Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Is the future of this world good news, or bad? According to that wonderful last chapter of Daniel that Jesus said we must "read" and "understand," it's both. We need to know which is which. When "the king of the North ... shall come to his end, and no one will help him, ... there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time" (11:40-12:1). The whole world will become worse. God's simple common sense would tell us, "Get ready!"
But the good news in 12:1 is what's important: "And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book." The meaning is clear.
Daniel's "people" are the children of Abraham, but they are more than those who claim physical descent, whether Israelis or Arabs--they are people who cherish "the faith of Abraham" (Rom. 4:12-16). The divine "promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith" (vs. 13).
Therefore this "time of trouble" that is coming on the world must not terrify us. "The book" is of course "the book of remembrance [which] was written before" the Lord. He says of those whose names are in it, "I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him" (Mal. 3:16, 17).
Whose name is "written" there? "Those who fear [reverence] the Lord and who meditate on His name," verse 16 says. Difficult? No! What do they "meditate" on? "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son"--that's a lot to "meditate" on! The "meditating" leads every honest-hearted person to "believe," and not one who believes will "perish" because Jesus promised that "the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out" (John 3:16; 6:37). The "believing" reconciles the alienated heart to God and the reconciled heart is now obedient to God, at peace with Him (Rom. 8:7-17).
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: December 21, 2004.
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