The Book of Daniel speaks of a book (other than the Bible) that offers hope for the future.
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
The tenth chapter of Daniel mentions a book that had escaped my notice until recently. Daniel had been mourning and had put himself on a seriously limited diet for three weeks. In response to Daniel’s prayers, the angel Gabriel appears to him with a message. He tells Daniel that he would have come sooner, but the demonic Prince of Persia had been fighting against him for twenty-one days in a heavenly battle. When Michael the archangel arrived to help, victory was secured. Gabriel tells Daniel that he must soon return to fight against the Prince of Persia once again, and that the Prince of Greece will come.
Then he reveals his purpose- to reveal to Daniel what is written in the “Book of Truth” (Daniel 10:21). This “book” is generally understood to be the book in which God has designated beforehand the history of Israel and the rest of the world as it shall certainly be unfolded. It is a heavenly record of all the events that will occur in the “kingdoms of men.”
Gabriel lays out part of this heavenly record in chapter eleven. It includes an amazingly detailed account of the events that would soon transpire regarding Persia, then Alexander the Great, the Ptolemies and Seleucids, and Antiochus Epiphanes. It speaks of the battles, the factions, the intrigue, and the scheming for power. History proves it to be correct in every detail.
AS I SEE IT
There’s a lot to be learned from this brief account in chapter ten. Here we see Gabriel in his role as special messenger to God’s special people on earth as well as Michael in his role as special guardian of the affairs of Israel. Scripturally, we are told of only two angels being responsible the protection of Israel-Gabriel and Michael. It appears that no others are required. The strength and resources of these two are sufficient.
The focus of this article, however, is the “book.” It contains everything that will happen on planet Earth and much more that is unknown to us. Its existence gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “God is in control.” We quote this often, as if our underlying thought is that things are a mess but He’ll figure something out. Even when we remember that God has a plan, sometimes life seems to be more in control than God. Let’s take it to the extreme. Even if we mentally understand that everything is happening exactly according to God’s plan, our response to the trials of life may indicate that we’re not really convinced.
Now, however, we have the proof we need. There is a book and everything is already recorded. No, I don’t want to get into a discussion of predestination, fatalistic determinism, or Calvinism vs. Armenianism. The book exists and so does the free will of man. I’ll leave it at that. Since the will of God is done in heaven, we can assume that this heavenly book represents the will of God.
So, what can we learn from this? The account in chapter ten indicates that behind the many details of prophecy regarding the immediate history, God’s special angels are fighting to ensure that the will of God is accomplished. Shouldn’t we be doing the same? I know, I know, we don’t know what’s in the book, but we know what’s in the other book, the only one we need to know. We know enough to avoid working against God’s will.
This account also speaks to the future of Israel. It is sealed and presided over by the angels Gabriel and Michael. It won’t be pretty, but the only God-anointed nation on earth will survive. As for us, we should live our remaining days knowing that the outcome is determined. This gives me tremendous hope in facing the future. It’s not up for grabs. It’s determined. We know who wins. Therefore, we should approach life from a position of victory. The only thing we determine is our response to what happens to us. If we stay safely nestled in the will of God, we can face anything with confidence.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE