He understood the prophetic word he heard. He got the vision that was revealed.
That’s what it says of Daniel, in the opening verse of Daniel 10, about the revelation he received in the third year of Cyrus king of Persia. And why shouldn’t he have understood? That’s what Daniel did.
From a youth, as a rookie in training in the king’s court, God had blessed him with “understanding in all visions and dreams” (1:17). Throughout his political career he received notoriety as he repeatedly had been called on to be the conduit through which the “God in heaven who reveals mysteries” (2:28) would speak to rulers on earth who really knew nothing.
Then, toward the end of his life, it was Daniel who was having the dreams. Daniel who was troubled by terrifying mind pictures. And God Himself, through heavenly emissaries, who revealed things yet to come.
But as I read these final chapters of Daniel which began with, “he understood the word and had understanding of the vision”, I notice it concludes with Daniel’s self-admission, “I heard, but I did not understand” (12:8). Daniel understood . . . but only mostly. He knew it . . . but just in part. He got it . . . except for the stuff he didn’t.
Isn’t that the way it is with things concerning the end times? For as much as we think we know, when it comes to Jesus’ return, there is still much shrouded in mystery. A lot we don’t know. A lot left for debate. Maybe that’s why the closing verse of Daniel’s prophecy grabs me this morning. Why it is such an encouragement and comfort as I chew on the command and the promise.
“But go your way till the end. And you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.”
(Daniel 12:13 ESV)
To this senior saint, one who had served many kings well, and had served the King of kings faithfully, the command is given, “Go to the end.” Forget about hangin’ up a shingle on your life’s door that might read, “Closed, Gone Fishing.” But keep on keepin’ on.
Go your way. Be about your business. Walk in the paths I have for you yet to walk in. The paths I will show you, just as I have faithfully shown you over the decades.
Don’t be distracted by visions and mysteries partially revealed. But live according to the revelation you have received.
Don’t be entangled in the affairs of the kingdoms about you, but set your mind and heart fully on the kingdom yet to come.
And this because of the promise. You shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days. Whenever the end times occur, however the last days might play out, “you will rise again to receive the inheritance set aside for you” (NLT).
What is now seen imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, what is now but partial and incomplete knowledge, will one day–perhaps soon and very soon–be seen with clarity and known completely. What is now by faith, one day, will be face to face.
So much we have learned. So much we don’t know. So much we think we get. So little, sometimes, we think we understand. But this we do know, His grace has brought us safe thus far, and grace will lead us home.
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
(Jude 24, 25 ESV)
I shall stand with Him on that day. That’s the promise to believe.
Until then, by His enabling, I will go till the end. That’s the command to obey.
By His grace. For His glory.