Friday, June 14, 2013
Short devotion: Daniel and Alexander - Daniel 11:3-4
Daniel 11:3-4 Then a mighty king will appear, who will rule with great power and do as he pleases. After he has appeared, his empire will be broken up and parceled out toward the four winds of heaven. It will not go to his descendants, nor will it have the power he exercised, because his empire will be uprooted and given to others.
250 years before Alexander the Great began his conquest of the mighty Persian Empire, the prophet Daniel spoke about him in a vision. For some people that might just be coincidental, but for most Bible believers, it’s the amazing way that God works throughout history.
People tend to think that history is largely circumstantial, just a random sequence of events that keeps marching on from one generation to another. But if we are Christians and believe that God has actually created Time and Space, then isn’t it more than possible that God grants prophets like Daniel visions, dreams, and clues about what is yet to come? In fact, a large portion of what we read about Christ in the Gospels had already been prophesied and alluded to before He was even born in Bethlehem.
Why does God do this? For two basic reasons:
a) to show us that He is in control of Time and History;
b) to prepare His people for what is yet to come.
As we spin across the Milky Way on this third rock from the sun, we may think that we are inconsequential in a universe that is teeming with billions of galaxies, as well as billions upon billions of stars. And yet, when we consider that our beliefs are centered upon the Creator of the Cosmos, who sent His Only Son to die for the people on this paltry planet, we should quickly understand that we are not alone, nor are we unimportant to God. Alexander the Great’s empire may have gone forever and he is turned to dust, but Christ’s Kingdom remains on Earth and we await His prophesied return.
Questions for personal reflection
What historical event or period in history captures my attention? Where do I see the hand of God operating there?
Prayer: Lord God, You are in control of time and space, as well as history and geography because You created everything. We know of Your existence through the wonderful works of creation that surround us, all over this planet and throughout the entire universe. We thank You for the great gift of Life and we praise You for Your oversight of who we are, what we do, and of what we have yet to experience. Be with us and bless us forever. In Christ’s Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today’s image is one of John’s Scottish drawings. It features the Abbot’s House on the grounds of the medieval ruins of Crossraguel Abbey, near Maybole, Scotland. If you would like to view a larger version, please click on the following link: http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4121/4750541985_53ed2bfa13_b.jpg