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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Shine On!

Several months ago, as we were moving headlong into the election season, I published a post highlighting Daniel's prayer for the nation of Israel. On this day after the election, my reflection turns to the second half of Daniel 9 - the answer to his prayer.

In verse 20, Daniel says, "I was still confessing my sins and those of all Israel to the LORD my God, and I was praying for the good of His holy mountain, when Gabriel suddenly came flying in...". Can you even imagine! If I were in the middle of a prayer and Gabriel decided to drop by, I don't think a vision would be necessary! I would just die right there! What particularly catches my attention here is that Daniel was STILL confessing. He was making sure every last sin was accounted for. Not only for himself, but for the nation of Israel, too. We have much to ask forgiveness for and this nation is not going to change without the continual confession of God's people. No political candidate is our saviour. Only Jesus is our Saviour and only He will turn the heart of this nation around.

As Gabriel begins to talk to Daniel, he describes a vision of the future. I will not get into minute details of that here because it can be very confusing. What I will tell you is that he gave Daniel a timeline for future events in Israel's history that can be calculated down to the exact day. He told Daniel there would be a certain number of years from the decree to rebuild the temple until the Messiah was presented. From the day Artaxerxes issued the decree until the day that Jesus road into Jerusalem on the donkey was EXACTLY that number of years. Not one day more. Not one day less.

What implication can this possibly have for you and I? On the day after a difficult election, when many are confused and concerned, we can KNOW this:
  1. God is in control of history. All through Scripture we see example after example of God using pagan kings to accomplish His purpose. We can take heart in knowing that no matter who thinks they are in control, God is using them to accomplish His purpose and plan in history.
  2. God's promises are dependable. All of the past prophecy in Scripture has been fulfilled 100%. This can only lead us to the conclusion that all future prophecy will be fulfilled, too. We know the end of the story!
  3. God's timing is precise. God has a plan and there is a precise time schedule for that plan. We do not know all of the exact events and where they land on God's calendar, but He has given us signs to watch for in His Word. We can know that we are currently exactly where He has placed us for this time. Who knows? Maybe like Esther, you and I are here 'for such a time as this'.
  4. Jesus is the undeniable King of Kings and Lord of Lords. No one else could have fulfilled this prophecy as Gabriel described it. Jesus is the only one who fit the bill. He is the Messiah and He is coming back for His bride!
Are these dark days? Maybe. If your candidate lost, you might see them that way. If your candidate won, maybe not. Either way, Christians are called to be salt and light and as Dr. Lewis said in his blog this morning, "the darker the night, the brighter the light shines!"  Shine on!

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