And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai” (Daniel 8:2).
Text: Daniel 8:1-12
In ancient times, in some cultures, if a man wanted to know what the future held in store, he would slay a beast, open up its bowels and after consulting some scrolls and parchments, gather so-called information and superstition about tomorrow. He would then begin to plan his future engagements like wars and businesses based only on the instructions from the slain animal and the books. This unnatural obsession to know tomorrow left God out of the picture.
With the prophets of God however, catching a glimpse of the future was not human-driven. All Daniel had to do, for instance, was to remain in the will of the Lord and wait for His time to unveil what was to come. Here, God presents the vision of the metaphorical ram and the goat along with the emergence of horns, to depict the rise and fall of kingdoms. It was a revelation whose fulfilment went beyond the days of Daniel to the coming of Christ the Messiah.
It was a refreshing vision of hope that God had all things under His control. Powerful empires may come and crash; some of their leaders may even threaten believers with their policies or introduce abominable practices into the church. But as God allows these to take place, He also uses them to prepare the ground for the great age of the millennial rule of His Son. And the message remains that the ardent, Spirit-guided student of the Bible should not fret about the future.
Believers are required to be more concerned with preaching to warn the world about the wrath of God waiting to come upon sinful men and women. We should tell them that judgment is imminent and counsel them not to waste their time with deceitful astrologers and false prophets who want to make merchandise of them. The secret of tomorrow lies with the All-knowing God; and if we trust Him, He will secure our future and make it glorious.
Thought for the day
If we trust God enough to hand Him our future, He will guide us to a glorious end.