“This is the end of the matter. I, Daniel, was deeply troubled by my thoughts, and my face turned pale, but I kept the matter to myself.” Daniel 7:28 (NIV).
Here ends Daniel’s recounting of this particular vision. Future chapters of the book will contain other visions and other prophecies. Today’s verse is the conclusion to this one.
And the vision deeply troubled Daniel, so much that he bottled it up and didn’t say anything about it to anyone for years. Recall that he received the vision from God after the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, but early in the reign of Belshazzar. When Daniel finally wrote it down, Belshazzar was long-gone; the Mede-Persians now ruled Babylon. The incident with the lion’s den was in the past, and Daniel was likely an old man. And he was still troubled by the vision.
Our God demands a lot from us. Sometimes it’s disturbing. In fact, that happens to a lot of people who God uses to deliver His messages in the Bible. Read Isaiah and Jeremiah; they were often worn out with their messages. David was in both physical and emotional anguish, wrestling with his humanity to follow the God who loved him anyway. It took Noah 100 years to build the ark: an entire century of ridicule, scorn, and maybe worse from most of his friends and family. Upright Hosea was moved to unwillingly marry a prostitute. Moses followed God for 80 years and, in the end, never entered God’s promised land. Eleven of the twelve disciples were murdered.
Daniel was greatly troubled by this disturbing vision of empires to come and evil sweeping over the world in a time that could only have looked alien and terrifying to him. Even in seeing God triumph over evil, it was more than Daniel could stand, and Daniel was a long-standing loyal prophet of deep abiding faith.
Jesus asks even more.
Have you felt troubled in following Jesus? He gave you unique talents, unique dreams, unique visions and abilities and opportunities. Have you ever felt overwhelmed or troubled by it all? Perhaps you haven’t foreseen the antichrist, but, if you’re like the rest of us, you’ve probably felt the depth of it when God has really touched you. Think of it: God spoke through Daniel to prepare people for things to come. One of those was Jesus, who saves us while asking us to take up our crosses daily and follow Him.
God spoke holy foretelling through Daniel and the other prophets. Yet they lived difficult lives, and what God asked of them was never easy. For many, it was deeply moving but starkly disturbing, yet God asked it anyway. Has Jesus’ ask of you ever troubled you?
For further reading: Job 4:15, Psalm 13:2, Isaiah 21:3, Daniel 8:1
Lord, sometimes what You say to me does trouble me, scare me. Abide with me and comfort me.
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