Lifting the veil
In Genesis 12.3 God promised Abram, ‘all peoples on earth will be blessed through you’. How can you be a blessing to others?
In the Bible, ‘apocalyptic’ passages ‘lift the veil’ on normally hidden spiritual realities in order to reassure God’s people. Did you spot how many times in this passage Daniel uses ‘interpret/show/ reveal’ words? See God, he says, who is behind it all.
This gives Daniel a particular perspective – what is the first thing he says to Arioch (v 24)? Here he lives out the promise God made to Abram; his prayers and actions save the (mostly pagan) wise men of Babylon.
It also affects how Daniel sees Nebuchadnezzar – read verses 37 and 38 and remember how he has behaved so far (and it’s only going to get worse). How can God hand such power to a tyrant like Nebuchadnezzar? Do you know (or work with) anyone who tends towards abuse of power?
Apocalyptic writings work in two ways. First, they reassure us that God is not turning a blind eye to evil, even though it might feel like he is.
Second, they promise that, no matter how strong evil seems, it is only temporary. Read verses 34 and 35 again. Could the final victory of God be expressed any more definitively than in the phrase, ‘without leaving a trace’?
Pray: ‘Father, please help me to see and understand the mysteries you have revealed, and to have confidence in your final victory, that I might be a blessing to others.’