In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. (Da 7:13-14)
This Friday I begin to teach on the book of Daniel again. It is the Autumn term of our EQUIP course and I am re-running my "Daniel Masterclass." It is a real pleasure for me to return to these scriptures that I love so much, and contain such deep and profound truths on vital issues: the eternal Kingdom plan of God, the revelation of Christ, the sovereignty of God, the nature of trials, and the victory of the saints.
In my opinion the book of Daniel is a highly under-rated book. It is often only taught in the childrens ministry (our loss, their gain!) or is shied away from because of the difficult apocalyptic visions, that have been done such injustice by the bizarre interpretations of the dispensationalists. But we need not fear these passages; in fact they hold deep and precious truths, not bizarre and fanciful predictions.
Take all the numbers in Daniel. Let me share something simple, yet profound: all the trials of God's people in the book of Daniel are numbered! This is in itself the most important fact to grasp. Before you try and work out the significance of the actual numbers, the very fact that they are numbered speaks volumes. Before we face any trial, any hardship, any testing time, God has already set a limit on its duration. It will not last forever!
Any trial that God leads us into, he will also lead us out of. And Just like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, he will be with us all the way through it too! There is nothing that we go through that he does not go through with us too.
It is a truth, whether your theology can handle it or not, that God does not always spare his children from the time of trial. Like Lazarus' sisters we can sometimes wonder why the Lord seems to hangs back from coming in miracle power. Sometimes it is his will, rather than taking us around the trial, that we go right into the heart of it, but then, just like our Lord, to come bursting out the other side, in greater strength, greater faith, greater courage, greater anointing, greater love, greater compassion, and into greater blessing.
How great is our God! All things work for the good of those who love him, and no weapon forged against us can prosper. We go from strength to strength, no matter what comes against us. Praise God!