TODAY’S READING: Daniel 10–12
It’s ironic that liberal scholars use the accuracy of biblical prophecies to undermine belief in prophecy. Daniel’s visions were so precise in chapters 11 and 12 that some say they must have been written after the events. The truth is, God does indeed rule in the kingdoms of men and He knows the end from the beginning. God has a very specific design for history and He helps His greatly beloved know exactly the destiny of nations. What the angelic messenger affirmed to Daniel about the fate of nations (Dan. 10:21) the Holy Spirit affirms to us today: God’s will for the nations will be done in detail; of this we can have full assurance.
What is that will? That all nations, every people group, representatives of every ethnic entity in history will be gathered around the throne worshiping Jesus forever. This beatific vision was and is resisted by demonic powers. The prince of the kingdom of Persia (v. 13) resisted God’s will, followed by the prince of Greece (v. 20), followed by other demonic powers through the centuries, all united in one frantic effort: to thwart God’s desire that all nations be represented around the throne. The anti-mission-of-God spirits were active in the Old Testament, resisted Jesus, and howl today. Jesus used imagery from Daniel to accuse oppressive leaders in Jerusalem (Mark 14:62) and John applied Daniel’s visions to the Romans in his day (Rev. 13).
The book of Daniel offers readers of all generations an insight into God’s promise and a pattern at work in history. The pattern reveals how humans and their kingdoms become violent beasts when they glorify their power and don’t acknowledge God as their true King. But Daniel’s visions also hold out a promise, that one day God will confront the beast, rescue his world and his people, and bring his Kingdom.
Antiochus Epiphanes (meaning “the manifest god”) was nicknamed Antiochus Epimanes (meaning “mad”). He represents all the powers of time that want to control the world and reject King Jesus as Lord of all nations. Antiochus spoke blasphemies against the God of gods (Dan. 11:36) and with great wrath tried to establish his own world order and glory—a plan which included the extermination of God’s people. Nothing new under the sun. All through history evil powers have used evil men to dominate the world to the exclusion of God’s people. The closing words of Daniel are helpful as we endure the latest cycle of demonic rebellion: “[Go] your way till the end, for you shall rest [die], and will arise to your inheritance at the end of days” (12:13).
Daniel’s message is the message of the Bible. God is the God of all the peoples of earth and the only One to be gloried. He will redeem to Himself a remnant of every ethnic group. He will be their King and live among them. Other kings and powers will rise and fall, the people of God will live and die, but one day the cycle will end, the King will come, and the dead will rise to our inheritance: an eternal feast for all peoples with the Bridegroom in glory. Let us actively wait for this. Let us live and die in the peaceful assurance that God has definitively determined how it all ends. God does indeed rule in the kingdom of men, and He shall rule forever. We can endure, live, and die in that steadfast hope.
 Tim Mackie. Read Scripture: Illustrated Summaries of Biblical Books. Portland, OR: The Bible Project, 2018. 56.