Daniel 12:1-3 Video Devotional

“At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. – Daniel 12:1-3

The culmination of the book hits in chapter 12, when the time for waiting is finished and the final moments of history come to pass. The endurance will reach a fulfillment and everyone who trusts in Jesus will be woken up to everlasting life! This is the promise – the righteous that will be restored, the happy ending, the motivation to make it through all else. Though it may not feel like it now, there is an ending to this story and it is a GOOD ending! All we need to do is trust in the author of life itself.

As Daniel closes out his book, he discusses time – this is to show that these things have a definite endpoint. At the end of the time, we will reach rest and victory. Daniel modeled this endurance through the first half of the book and then told us what to expect in the second half. Righteous suffering leads to endurance and to God’s glory – which is victory and redemption. That’s what this book is about – making it to the end with your life as an example that leads others to Jesus. Be the light of the world! You are a city on a hill (Matthew 5) – God has called you to be that example. So let Him live that through you.

Daniel Overview Video Devotional

In his days, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant for three years. Then he turned and rebelled against him. And the Lord sent against him bands of the Chaldeans and bands of the Syrians and bands of the Moabites and bands of the Ammonites, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by his servants the prophets. Surely this came upon Judah at the command of the Lord, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he had done, and also for the innocent blood that he had shed. For he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the Lord would not pardon. – 2 Kings 24:1-7

Many might skim past this book and see it as confusing futuristic prophecy, there is a rich meaning to Daniel’s writing that is much more than foresight into the end times. The message of the book speaks much more to daily life.

The book begins in the time of King Jehoiakim, when Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, laid siege to Jerusalem and began the process of exiling the Israelites. The southern kingdom of Judah was destroyed and the kingdom sent off to a faraway land. Daniel and his three friends as we will get to know them in the book, are from the tribe of Judah (possibly part of the royal family) and will have to learn how to live faithful to God while in exile.

There are a few interesting notes that may help us gain a better understanding of the book as we delve into it together. The layout of the book seemingly divides into to two simple sections: 1-6 (stories about Daniel and his friends) and 7-12 (visions of Daniel). But there is an interesting twist in that Daniel wrote the book in two languages: Hebrews (Chs 1, 8-12) and Aramaic (Chs 2-7). This suggests that the layout of the book is not as simple as we thought. While there are two main sections to the book, Ch 1 stands out more on its own as an introduction, presenting through its example the main idea of the book. Chs 2-7 then serve as symmetrical story-telling to reinforce those themes (2&7, 3&6, 4&5), then finishes off with Chs 8-12 using Daniel’s visions to give us a Heaven’s eye view of what we the readers need to understand.

As the main character in this book, it is also interesting to note that Daniel is one of the only biblical characters (other than Jesus) where they don’t show us any glaring character flaws. This helps to show the idea that righteous suffering is what is important here (not suffering for our own sins). Peter discusses this idea of suffering for good (as opposed to evil) and its importance in growing the Kingdom of God in 1 Peter 3.

As we go through the devotional series, we will go into much more detail, but simply by learning about the layout and basic characteristics of the book, we can be challenged to live a more righteous life and prepare ourselves to face suffering as a result; and that is all for God’s glory.

Acts Wrap-Up Video Devotional

This brings us to the end of the book of Acts. Jesus proclaimed in Acts 1:8, you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and Judea, in Samaria and to the ends of the earth, and here we are at the “partial” fulfillment of that. By partial fulfillment, we see that this is more of a now and not yet statement; it is applicable in the “now” because we watched through the book the gospel travel from Jerusalem at the point of Jesus’ ascension through Judea and Samaria and across the world, ending up in Rome. While Rome is not the end of the world, it is the explosion at the end of the wick, the catalyst point. Church history shows us that once the gospel takes seed in Rome, the movement explodes and takes root across the known world – this we can follow through well-researched church history. The “not yet” refers to the fact that the gospel has not yet reached every tribe, tongue, nation, and language. There is still more work to do.

This is where we come in. Jesus’ proclamation was not only meant for the disciples at the time, but His charge to the church as it moves and grows throughout history; a legacy that we today are a part of. This mission is currently ours, and it is our responsibility to handle that calling with serious effort. Matthew 24:14 tells us that Jesus won’t come back until every tribe and nation has had the chance to accept Him. Thus, our action (or inaction) today connect us to the legacy of people like Peter, Paul and Augustine (among many others) who gave all they had to this movement of Christianity.

What will you do? How can you be a part of such a legacy? Simple, by 1) connecting with people in your local community (whether or not they are similar to you) and loving them in the way Jesus did, and 2) putting your prayers and your dollars to work by supporting international workers reaching the unreached people groups. In all we do, we need to be looking for ways to make disciples. It’s a good thing we can trust that Jesus will be with us forever through the person of the Holy Spirit, leading the way as we follow in faith! I’ll see you on the front lines!