Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
Our key verse for today’s devotional reading is the very best statement found in the Bible for studying Bible prophecy. I’ll get to this two-part reason for studying prophecy in a moment, but first some background on the extended passage.
Daniel is in his late 80’s and under the leadership of the Medo-Persian Empire as he writes this prophetic passage, verse 1.
Daniel, in an effort to understand the times in which he was living and wanting to serve the Lord with more intensity, started a three week fast, verse 3, waiting to hear from heaven about the future of his people, the Jewish people.
When Daniel saw the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prophet fell on his face, on the ground before the Lord. I love what Jesus said about Daniel, verse 11, “Daniel, a man greatly beloved.” What a commendation from the “heavenly visitor” for a mere man. By the way, there is not one negative word written about Daniel in the entire Bible.
Now we come to verse 12, the two-fold purpose for studying prophecy. The Lord told Daniel that from the first day he “set his heart to understand the times”, the Lord had started to come to meet with him.
The student of Bible prophecy can indeed understand the times in which we are living today. We must understand the times today so that we can make decisions today that effect tomorrow. Therefore, we must know today what will happen tomorrow.
Then, the second reason, or the result of studying Bible prophecy, is also in verse 12, “and to chasten thyself before thy God.” In other words, once we understand the times we are living in, we must get our hearts right with God.
In verse 13 and 20 of our extended reading we see that Satan will dispatch “evil angels” to take control of “world leaders” for his own purpose.
The phrase “Prince of Persia”, verse 13, is referring to a Persian leader that was a “demonically” controlled, “prince”. Prince in this passage is a word used to describe “angels” and in this case, “evil angels”.
Notice that Michael, the “archangel,” is described as one of the “chief princes”, verse 13. This “Prince of Persia” is the villain, Haman, in the book of Esther, the evil leader who wanted to eliminate all Jews from the earth.
In the last days, Satan will dispatch “evil angels” to take control of world leaders to assist in his “Satanic game plan” for the last days, Ephesians 6:12.
Now, as Daniel, we can understand the times and why world leaders do what they do in our world today. Some times in this wicked world we see many world leaders that are actually under Satanic control. This “demonic activity” will only intensify as we draw closer to the Lord’s return.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me, dear Lord, to chasten my heart and live for you more so as I understand the times by my knowledge of Bible prophecy.