message and understand the vision:
Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city—to bring the rebellion to an end, to put a stop to sin, to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy place. Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until an Anointed One, the ruler, will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. It will be rebuilt with a plaza and a moat, but in difficult times. After those sixty-two weeks the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the coming ruler will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come with a flood, and until the end there will be war; desolations are decreed. He will make a firm covenant with many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and offering. And the abomination of desolation will be on a wing of the temple until the decreed destructionist poured out on the desolator.”
Suddenly, a hand touched me and set me shaking on my hands and knees. He said to me, “Daniel, you are a man treasured by God. Understand the words that I’m saying to you. Stand on your feet, for I have now been sent to you.” After he said this to me, I stood trembling.
“Don’t be afraid, Daniel,” he said to me, “for from the first day that you purposed to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your prayers were heard. I have come because of your prayers. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me after I had been left there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to help you understand what will happen to your people in the last days, for the vision refers to those days.”
While he was saying these words to me, I turned my face toward the ground and was speechless. Suddenly one with human likeness touched my lips. I opened my mouth and said to the one standing in front of me, “My lord, because of the vision, anguish overwhelms me and I am powerless. How can someone like me, your servant, speak with someone like you, my lord? Now I have no strength, and there is no breath in me.”
Then the one with a human appearance touched me again and strengthened me. He said, “Don’t be afraid, you who are treasured by God. Peace to you; be very strong!”
As he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.”
He said, “Do you know why I’ve come to you? I must return at once to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I leave, the prince of Greece will come. However, I will tell you what is recorded in the book of truth. (No one has the courage to support me against those princes except Michael, your prince.)
Or do you think that I cannot call on my Father, and he will provide me here and now with more than twelve legions of angels? Matthew 26:53
“Jim, will you please explain to us about the horns? Which king was which? I heard you had Tim LaHaye on your radio show. I sure hope you know something about this weird stuff.”
Here’s what I want God’s people to be aware of regarding this passage: There is a whole lot more going on than we can see.
Are you aware that there is plaque building in your arteries right now? What a happy thought. Why the mental picture of plaque building in the arteries? Right now your body is waging war against things in your bloodstream that come from the atmosphere around you. Your body is multiplying white blood cells to stomp out the invaders and sending red blood cells to areas that need extra oxygen. This is happening to every living person on the planet at this very moment.
Do I know this because I have a special word of knowledge? No, I know this because I have studied biology. There are innumerable things happening inside your body that you can’t see, but they’re real. If all these things weren’t happening right now, you wouldn’t be alive. Your very life depends on this activity, but you don’t have to see it or even understand it.
Not only is there a lot happening in your body you can’t see, there is a lot happening in this world we can’t see. If you and I would recognize that the universe is a whole lot bigger than our field of vision, it would give us not only the humility we need, but it would give us a tremendous sense of joy in the Sovereign Lord who is at work and who has everything under His control.
It is thrilling to realize that God has everything under His control. I need to remember this. There are times when I feel there are certain things in my field of vision I have to control. I feel that some things I can’t see need to be monitored by me, so I can control them, too. God says to me, “Just relax. I have everything under control. You don’t even run a small part of the universe, Jim.”
I do have responsibility for self-discipline, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about the fact that God is sovereignly at work in history, and if we know He has history under control, we ought to feel pretty good about current events. Always remember: There is a lot more going on than we can see.