Scripture: I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, “O my lord, what shall be the outcome of these things?” He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end. …But go your way till the end. And you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.” Daniel 12:8-9, 13 ESV
Observation: Chapter 12 concludes Daniel’s third vision, which spans three chapters. Referencing in the first verse a “book” that contains the names of those who will rise to glory at the end of the age, much of Daniel’s vision is a precursor to the Apostle John’s vision of the days leading up to the return of Christ (recorded in his Revelation). Overwhelmed with the magnitude of these mysterious and terrifying end times when God’s holy people will suffer many tribulations, Daniel is confused about the means and purpose of God’s plan. The Lord then tells Daniel twice to “go your way,” for this faithful servant of Yahweh will find rest and stand in his rightful place at the end of the days (above verses).
Takeaway: A couple of years before my dad’s passing, he shared with me a poignant moment during one of his quiet times when the devotion reflected on an excerpt from Revelation. My dad first reacted to the passage with fear and concern for his and his family’s wellbeing. As he prayed, the Lord spoke to his mind and said something similar to that of Daniel: carry on with your life, entrusting what lies ahead to me. And like Daniel, the Lord imparted his peace to my dad.
In contrast, obsessing over the prophecies about the end of the age will only bear the fruit of fear and anxiety. But, as the Lord instructed Daniel, the wise will understand such visions. They will see that trials and suffering divide humanity between those destined for destruction and those for eternal glory (sheep and goats, Matthew 25:31-46). Those who are hardhearted toward God shall continue to act wickedly, and those who seek the path to purity will undergo refinement (Daniel 12:19). Meanwhile, Christ is commanding us to go our way and make disciples of all nations.
Prayer: Father God, we thank you that the future of our world is under your sovereign direction; that all that lies ahead, you are working for the good of those who love you. Would you please help us resist fretting about the unknown and instead “go our way,” focusing on opportunities to grow your kingdom and glorify your name? Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling