Archive for July, 2015
With the efforts of Antiochus III the Great, he was able to push Egypt’s borders back below Israel or at least to the southern border of Israel from Syria. He fought against Ptolemy IV at this point in time. What is of course, fascinating is that the angelic messenger has been laying the groundwork to reveal specifics about the Holy Land to Daniel. All of this information is leading up to and including what would eventually befall Israel/Jerusalem and Daniel’s people, the Jews. Because God saw fit to provide Daniel with so much information that was extremely specific, we literally see the very rungs of the ladder that take us up to the events that impacted Israel. I hope you find that as amazing as I do.
However, in order for Antiochus II to marry Berenice, he had to divorce his first wife, Laodice. She was not at all happy with that turn of events. This is what the first part of verse six notes. Berenice was given to Antiochus II by Ptolemy II in order to create an alliance. But notice the second sentence in verse six tells us that “she” (Berenice) will not retain her position of power. The messenger speaking to Daniel at this point says “will not” because remember, none of this had happened yet. It was still future from Daniel’s perspective.
It might be a good time to ask why God has chosen to become so detailed with this chapter of Daniel. I believe it is due to several reasons. First, it proves that God clearly designs or knows history well ahead of time. I would argue that God designs it while still allowing for an individual’s free will to come into play. I truly do not understand exactly how that works (do you?), but suffice it to say that God is in control because His purposes will be accomplished. This is in spite of humanity’s so-called free will. Second, I believe in this particular section, we are going to learn more about a man named Antiochus Epiphanes IV who, as it turns out, is a type of Antichrist. Rather than God simply introducing Antiochus without allowing us to see the way in which he came to power during his day, there would be a great many questions and quite possibly, even doubt. People can still choose to doubt of course, but the reality is that with all the historical facts presented, it’s difficult to ignore them.
Instead of considering these things though, we want something different. We want America to get back on track. We want the world to understand that God is God. While these are good things, it doesn’t appear that they will come about it because God has His own plans in achieving His purposes. He’s already told us that at some future point, every knee will bow to God (Romans 14:11; Philippians 2:10). The problem is that we want God to do things our way. This is when He says “no,” simply because His way is infinitely better whether we can or are willing to see and admit it.
The angel tells us that three more kings will arise in Persia. In essence then, three more Persian kings will rise to the throne following Darius. After these coming three, there will be a fourth king, also Persian, who will stand out from among the first three. He will more powerful in part due to the riches he will amass for himself. We know how that works. People in every generation have sold themselves to a person or a corporation for the sake of ill-gotten gain. There are many who will do whatever is asked of them if it means becoming rich in the process. They don’t care because they have no scruples.
Notice also that God tells Solomon flat out that if the people of Israel do things the right way, God will remain with them and they will enjoy “the land.” If not, they will be thrown out of “the land.” What “land” is God referring to here? Clearly, God is referring to the land that He promised Abraham and the people entered under the leadership of Joshua. It was that Land to which God was referring. History has shown us the truth of God’s promises here because Israel has been tossed out of that land numerous times from that time until today. It was in the early 1940s that Jewish people began to go back to “the land” because of WWI and WWII. God allowed that, according to His promises to Ezekiel.
But the question we really need to begin to look at is whether or not God wants revival for His people in order to also “revive” a particular land (like America). This really is key to our discussion because depending upon how you answer that question, will make the difference in how you understand revival. Is God in the business of “healing” or “saving” lands/nations or is He interested in saving people? If you answered that He is more interested in saving people, then the next question is whether or not He will save people so that they can change things in society in order that a land or nation might be healed.