This past Sunday, we finished the final vision in Daniel. While this vision sapped Daniel of all his strength (chapter 10); it also offered hope for a future kingdom, resurrection and rest! We saw the main idea that: we put our hope in God and His Kingdom, the resurrection and the final rest that is found in Christ.
1. We Put our Hope in God’s Kingdom: 11:1-45
In chapter 11, Daniel relays the vision which includes a number of kings and kingdoms. It can be hard to keep track of all that’s going on here; suffice to say, all of these kingdoms have a definitive endpoint. The book of Daniel has hammered home the distinction between God’s established,eternal kingdom and the kingdoms of the world. Given this, we must think rightly about God’s Kingdom, and by extension, all other kingdoms. In the same way that all the kingdoms mentioned in Daniel 11 are now literally in ruins,the current kingdoms of the world today will face a similar fate. We must think rightly about our current place in history with respect to eternity, and not be lulled into a place of putting greater emphasis on life today at the expense of diminished hope for eternity. Further, we must live in anticipation of God’s kingdom. In Daniel 11:32, we see that the people of God are told to stand firm and take action. We stand firm in the person of God and we take action by making Him known! Loved one, hear this exhortation from God’s Word.
2. We Put our Hope in the Resurrection: 12:1-4
In Daniel 12, there seems to be a shift, not only in what is happening, but also in timing. It seems to move far ahead, not only to the first coming of Christ, but to the second coming. It’s here that we see the resurrection, not only of Jesus, but for all of humanity. We see two prominent items unfolding here.The first is God’s deliverance from trouble. God will ultimately deliver us from the sin, struggle and issues of our day. What a great hope that is! But God will also resurrect us. To be clear, the text states that God will resurrect all people, but some will be resurrected unto new life, but others unto everlasting contempt. We must be honest and willing to engage this reality. That there’s eternal destiny for all of us, but there are two very different destinations. The hope of resurrection unto life is the greatest hope that we have! Without the resurrection, you don’t have the gospel. Loved one,God is going to raise us unto new life! This should change how we live. If death has no hold on you, because you will be raised unto life, what can the enemy come at you with? Put your hope in the resurrection!
3. We Put our Hope in God’s Rest: 12:5-13
The book of Daniel concludes, and in some ways, it does so in a disappointing fashion. Daniel is told that there is mystery and things that he won’t be able to know or understand. Yet in another fashion, he is encouraged toward the rest that God has for him. The messenger doesn’t emphasize that Daniel should know how things play out, but instead prepare for these items in two ways. First, he is exhorted to pursue holiness. As you consider the future, are you willing to pursue holiness? That’s how we prepare for the end. Second, as you do so, know that your labor now will culminate in God’s perfect rest. I know there’s weariness and tiredness now, but know that a perfect rest is coming.
We closed by asking a few questions. I want to include them below for you to review and consider again.
1. What is it that you are hoping in today?
2. Are there ways that I need to reshape my view of the future and eternity?
3. What is a tangible step that I can take today to have eternity in view of my daily life?
4. God, would you help me to ___________________?