Summary: God has his hand firmly on history. Prophecy calls us to choose what we trust in. Do we trust the God of money, such as retirement, investment. Do we trust the God of comfort etc. We are called by the still small voice of God to trust and obey Him.
Intro: Bob Deffinbaugh tells a funny memory about chapter 11. He opened up an old Bible he had from Bible college and was reading notes in chapter 10 and finally got to 11 and one of his daughters had scribbled all over the pages of chapter 11. He wondered when the Lord returned if all of the commentary and preaching on chapter 11 would be any better than the scribbles his daughter made on the pages of Daniel 11.
So with all the material and all the squiggles out there how do we swim through the ocean of this material to find out what God has to say to us?
I have a few suggestions to help.
I. The prophecies are historically accurate
There are many people that many that have written many wonderful things about this chapter that presents history from Daniel’s time till the end of time. There are also those that doubt the supernatural and say that Daniel wrote after the fact. If you don’t remember all the information we gave in the introduction regarding language, culture and events ask after the sermon and we will get you a copy of the DVD. We can see that God gives an amazing outline of the immediate future for Daniel and the distant future for all of us.
A) The Persian kings following Cyrus the great (11.2)
They are known in history. First is Cambyses the son of Cyrus. Cambyses was overthrown by a usurper who stole Cambyses sons name. The usurpers name was Pseudo-smerdis. The third was Darius Hystaspes. Last would be Xerxes the Great. Also known as Ashuerus from Esther. He is the king who attacked the Greek empire and was directly involved in creating the hatred of the Persians in Alexander the Great
B) The Greek empire Alexander and his generals (11.3)
1) Alexander 11.3 His meteoric rise
2) Alexanders 4 generals and His quick fall 11.4
C) The Ptolemy’s and the Seleucid’s (5-20)
The angel gives a 130 year synopsis of the battle between the northern Syrian empire under Seleucid and his successors and the southern king of Egypt ruled and led by Ptolemy and his.
The angel covers this history because Israel is caught right in the middle of it. The exacting detail is overwhelming and amazing. If you follow the history of these two empires it is the making of a modern day mystery, drama, thriller reality show. Political marriage, war, poisoning all in exacting detail.
The Jewish people and believers will until the end of time deal with persecution and pressure for the purification of the people and the revelation Jesus in His people.
D) The picture of the anti-Christ
Daniel 11:21-35 give us the career of Antiochus Epiphanes
1) We see his perverted evil
His response to being rebuked and repelled by the Romans (ships of Kittim) was to take his wrath and frustration out on the people of the beautiful land.
2) We see a preview of the Abomination of Desolation
This is a preview of the coming attraction of the ultimate Anti-Christ. This will be repeated again.
E) The Maccabees (11:32-35)
The Maccabees were the people that knew their God and was strong and did exploits. Even with the amazing things the Maccabees did they had to ultimately appeal to the Romans for help. This leads us to the time of Jesus where the Romans are in control of the blessed land. (Tell about Palestine name if time)
F) The anti-Christ and the end
The final king blasphemes God, rules by military might and deceit, he will lead the world to worship himself. He also appears to finally deal with the peace in the middle east issue.
What is the point of all this. It seems again we are given a picture of history. Why does God continue to give this picture of His story to Daniel? Should we run away and build bomb shelters and stockpile food and ammunition? What should we do with the constant threat of a coming economic tsunami?
These prophecies are given so that we will not be unaware of what is coming. He also doesn’t want us to be afraid.
II. The prophecies call us to be highly practical
The prophecies call us to keep the main things the main things. They call us to love God with all our heart! Early believers or followers of the way would have known nothing of the half-hearted devotion that is given to Jesus today. The prophecies resound with the voice of Joshua who cries out “Chose this day who you will serve.” If the God of money then money, if the God of ease and comfort, if the God of power and prominence, if the God of pleasure then pleasure. But as for me and my house, we will serve the living God Yahweh!!