Archive

Archive for April, 2010

Daniel 11: The Long Vision

April 13, 2010 1 comment

This would be an excellent chapter to read sometime if you ever have one of those days where you have a free hour or two. Daniel 11 consists of 45 verses chock full of prophecy.

This vision takes place around the time of Chapter 9, during the reign of King Darius the Mede. From the vision, we see that being a king in the ancient world was very much different from being a ceremonial king today in places like England and Spain. These days, monarchs get up, dress nice, eat the best food and spent their day engaging in their favorite activities and listening to professional sycophants telling them how marvelous they are.

Even as recent as a few centuries ago, being a monarch was far different. Sure, you lived in luxury and had the best of food, clothes and shelter, but you also had to keep a sharp eye for those who would like to overthrow you. Those advisors you have? Are you certain they’re giving you the best advice or advice that will ultimately benefit them? Kings also kept a close eye on other countries and no doubt secretly made plans to conquer them. King Edward I “Longshanks” of England (popularly fictionalized in the Mel Gibson historical-fiction epic Braveheart) negotiated a treaty to have his son Edward II marry Margaret, Maid of Norway and heir to the Scottish throne, ostensibly because eventually Longshanks wanted England to conquer Scotland. Alas, Margaret died before she could marry Eddie 2.

Braveheart wasn’t a historically-accurate film, but I did like Patrick Magoohan’s portrayal of Edward I “Longshanks”.

Daniel in his vision learned of three kings in Persia with a fourth king would would be far richer than them. The king would then use his wealth to make the first three kings war against Greece.

As the vision continued, Daniel saw that the kings from four parts (I presume north, south, east and west) would be involved. The southern king sent his daugher to the north for an “agreement”, which seems odd considering how many women were treated in those days. Daniel wrote that she was “given up” by her father and was without authority.

Verse seven states her offspring would grow strong and would successfully attack the north and ransack the land of people, idols and valuables and would transport some items or people to Egypt.

Back and forth the kingdoms went against each other and that in one kingdom, the temple would be desecrated with the wicked prevailing before hte godly overcame them. Lots and lots of bloodshed and horrible deaths.

Then, in verse 36, a king exalted himself above God and committed many blasphemies until finally, God decided enough was enough.

This king, verse 37 suggested, would become morally and rationally bankrupt and would be defeated. Eventually he would face an unceremonial end and would see his kingdom end without anyone trying to help him.

What era does this cover? Has it already taken place? And if so, was it shortly thereafter or did it refer to the Romans? Does it refer to the future antichrist? I think it applied to both near-future kings as well as the antichrist. I know from reading Left Behind and finishing with Kingdom Come that many Bible scholars feel that aspects of the rapture, antichrist and the millennial reign of Jesus can be found in Daniel.

Next, we’ll finish with Daniel 12.

Richard Zowie is a Christian blogger. Post comments here or e-mail him at richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

Thoughts on Acts, Daniel, Christian writing

I was very flattered but even more encouraged to hear from a high school friend that she reads this blog. Sometimes, when you blog, you post and have no clue who’s reading it. Sunshine’s (her real name, by the way) words are an encouragement to me to overcome my natural inclinations toward procrastination and be faithful by posting on a daily or semi-daily basis. We have only so much time on earth and then it’s over. For those of us who are Christians, we have only a finite amount of time to make a difference in our lives and make the most of the talents that God has given us.

God has not given me the gift to pastor a church, nor to be a traveling evangelist nor to be a missionary like my friends, Ross and Ellen Ligon, but he has given me the gift of writing. My job is to use that gift to write about things I encounter as a Christian.

My background? I have a bachelor of arts degree in history from Pensacola Christian College in 1995. I minored in English and took a Bible class every semester. I’m not a Bible scholar, but what I do is pray, read, consider the context, consult commentaries and concordances and wise friends over passages I don’t grasp and then write about what I understand and how it applies to me.

That being said, if you are a young Christian who’d likes to listen to the radio, I highly recommend J. Vernon McGee, Chuck Swindoll and Chip Ingram. All three are excellent Bible teachers.

Regarding Daniel, people think of it as a book of Daniel and his pals Shadrach (real name: Hananiah), Meshach (Mishael) and Abednego (Azariah). It’s also a book of prophecy, and as I read it, I see at least two visions Daniel saw that troubled him greatly. One even made him physically ill. One he doesn’t even write about what he saw, which makes you wonder if he saw something very horrible or something so futuristic that he simply couldn’t grasp it.

After Daniel, I’ll be venturing into a part of the Old Testament I haven’t explored in well over a decade: the Minor Prophets. No, they weren’t called the minor prophets because they were all under 18 years old.

As for Acts, how fascinating it is to read about the church in its infancy and about Saul’s conversion into the Apostle Paul. Soon we’ll be reading and blogging about his trials and his climactic trial before King Agrippa.

My prayer and goal is to step things up and within 2 to 4 years, to have blogged my entire way through the Bible. We’ll see how that goes.

For those of you who struggle daily with various temptations (I know I certainly do) and hear those whispers of past things you’ve done and deeply regret, I leave you with this: Whenever Satan reminds you of your past, remind him of his future.

Richard Zowie has been a Christian since 1981 and is currently searching for a solid Bible-teaching church to attend in or near Vassar, Michigan (one church in Frankenmuth was very nice, but it wasn’t a good fit). Post comments here or e-mail him at richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.