The last chapter of Daniel is a clear reference to the resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked, although the eternal destiny of each will be quite different. Great suffering is in store for God’s people throughout the years ahead…
“At that time Michael, the archangel who stands guard over your nation, will arise. Then there will be a time of anguish greater than any since nations first came into existence. But at that time every one of your people whose name is written in the book will be rescued. Many of those whose bodies lie dead and buried will rise up, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting disgrace. Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever. But you, Daniel, keep this prophecy a secret; seal up the book until the time of the end, when many will rush here and there, and knowledge will increase.” Daniel 12: 1-4
This tells us that in the end …things go awry, and more and more people are going to search for truth; even those who never were interested in the Bible before, will want to search the scriptures! This way of describing the future is also used by the Prophet Jeremiah, and also by Jesus…
“In all history there has never been such a time of terror. It will be a time of trouble for my people Israel. Yet in the end they will be saved.” Jeremiah 30: 7
“For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again. In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones.” Matthew 24: 21-22
The great suffering is tempered by a great promise of hope for true believers. God will not forget His people, and that’s really all we need to know about the future to motivate us to live right lives now. Closing and sealing up the book meant that it was to be kept safe and preserved. This was to be done so that believers of all times could look back on God’s Word in history and find hope. Daniel didn’t understand the exact meaning of the times and events in his vision. But we can see the events as they unfold, for we are in the end times. This book will not be entirely understood until the climax of the earth’s history.
“The man dressed in linen, who was standing above the river, raise both his hands towards heaven and took a solemn oath by the One who lives forever, saying, ‘It will go on for a time, times, and half a time. When the shattering of the holy people has finally come to an end, all these things will have happened.’
I heard what he said, but I did not understand what he meant. So I asked, ‘How will all this finally end, my Lord?’
But he said, ‘Go now, Daniel, for what I have said is kept secret and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified, cleansed, and refined by the trials. But the wicked will continue in their wickedness, and none of them will understand. Only those who are wise will know what it means.” Daniel 12: 7-9
Again, “Time, times, and half of time” may add up to three and a half years. “The holy people” seem to be shattered again and again throughout history. God’s recurring purpose in this is to break the pride and self-sufficiency of His rebellious people and to bring them to accept Him as their Lord; we see this time and time again how God blesses and also punishes for disobedience.
I’m sitting here reading and typing this and saying, “Yes Lord, I can see it so plainly. Adversity, as painful as it is, is used as a training tool to make us realize how dependant we are on You. We learn how to draw closer to You, and have intimacy with You. This is how our faith is built.” Our trials purify us if we are willing to learn from them. Look at what Romans 5: 3-5 says about this…
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.”
Love that! It has taken me a long time to truly understand this. But now, I can sincerely relate to every word Paul is saying! What stands out the most… is the word “confident”. Yes indeed, I have a CONFIDENT hope of salvation! This is all accomplished by my trials. And no, I’m not glorifying trials, because trials suck (excuse my French)! But the way they can transform is amazing! That’s why the Bible can say we should give thanks TO all things, not FOR all things.
We finished Daniel……..Hooray!