This one verse sums up all mankind since Eden. We don’t know; we don’t understand. All the colleges, all the elites and self-proclaimed experts, and the entire internet, and every book ever written fail to fully explain the meaning of God. Indeed, the more I live here on the Third Rock, the more I wonder if some of our quest for knowledge isn’t just another kind of idolatry; another way to say, “I know better,” to God.
Daniel was genuinely perplexed by all he had seen. At this time, he was an old man, nearing the end of a long and adventurous life. Now, he had been given this set of visions showing things that would happen in the future…and then he was told to keep them a secret until a later time: a time that would happen after he had died. Thus, when Daniel said he didn’t understand, then asked what the outcome of these things would be, he wasn’t being coy, or arrogant, or cagey about his words. He was perplexed. He truly didn’t understand.
What Daniel DID do then was trust God. God had prospered him during the Babylonian exile. He had used Daniel to discern visions to kings, to administer justice to God’s exiled people, and to record prophecies that would help all of mankind navigate in faith when the end of the world arrived. God had never given Daniel the hint of any reason to question or not trust him…so Daniel trusted. Because Daniel trusted, he could speak with the Lord’s angel in honesty. Daniel didn’t question God or try to puff himself up. Instead, he simply accepted what God said would happen even if he didn’t immediately “get it.”
He didn’t launch a blue-ribbon commission. He didn’t go to social media. He didn’t write a blog, research a new book, author a treatise or dissertation. He didn’t seek advice from academia or the “experts” who say they know better. Daniel simply trusted what God said but spoke up when he didn’t understand it. In his honesty, Daniel foreshadowed the virgin Mary, who professed not understanding the (possibly same) angel’s words of how a virgin would birth the Savior
Let’s be fair: some things aren’t easy to understand. Why must we die? How is it right that society obsesses about celebrities but ignores the homeless on the street? Why is there always a let-down after Christmas? Why is there a football team in Jacksonville? Why, why, why? It’s ok to say we don’t understand. It’s never ok to use that as a pretext to reject the Lord or what He says.
For further reading: Luke 1:34, Daniel 12:9
Lord, there are many things I don’t understand. But You do. I trust You for the answers You give.
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