Daniel 10-12 Interestingly, God met both Daniel and Paul away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Both men had a group of friends with them, but only Daniel and Paul saw the vision. Both felt their strength fade away because of the power of the vision. Both listened to the voice, and both were given the wisdom to understand.
Paul needed to know Jesus, whom he had been persecuting. From that encounter, he would travel the world, telling all who would hear about Jesus. Daniel, on the other hand, had a robust relationship with God, but many questions. God came because Daniel did as James said: “if you lack wisdom, ask of God who gives to all men generously and without reproach.” [James 1:5] At the end of this encounter, Daniel was told the answer but then to seal it up for the time had not yet come for it to be revealed.
Yet, God had one more promise to Daniel. He would leave this earth and go to his rest just as the Hebrews author said. [Heb 4:9] Daniel may have had unanswered questions still, but the angelic figure gave this octogenarian a tremendous promise:
“But you should go your way until the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days, you will arise to receive what you have been allotted.” [Dan 12:13]
God offers that same promise to you if you have yielded your life to Him. The question is can you claim that same promise?
2Kings 1-3 King Ahaziah had a nasty fall through the ceiling of his apartment. He must have had some severe injuries due to this and wanted to know if he would recover. He knew Elijah was one of God’s prophets yet did not call upon him. Instead, he sent messengers to inquire of the idol god Baal: “Go, ask Baal Zebub, the god of Ekron, if I will survive this injury.” As they were going, God’s angel came to Elijah. He was to go and ask the messengers “You must think there is no God in Israel.” As he sat there three g groups of soldiers came to inquire of Elijah. The first two companies of 50 were consumed by fire, but the last captain came and bowed before Elijah and sought mercy. Because he was humble, God told Elijah to go to the king. As he had said to the soldiers, he said to Ahaziah: ‘You must think there is no God in Israel!’ But, just like on Mt Carmel, the question was which God did Ahaziah serve: Baal or Yahweh.
Today many are like Ahaziah. Instead of asking God their question, they seek answers from any other source than Him. Our culture has put aside God and replaced him with the things of this world, which will surely pass away. Just like Ahaziah, we all will die and face the judgment. [Heb 9:27] It will be too late then to decide which God is the true God. I would love to show you the way to the True God: Yahweh. Send me a note if you are interested.
When you enter eternity, which God will you meet: Baal or Yahweh?
After Paul left Galatia, grievous wolves had entered and
taken captive their hearts. Paul said to them, “I am astonished that you are so
quickly deserting…” The author of 1Kings has recorded the story of the
disobedient unnamed prophet sent to the wicked king Jeroboam. Before we judge
this prophet harshly, we need to stop and see ourselves in this tale.
The prophet had stood tall and strong in the face of
Jeroboam to warn him! God had sent a sign by Jeroboam’s shriveled hand and the
broken altar. He had refused Jeroboam’s gracious gift of a meal and rest. YET—on
his way home, he stopped to rest. God had said not to eat or drink or return
the same way, but not about resting. An old man approached him, saying he too
was a prophet with an angelic message. Was the old man a true prophet? This is
when we let our guard down! We wonder why the prophet did not ask God for confirmation.
But…why do we not ask God when we hear someone say, God has told me to tell you
this or that? Beware of contradicting messages; if it sounds too good to be
true, it probably isn’t. God is not a man that changes his mind. If we want to
know, pray and ask for discernment. Be forewarned; the adversary can use even
what seems like righteous words.
Stay alert! Be on your guard. Check the source; be like the Bereans in Acts 17. Check to see if it is true.
God loves all people, but not all people love God, unfortunately. When you read the book of Judges, you need to keep that information front and center; otherwise, you will miss the blessings that He has for you.
In Judges 13, we meet a barren woman and her husband. Both are godly people, but it seems that God, in particular, loves infertile women, and in this story, this woman, we will call her “Mrs. Manoah.” She, like Elizabeth in Luke 1 and Hannah in the book of 1Samuel, is barren. To be infertile is a stigma, and God hears her heart. For four chapters, we read about this dear woman who will soon have her heart’s desire in a son named Samson. It is the “Mrs.” who is busy in the field and meets the angel of God. It is she that quoted verbatim his words to her husband, Manoah. But, like Zechariah, when Manoah heard that his wife would bear a child, he needed more confirmation. And, both sons, John the Baptist and Samson would be a Nazarite.
Mr. Manoah may not have understood all the details about Samson’s birth, but he is commended for his obedience and faith as he entreated the Lord. And like Jacob, wants to know the name of the “man of God.” He needs confirmation on all accounts. After seeing the miracle of the flame and the rising of the angel to heaven, he then has a crisis of belief: “surely we will die for we have seen God.” Not so, Mrs. Manoah! She was perceptive: look at the evidence, God answered our prayer, he accepted our offering, he wouldn’t have shown us these things or let us hear things like this! How great was her faith! And God blessed her with a son.
When God speaks, do we believe Him 100 %! Or do we need more confirmation like Manoah and Zechariah did?