Today’s Reading: Daniel 8:1-27 (additional reading: Psalm 120:1-7 & Proverbs 28:25-26 )
Warfare is the backdrop of our passage today – except that in this battle it appeared that the good guys were losing and that it was a battle to which there would be no end. This is again, apocalyptic literature, the strange highly-symbolic visions which are meant to provide a sense of hope for God’s people in a desperate situation.
If your a little confused after today’s reading as to what it actually means, then don’t worry – even Daniel – at the end of verse 27 says — “I was greatly troubled by the vision and could not UNDERSTAND IT. Not everything God has to say is easy to understand. And sometimes he wants us to walk and chewing on it — pondering it — living with the mystery.
One thing we can understand however is that a spiritual battle rages behind our physical battle. At the time of Daniel’s vision, it appeared to some that there was no battle at all – that the forces of evil had won and that the Hebrew people were just stuck in captivity in perpetuity. But the vision makes it clear that there is more going on than meets the eye.
Kings rise and kings fall. They attack God’s people – and in doing so they are stabbing at the very heart of heaven. Verse 10, talking about the shaggy goat – “His power reached to the heavens where it attacked the heavenly armies, throwing some of the heavenly beings and stars to the ground and trampling them.”
The real war isn’t country against country, This isn’t a war between two former lovers. This isn’t a war between two neighbours who can’t agree on the fence line. This isn’t a corporate battle. What we see is but a tip of the iceberg. There is a spiritual battle raging out there.
But what will also see in this reading is God is involved in the struggle – and there will be a definite winner. When you are battle weary as occasionally we all become, it is easy to begin to wonder where God is in the midst of all of this nonsense that we’re going through.
Sometimes you’re doing all the right things and nothing is happening or worse – the things that are happening all seem to be negative. If you’re on God’s side you’re on the winning side – no matter how unstable things look right now.
You know, in a sense we are at a great advantage over Daniel. Daniel’s visions were all BC – before Christ – he never saw how God entered into human history as an actual human being and how he died on the cross for us and how he rose from the dead victorious over the forces of sin and death. We know this about this victory. We should celebrate it every week – every day!
Are you aware of the spiritual battle? How does this change the way you look at things?
Father, Thank You that all victory belongs to You. Help us see beyond the physical and remember Christ victory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.