Prophecy confirming our faith

Both of Daniel's great Christological passages are calculated to confirm the faith of God's people living in a pagan society.

Though God's people may be taken captive and exiled, He is not. God remains ever the sovereign King and though evil runs rampant and His plan seem to be thwarted, it never is. He appointed decree stands firm and unchangeable. In it sin is included, and opposition from a pagan and godless world is taken into account.

Such a high and mysterious outworking of God's providential dealings with the children of men finds a brilliant expression in the book of Daniel, particularly since the prophet wrote when the Jews were at their lowest ebb, in captivity. The remnant is known of God, and God gives them a confirmation that He knows what He's about to do: His kingdom is unshakeable, though confronted with a thousand woes.

As in Daniel's time, even today, we need to take to heart the great Christological passages recorded in Daniel (chapter 7 and 9). Calvin comments: "Daniel appropriately relates how God was seated when the first advent of Christ is depicted, since the majesty of God shone in the person of Christ." It is affirmed that Christ's kingdom will belong to the saints of the Most High (7:22,27).

Who could ever imagine that such a dejected and forlorn people, scattered among the four winds, would one day rule and judge the world? This Scripture is therefore a wonderful tonic: though God's children may suffer, the victory is theirs (cf. Romans 8:28ff.). God's plan, in its exact timing, is laid out, as if to impress us with the fact that God is never hasty and never too late. The timing is in His hands, and this should comfort us and inspire all the more confidence in Him.

The prophecy of the seventy weeks is calculated to confirm our faith in the Ancient of Days, who controls history. And those who calculate the days, it becomes evident that God's Messiah is none else but Jesus of Nazareth, who presented Himself to Jerusalem in His triumphal entry there (Luke 19:42).

We know whom this prophecy speaks about! No need to seek for another. Pagan empires and ungodly world rulers may boast and be arrogant against God, but God knows His own. He loves them because they have kissed the Son (Psalm 2), and meanwhile they can rest assured that God will bring all opposition to an end. Ultimately, they are the ones who prove to be more than conquerors. In Christ the kingdom is theirs, and everything else is theirs (1 Corinthians 3:21-22). Since God is in control, and they are taking refuge under His wings, then they will suffer no harm, though physically now they have to go through the fire of persecution, mockery, hatred and even martyrdom.

God's thoughts are not our thoughts: we therefore need to get aligned with His thoughts, so that we may not be unduly shaken. And His thoughts are laid out for our admiration and strengthening of faith in Daniel 7 and 9.