"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth" (Ps. 60:4).
The Prophecy of Daniel
The Future is Unfolded, #2
Lesson Number 33
By Given O. Blakely
There is a certain profitable perspective that can be developed from these texts. First, the manner in which God governs the world is seen more clearly. Working all things together for good, does not suggest God’s people are always on the top of things. In fact, a man “greatly beloved” of God had been a captive in Babylon for over seventy years. The children of Judah would be grievously oppressed, even after the Babylonian captivity.
In governing this world, the Lord is demonstrating the wickedness of the wicked, as well as the righteousness of the righteous. His judgment is being made known as well as His mercy. In the end, it will be abundantly apparent that He is “righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works” (Psa 145:17; Dan 9:14). He gives opportunities for the hearts of men to be revealed – both those that are humble and contrite, and those that are lifted up with pride.
A gallery of holy angels are beholding the works of the Lord, and they know “the whole earth is full of His glory” (Isa 6:3). That glory, while apparent among the holy personages that surround the Throne of God, is not so apparent to those who are in the world. The glory that fills the whole earth relates to the working of the Lord. It pertains to Him governing the nations, raising up and removing kings, and giving kingdoms to whomever He wills. It has to do with doing according to His will among the armies of heaven, and the inhabitants of the earth as well. It relates to Him frustrating the devices of wicked people, making fools out of diviners, causing wise men to draw back in confusion, and turning their knowledge into foolishness (Isa 44:25).
God is at work in this world. It belongs to him – the “earth and the fulness thereof; the world and they that dwell therein” (Psa 24:1). He affirms, “all souls are Mine” (Ezek 18:4), and that He is “the God of the spirits of all flesh” (Num 16:22; 27:16). It is He alone that has “formed the spirit of man within him” (Zech 12:1). He can put His “hook” in the nose of rebels, “bridle” their lips, and “turn” people back by the way they came, causing them, to retrace their steps (2 Kgs 19:26; Isa 37:29).
According to appearance, it seems as though the wicked are in control, and are doing whatever they please without restraint or government of any kind. David once said, “I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree” (Psa 37:35). However, he allowed his consideration to dwell longer on the circumstance, thus concluding, “Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found” (Psa 37:36). He found out what came home to Asaph. When confused by the seeming unhindered prosperity of the wicked, the chief singer “went into the sanctuary of God.” Once there, everything looked different. The whole earth really was full of God’s glory. While in that sanctuary, Asaph looked at the very same people of whom he was envious and concluded, “Surely Thou didst set them in slippery places: Thou castedst them down into destruction” (Psa 73:18). They were not prospering at all. They were really being fattened for the day of slaughter (James 5:5).
This is what we have seen in our text. Amidst all of the machinations of wicked and prideful kings, the Lord’s hand was working. It was covering the righteous, upholding the faithful, and directing the wicked to their ultimate demise. God is greatly to be praised that in Christ Jesus we are brought to a place where God is working all things together for our good (Rom 8:28). It was not so for the Ptolemy’s and Antiochus’ of our text, and it is not so for the despots of our day. Fear not, child of God, “for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth” (Rev 19:6).%%detect_both%%
"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately" (Lk. 12:35-36).