Summary: Exposition/conclusions from Daniel 11 about the truths that we can draw from God's oversight and prophecy of coming kingdoms
Text: Daniel 11:2-12:4, Title: Double Vision, Date/Place: NRBC, 5/30/10, AM
A. Opening illustration: Speak about the writer of Ecclesiastes and his view from under the sun and the discouragement that followed.
B. Background to passage: Daniel’s writing in the book has been somewhat cyclical. He returns to theme’s previously mentioned, and deals with them in greater detail the second time through. So even though we have dealt with the sovereignty of God in events and nations before, and it seems like “same song, second verse,” this is a fresh demonstration in detail of the power of God. And we need usually need reminding of the truths that we know. That is one of the benefits of regularly meeting with the church: you don’t tend to remember particular sermons (although they have powerful effects in the moment), but you are regularly exposed to truths that you know, reminded of them and their importance and application in life, and thus your walk is maintained. And this is why it is spiritual harmful to neglect gathering with the brethren.
C. This prophecy in chapter 11 is a continuation of the introduction to it in chapter 10. Previously we were given the setting, and the behind the scenes look at the spiritual battle going on. Here we see the most specific prophecy given in the bible. Daniel is predicting about 300 years into the future the lives, risings, fallings of nations and leaders. Demonstrate some of the names. Know that the certainty/accuracy of these predications has caused commentators to question the dating of Daniel. The study of scripture is hard, but worth it. But I want to focus on the truths that flow from this text from two angles: above and below.
D. Main thought: out of this prophecy comes complementary truths that balance the perspective and give hope
A. The View from Over
1. 1) God predicts. This maybe the best example, maybe next to the 300+ prophecies of Christ, of the omniscience of God. He knows all things, thus He can predict exactly what will be. 2) God superintends. The main reason that God can predict with such accuracy is that He is sovereignly superintending every process of life. He is bringing all things to His designed end. So when He predicts He is not hoping, but ensuring. 3) God reveals. The supernatural things cannot be understood on a natural level. Can unbelievers find truth, but only understand if God reveals it to them. 4) God judges. At the end of this passage, there is a double resurrection (only time it’s mentioned in the OT), and the righteous get their reward, and the wicked receive theirs. 5) God delivers. It is the merciful character of God that delivers the faithful, and carries them through the great difficulty. 6) God gives hope. This is the reason that God gives this prophecy, to give a suffering, beleaguered, discouraged, weary people hope. A reminder that he is in control, He does love them, and is working for their good and His glory. 7) God commands. Because He is in control, and because He loves His servants, he instructs Daniel to close the book, seal it up, and rest (12:13). Relax, do what you ought, love me, and rest.
3. Illustration: “The good news is that God is no less in control today than he was in antiquity.” Comment made at a funeral the other day that this faithful, loving, believing dad who was now in heaven, “wouldn’t want to come back if he could.”
4. God knows every thought, attitude, struggle, need, word, worry, pain, fear, deed, desire, and disappointment in your life! And in everyone’s life; and it doesn’t strain His intellectual powers one iota. He knows what’s in store for you, knows how to prepare you for it. Does the fact that God knows it make it certain? We can trust in a good and wise God who does whatever He pleases. Does that mean that God enjoys it when we must go through difficulties? Give thanks to God for the spiritual understanding that you have, and ask Him for more. All accounts will be settled, God’s righteousness is the standard. If you reject Christ, or live as though haven’t (chances are you haven’t) you will be a recipient of the wrath of God. Deliverance may not come in the way or the time you want it, but it will come. Even in death, we are delivered to a better existence. Put your ultimate hope not in a job, a government, a spouse, some material possession, but in the Lord God Almighty! He is able! He is faithful! He is sufficient! When there are no answers, He is the answer! Cast your cares upon Him for He cares for you, and is able to meet every need, and do above all that you think or ask to those who are careful to keep His commands.