Daniel 8:9-14 Video Devotional

Out of one of them came a little horn, which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the glorious land. It grew great, even to the host of heaven. And some of the host and some of the stars it threw down to the ground and trampled on them. It became great, even as great as the Prince of the host. And the regular burnt offering was taken away from him, and the place of his sanctuary was overthrown. And a host will be given over to it together with the regular burnt offering because of transgression, and it will throw truth to the ground, and it will act and prosper. Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to the one who spoke, “For how long is the vision concerning the regular burnt offering, the transgression that makes desolate, and the giving over of the sanctuary and host to be trampled underfoot?” And he said to me, “For 2,300 evenings and mornings. Then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state.” – Daniel 8:9-14

It can be easy to get lost in any prophecies, especially ones that depict future events. This is partly due to the fact that our nature seeks to understand the details and the “how”. We want to know what is going to happen. That’s one of the reasons that people get so into passages like Genesis 1 and Revelation, among many others, is because those have glimpses of what will happen, but they don’t share all the details – and we want to know the details! God, however, wasn’t intending to share with us the details, because that’s not the question we should be asking. For example, the better interpretative question to ask for Genesis 1 is not “what happened at creation?”, but “who created?”. That passage tells us a ton about our God who created the world. The same holds true here in Daniel.

Chapter 8 is another vision Daniel has, this time about a ram and a goat. The ram was powerful, but the goat overtook it and then grew a bunch of horns, but would be eventually overthrown. After that, things would be restored to their rightful state.
This passage is more about endurance than about knowing exactly what would happen. We can know this for a few reasons: 1) the main idea of this book is that righteous suffering leads to victory and we see victory at the end of the dream, 2) the other visions, though different in detail, match the idea of evil being finally overthrown by good, and 3) the ending of the dream focused on the idea of things being made right – justice and restoration.

This world is stuck in long-suffering brokenness and sin that has marred everything. Evil reigns here and all good can do is endure until everything is made right. While we don’t need to know exactly what or when that will happen, what God makes clear is that it will and justice and righteousness will be restored. When endurance seems impossible, this is what we can rest in; this gives us hope and patience to endure the temporary evil now.

This should encourage us to hold fast to Jesus (faithfulness, similar to what we’ve seen in Daniel’s life) and rest in the fact that He (and therefore, us) will win in the end.

Daniel 2:46-49 Video Devotional

Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and paid homage to Daniel, and commanded that an offering and incense be offered up to him. The king answered and said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.” Then the king gave Daniel high honors and many great gifts and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. Daniel made a request of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego over the affairs of the province of Babylon. But Daniel remained at the king’s court. – Daniel 2:46-49

Here we have the payoff to Daniel’s suffering over the dream and its interpretation. Daniel’s direct and respectful response to Arioch, prayer and trust in God, and boldness in front of Nebuchadnezzar was met with nothing else than spiritual fruit!

I am sure Daniel was much happier about it than Jonah, but just as surprised. Nebuchadnezzar repented! Though it initially seems like the king was giving glory to Daniel, he recognized Daniel’s God as the One with the power and Daniel as the recipient. This led to Daniel being given real influence and leadership over the kingdom, which would be huge, but lead to more opportunities to suffer. Daniel’s trust in God and obedience saved the day and put a target on his back.

This ending to the story tells us a few things: 1) Daniel’s way of interacting with non-believers is correct, and 2) influence leads to opportunity and suffering. We can learn today from how Daniel treated those who could be considered enemies. This matches with 1 Corinthians 13 – without love, our truth is useless. We have got to put that back at the forefront of our actions; everything we do must be filtered through loving actions and a respectful attitude! If we do that, our opportunities will only increase.

What Daniel did accomplished a lot for the kingdom of God. People were saved and influence was gained. But we need to be prepared as we work (or rush) for our chances to gain that kind of leadership; it will lead to suffering. I have had a few experiences lately of opportunities to have influence and lead, but they both quickly lead to me suffering emotional pain over the outcome of those circumstances. It was great to experience God using me, but in the end it hurt. That’s ok – even good, but we need to be ready for it. Again, obey God and trust Him to take care of the consequences – that’s our only chance for real success.