READ: Daniel 11-12
THINK: Isn't it amazing how many people disregard God and His Word-until certain events, catastrophes or tough times become a reality in their own lives or around the world? Suddenly there's renewed interest in Christian faith and church attendance. People start asking questions about things that God's Word has provided answers to for thousands of years. Somehow they're aware that the Bible talks about what's going on. One can hardly read the Word seriously and not be astounded by the incomparable detail and accuracy with which it describes national histories, world events and God's plan of salvation-centuries in advance. This isn't just to satisfy the curiosity of anxious people, but to provide assurance for those who trust God, believe His Word and remain faithful to the end.
RESPOND: What can we tell about Bible prophecy from this description of history and world events? (See 11:2 note.) Who was the king mentioned in 11:3, and what happened after his time (11:4)? (See 11:2 and 11:3 notes.) Who is the "contemptible person" (11:21), and why did he hate the Jews? (See 11:21 and 11:28 notes.) How did some Jews respond to Antiochus (11:30), and how is this an example of what happens when God's people allow ungodly culture to influence their lifestyle? (See 11:28 note.) Where will people who know God get wisdom and power to resist (11:32)? (See 11:32 note.) What time period does Daniel's prophesy jump to in 11:36-45, and who is the future ruler? (See 11:36-45 note.) What will happen to this person (11:45), and when? (See 11:45 note.) According to 12:2, what two destinies await people, and what determines which of the two a person will experience? (See 12:2 note.) According to 12:3, what will those with true godly wisdom do for others? (See 12:3 note.) What different effects will end-time difficulties have on people (12:10), and what will make the difference? (See 12:10 note.)
PRAY: Give God thanks for the detail and dependability of His Word, and for always letting His people know what they need to know well in advance. Pray that you'll firmly resist negative cultural influences.
ACT: Demonstrate true godly wisdom by helping "lead many to righteousness" (12:3). Take advantage of every opportunity to influence others to consider and trust Christ. Allow tough times to refine and purify you (12:10).
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