March 7, 2013
READ: Daniel 12:1-13
Many of those whose bodies lie dead and buried will rise up, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting disgrace (v.2).
My sister might take a year off from work to study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I told her, “Well, be ready to check out the hills so that you know where to run to during the great tribulation.”
Though spoken half in jest, both of us believe that Jesus is coming soon and we take to heart His prophetic words in Matthew 24.
Another less familiar passage about the end times is Daniel 12. It begins with the words, “At that time” (v.1). It’s the dire time revealed in 11:40-45 when Israel will face unprecedented troubles. Yet at that very time, hope will dawn. Daniel 12:2 gives us one of those rare occurrences in the Old Testament that speak of resurrection. We’re assured that believers will face a happy future. Death may seem final, but it’s not the end. Yes, we shall awake “to everlasting life” (v.2). And God will honour those who remain faithful to Him (v.3).
As frail human beings, however, we would like to know how long we may have to suffer. Daniel’s vision provides some comforting truths:
• For believers, suffering is only for a season (v.7) and the best is yet to come. Along with Daniel, we “will rise again to receive the inheritance set aside for [us]” (v.13).
• There’s a good purpose behind our trials. They will purify, cleanse and refine us (v.10).
A. M. Overton wrote: “Tho’ night be dark and it may seem that day will never break, I’ll pin my faith, my all in Him, He maketh no mistake. For by and by the mist will lift and plain it all He’ll make, through all the way, tho’ dark to me, He made not one mistake.” Hallelujah! —Poh Fang Chia
Read 1 Corinthians 15:50-57 and Revelation 20:4-6, 12-15 for a deeper understanding of the resurrection of the dead.
How can the hope of the resurrection encourage you to remain faithful in the midst of suffering and pain? What are you most looking forward to in the future?