Saturday, June 17, 2017

Reading Through the Book of Daniel (9-12) #3

E and DLast week we conclude reading through the book of Daniel accompanied by, Esther & Daniel, The College Press NIV Commentary, by Mark Mangano. Chapters 9-12 of Daniel reassure the faithful of the nation of Israel that they will survive the persecutions of Antiochus and the other Gentile nations that will rule them until the coming of Messiah. It also provides a pattern for what is to come in future “Days of the LORD.” I have been posting quotes from the book on my Facebook page on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (NT is Mon-Wed-Fri) and we can discuss comments and questions about the passage there. As usual my comments are in black and quotes from the commentary are in blue below…

Chapters 9-11 describe a prophetic vision for the post-exilic period for God's people. Daniel, realizing that the 70 years of exile predicted by Jeremiah was over, confesses the sin of the nation and asks God to restore His people as promised. Gabriel is dispatched to tell Daniel that the exile is extended to 70 times 7 years. The people will be back in the land as promised with a temple, but they will be without king or kingdom. Chapter 10 describes the parallel spiritual battle that is also going on at this time, as the spiritual forces of evil are trying to destroy the nation, but the "prince" Michael fights for the preservation of Israel in the spiritual realms. Chapter 11 describes how this battle takes place in the earthly sphere as Jerusalem is caught up in the power struggles between Greece and Persia and the Seleucid and Ptolemaic empires and Rome. Even though God's people will be persecuted and the temple destroyed, they will be preserved and, after the "490 years," Messiah will set up his kingdom.

God’s relationship with His people compels him to deliver his wayward family. Likewise, as Moses or Samuel interceded with God for wayward Israel, they did so because they also were committed to relationship with God’s people. And just as God had blessed them, so they sought to bring God’s blessing of forgiveness to his people. Daniel 9, 282

Michael was and would be locked in battle with Satan’s deputies to Persia and Greece. Michael’s victory over satanic foes must have paved the way for Queen Esther to thwart Haman, who wanted to obliterate the entire Jewish race. Michael’s victory over satanic foes would pave the way for the death of Antiochus IV Epiphanes and the reconsecration of the temple for the worship of Almighty God. Daniel 10, 287

The persecution has its purpose in God’s plan (they may be refined, purified, and made spotless), and He will bring it to its appointed end (it will come at the appointed time). Daniel 11, 299

Daniel 12 concludes the book with an exhortation to endure the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes, even to the point of death, because God promises to raise the righteous and give them eternal life. There is a spiritual battle here going on behind the scenes that will won by God, His powerful cherubim and His people. In scripture Antiochus becomes typical of the persecution of God's people that took place during the time of the early church under Rome and that which will take place before the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ.

The wise understand that the suffering of God’s people serves the positive goal of preparing them for God’s presence. In contrast, the wicked will continue to be wicked, not suspecting that in the end they will be overwhelmed by God’s presence. Daniel 12.8-10, 305

Daniel 12:2 has taught us that our earthly lives are just a precursor to eternity. The New Testament also calls persons not to live as though this world is the end. Christians are expected to endure hardships, contradictions, and unanswered questions because of what is laid up for us beyond death. Daniel 12, 307

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