May 30 - Message Update

“Go Your Way” – Daniel 12 – Greg Ng

Why is the book of Daniel important to me?

 

We are finishing up our sermon series in the book of Daniel called Uncompromising Faith. The key question that we want to answer is, “Why is the book of Daniel important to me?

 

Knowing your Future will give you Hope in the Present

The important thing to note is that God doesn’t tell us everything about our future, just enough to give us hope right now. When we look at the book of Daniel, God gives us just enough of a glimpse into the end times to make us yearn for the future. We desperately want there to be more than what we can see right here and now. There must be more to this life than just living and dying, more than just trying to make it through the day. God gives us this vision in chapters 10-12 through Daniel to show us that there is a happy ending to the story of our lives. We see this truth in versus 1-4.

 

In verse 1 it says, “At that time” – this refers to the end times, specifically the end of the Great Tribulation where the Antichrist has been defeated. Then the vision turns and gives hope for those who are faithful to Jesus Christ.

 

We see that:

The faithful will be delivered from the tribulation (12:1)

The faithful will be resurrected to eternal life (12:2)

The faithful will live in glory for all eternity (12:3)

 

This is the hope that we can have for our future no matter what type of trouble we are facing right now. God is God, nothing will overcome Him or overtake Him. He will deliver us, we will have eternal life, and we will shine forever and ever. This is important to us because it helps us to know our future so that we can have hope in the present. This hope keeps us on the path even when it seems as if we’ve gotten on the wrong path. Hope keeps us moving forward even when life doesn’t go the way we want. Hope is a valuable commodity for life. Daniel is told to seal the book until the time of the end (12:4). “To seal” the book means to preserve it, protect it, keep it unaltered.

 

A note about Biblical prophecy

Verses 5-7 illustrate a note about Biblical prophecy. One of the angels at the riverbank asked Jesus the question, “How long shall it be till the end of these wonders?”, or when will the Tribulation end. The Tribulation is a terrible time where the temple will be desecrated in the abomination of desolation. When we put all of the prophecies of Daniel on a timeline, we see that there are two abominations of desolations – one in history with Antiochus IV Epiphanes in 168BC and one in the future with the Antichrist in the Tribulation.

 

Using the mountain range illustration will help us understand Biblical prophecy. The events of prophecy are like the peaks of the mountains. From Daniel’s perspective at the base of the mountains, he looks up from the front of the mountain range, the abomination prophecy appears to be one event. Those two peaks look to be one peak from the bottom. But from a timeline perspective, or from the side of the mountain range, we can see that they are two events. From Daniel’s perspective looking at it straight on, he cannot accurately gauge depth or distance.

 

From the mountain range perspective of prophecy, there is this huge gap between the first coming of Jesus and His second coming to bring the Tribulation to an end in verse 7. This gap is known as the Church Age, this is the age that we are living in right now. We don’t know when the tribulation will occur, but we know that Jesus will return.

 

Knowing your Past will give you Faith for your Future

Christian faith is a character feature that grows and develops over time. Daniel’s uncompromising faith in God was built through the years of his life through his daily convictions and prayer. We can look back at Daniel’s past and see how his faith grew to give him the exact amount of faith that he needed to in his future to face kings, lions, and the visions of the end times. Our past will become a foundation of faith for our future. We see this truth in verses 8-13.

 

In verse 8 we see Daniel saying, “I heard, but I did not understand.” The reason why Daniel doesn’t understand is because God doesn’t reveal everything to him. God doesn’t reveal more because God knows how much Daniel needs to know to move forward in faith. God says, “Go your way, Daniel” (12:9) and, “Go your way till the end” (12:13). God knows and trusts that Daniel has enough information to move forward.

 

We can look to Daniel’s past and compare it to the Godly character traits in these verses:

Integrity (12:10a) = But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king's food, or with the wine that he drank (1:8).

Wisdom (12:10b) = God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams (1:17 and interpretation in Ch 2, 5, 7, 8).

Worship (12:11) = He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously (6:10b).

Humility (12:12) = Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking Him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession (9:3-4).

 

Daniel has a history of uncompromising faith that has become the foundation of faith for his future. It is never too late for us to build up a foundation of faith – to grow in integrity, wisdom, worship, and humility in our lives.

 

Conclusion

Hebrews 11:1 summarizes the main points from this chapter. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Knowing that God will deliver us at the end times from the great tribulation, gives us hope that God will deliver us from whatever great or small tribulation that we are going through right here and now. When we can look back into our past and see how God establishes, builds, and develops our foundation of faith, it ignites in us the conviction, the character, and the faith to move forward to a future that we can’t see and don’t understand. The key to an uncompromising faith is to be able to live our lives in the present between what God has done in our past and what God will do in our future.

 

Praise Singing: Your Love Never Fails, Revelation Song, Rock of Ages, Christ Our Hope in Life and Death, Doxology.