Daniel 11:2-4 Video Devotional

“And now I will show you the truth. Behold, three more kings shall arise in Persia, and a fourth shall be far richer than all of them. And when he has become strong through his riches, he shall stir up all against the kingdom of Greece. Then a mighty king shall arise, who shall rule with great dominion and do as he wills. And as soon as he has arisen, his kingdom shall be broken and divided toward the four winds of heaven, but not to his posterity, nor according to the authority with which he ruled, for his kingdom shall be plucked up and go to others besides these. – Daniel 11:2-4

The goal of this devotional is not to get into the nitty gritty of the prophecy details. It is to see the main threads that run through the whole of this book to get to the main idea Daniel has for his readers and what he expects them to do about it – the intended response. From that, we can learn how we should understand this book in our context and how we can best respond to its message.

Again, though in much greater detail, we see the rising of evil kings and them facing off against other evil kings and rulers with the faithful to God seemingly at the bottom of the food chain of life. The end of the chapter (verse 45) finally shows that the worst of the evil kings will meet his end. So we see throughout all of Daniel’s visions, this idea of many rising evil kings, but for them all (even the really evil one) to meet their end at the hands of the God of gods. Evil will not win in the end.

That said, a lot happens in the 45 verses of this chapter, which constitutes a lot of time. In other words, there is a lot to endure before the end. Whether you choose to read this as prophecy that relates to the kings of Daniel’s time (Medes, Persians to Rome) or as end time prophecy, the same idea runs clear; there will be a lot of evil to wade through before the King of kings reigns. Endurance is a must if we are to survive through the evil.

Whether you look at Daniel’s situation (exile), the waiting of the Israelites for the coming Messiah, or everyone since then that trusts in Jesus, we are all waiting for the end of evil and for the King of kings to come quickly and put an end to the injustice. Endurance is what is called for and the first half of the book (Daniel’s stories) set us up for that.

Daniel shows us what true faithfulness and endurance look like. He is our model, our inspiration to living a righteous life that endures until the end. It makes perfect sense that he would be the one telling us what we will have to endure. It is a good ting that we can lean on Jesus, the One who emptied Himself of His power and took on the nature of a servant as we seek to persevere through this difficult times. 2020 is a perfect microcosm of this idea of endurance. So hang on and trust the One who invented time. He will see us through.

Philippians 3:12-16 Video Devotional

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.” (Philippians 3:12-16)

Today, I am feeling a little frustrated. The quarantine is feeling very long right now and the stress of trying to keep myself, my wife and my kids healthy (while not truly being able to protect them), while at the same time trying to keep both Nita and I working is feeling a little much. And working through a house purchase at the same time just adds to the stress.

As we’ve discussed over the last few days, Philippians really centers around the idea of participating with Christ, which means joyfully participating in His sufferings, which we do by suffering for the gospel. This seems extra hard because the suffering we are facing right now is more about keeping ourselves safe than fighting for our friends’ eternal homes. At least that’s how it seems.

We don’t understand why God is allowing this to happen and what He is doing in the midst of it. All we know is that we need to be Christ’s body in whatever way He calls us. Being in the middle of a race or a journey is often confusing – you can’t remember everything form the beginning and the end is still to far to see; but you do the best you can to push through. All we can do is press on toward the goal and trust that God will see us through. Remember, friends. This is temporary. Heaven is eternal (both now and later). Focus on being in the presence of Christ and put one foot in front of the other.

I hope these are an encouragement for you. Is there anything specific you are doing to keep your mind focused on Christ and good things as you endure this situation? Please share.