God Knows the Details

Posted: March 30, 2017 in Daniel, Uncategorized
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Daniel 11, “God Knows the Details”

Movie reviews today often come with “spoiler alerts.”  The person writing the review has already seen the movie, so he/she warns the reader about potential plot details ahead in order not to ruin the surprise elements along the way.  To its original readers, the book of Daniel might have provided spoiler alerts – but then again, that was the point.  God knew the details of the future, and provided those details to Daniel through the angel Gabriel.  God, by definition, knows everything.  If He so chooses, He can give those details to anyone at any time – and that’s exactly what He did with Daniel.

Daniel 11

  • Change of empires (1-4)

1 “Also in the first year of Darius the Mede, I, even I, stood up to confirm and strengthen him.)

  • Vs. 1 really should be the last verse of Ch. 10, as it concludes the statement that the angel Gabriel made regarding the spiritual battle he faced. 
  • It’s with all of that context in mind that Chapter 11 comes.  This is the prophetic message that Gabriel was sent to give to Daniel, which had been delayed for 21 days.  This was what Gabriel said in 10:14, “what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.”  God wanted Daniel to know what the future held in store for Israel.  Their time in Babylon may have come to a close, but their trials had not yet ended…difficult days lay ahead.  But this wasn’t all bad news.  How so?  If God knew all of these future events, it meant that He included all of these events in His ultimate plan for Israel.  The Jews would not cease as a people – God had prepared for all of these things through His perfect knowledge of the future.
    • This is where the omniscience of God is such a comforting doctrine.  A God who knows everything is not surprised by anything.  He’s never taken off-guard. 
  • What is going to follow was the future for Daniel, but history for us.  We can look at these prophecies and line them up one-by-one with their fulfillment, and give witness to the incredible track record of God.  There’s going to be a lot of detail here, but don’t get overwhelmed by the detail…delight in it.  After all, God doesn’t just know the future; He knows the specific intimate details of the future.  God knows the nitty-gritty.  That’s something worth His praise!

2 And now I will tell you the truth: Behold, three more kings will arise in Persia, and the fourth shall be far richer than them all; by his strength, through his riches, he shall stir up all against the realm of Greece.

  • The “three more kings” were the successors to Cyrus.  Remember that Darius the Mede was simply the governor of the province of Babylon, having the title of “king.”  Cyrus was the “king of kings” (in a far lesser sense than Jesus!), in that he was the king over the entire empire of the Medes & Persians.  The three that followed him were Cambyses (530-522), Guatama/Pseudo-Smerdis (522), Darius I (522-486).  Darius is mentioned among Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, and Zechariah; the earlier two are not mentioned at all.
  • The “fourth” is Xerxes/Ahasuerus (486-465), the king at the center of the book of Esther.  During his reign, the very existence of the Jews was threatened, only to be saved by the faithfulness of Esther & Mordecai (which provides the background for Purim, recently celebrated on March 12-13).  Ahasuerus maintained a huge kingdom of 127 provinces/satrapies (Esth 1:1), and apparently tried to add Greece to his empire, without success.

3 Then a mighty king shall arise, who shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. 4 And when he has arisen, his kingdom shall be broken up and divided toward the four winds of heaven, but not among his posterity nor according to his dominion with which he ruled; for his kingdom shall be uprooted, even for others besides these.

  • Alexander the Great (333-323)
  • Four winds” = four kingdoms split among his generals: Cassander/Antigonus (Macedon), Lysimachus (Greece), Seleucus (Syria/Mesopotamia), Ptolemy (Egypt).  There had been a brief bit of turmoil after Alexander’s death, but soon the empire settled into these four sections.  None of the generals were “his posterity” (his children), which is an amazing bit of detail to be revealed to Daniel considering this was told to him nearly two hundred years before the events!
  • North vs. South (5-20)

5 “Also the king of the South shall become strong, as well as one of his princes; and he shall gain power over him and have dominion. His dominion shall be a great dominion.

  • Typically, the kings of the South will refer to the Egyptian Ptolomies, whereas the North will refer to the Syrian Seleucids.  In the particular case of verse 5, it seems to reference a time where during the strong years of Ptolemy I Soter (323-285), he was joined by Seleucus I Nicator (311-280), termed a “prince” because his initial service to Ptolemy.  Seleucus received Ptolemy’s help in gaining power in the north, and was eventually able to add a vast amount of land to his kingdom, making it a “great dominion.

6 And at the end of some years they shall join forces, for the daughter of the king of the South shall go to the king of the North to make an agreement; but she shall not retain the power of her authority, and neither he nor his authority shall stand; but she shall be given up, with those who brought her, and with him who begot her, and with him who strengthened her in those times.

  • South: Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285-246).  Daughter: Berenice.  North: Antiochus II Theos (261-246).  Antiochus’ former wife Laodiceia conspired against Berenice & Antiochus, poisoning her former husband and convincing her son to murder Berenice.

7 But from a branch of her roots one shall arise in his place, who shall come with an army, enter the fortress of the king of the North, and deal with them and prevail. 8 And he shall also carry their gods captive to Egypt, with their princes and their precious articles of silver and gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the North. 9 “Also the king of the North shall come to the kingdom of the king of the South, but shall return to his own land.

  • a branch of her roots”: Berenice’s brother Ptolemy III Euergetes (246-221) came in with revenge and “prevailed” over the north, taking spoil back to Egypt.  
  • North: Seleucus II Callinicus (246-226).  Historical records lack what happened in the campaign of verse 9 – it seems likely that Seleucus II responded to the earlier invasion of Ptolemy III, but was quickly turned back in defeat.

10 However his sons shall stir up strife, and assemble a multitude of great forces; and one shall certainly come and overwhelm and pass through; then he shall return to his fortress and stir up strife.

  • Sons: Seleucus III Ceraunus (226-223) & Antiochus III the Great (223-187).  Tried to pick up where their father was defeated.  Seleucus III was quickly killed, but Antiochus III experienced success.
  • Keep in mind that all of this is taking place in Israel’s backyard.  This is why it was important for Gabriel to inform Daniel of it.  Every time Syria would go to war against Egypt & vice-versa, where would they march?  Right through Israel.  The Jews would be perpetually caught in the middle of a centuries-long power struggle between North & South.  God gives them so much detail to reaffirm to them that everything is going to be okay. …

11 “And the king of the South shall be moved with rage, and go out and fight with him, with the king of the North, who shall muster a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into the hand of his enemy. 12 When he has taken away the multitude, his heart will be lifted up; and he will cast down tens of thousands, but he will not prevail.

  • South: Ptolemy IV Philopator (221-203).  North: Antiochus III (still…)  Antiochus III experienced a terrible defeat at the hand of Ptolemy IV, losing (according to the historian Polybius) nearly 10,000 infantry, 300 cavalry, 5 elephants, and having 4000 prisoners taken.

13 For the king of the North will return and muster a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come at the end of some years with a great army and much equipment. 14 “Now in those times many shall rise up against the king of the South. Also, violent men of your people shall exalt themselves in fulfillment of the vision, but they shall fall.

  • 15 years after his crushing loss, Antiochus III returned with a greater army and experienced victory.  There was a new king of the South, Ptolemy V Epiphanes (203-181), who was weaker than his father and who was hated by the Jews for heavy Egyptian taxation.  Antiochus’ victory was short-lived, and the Egyptian general Scopas quashed the Jewish rebellion.

15 So the king of the North shall come and build a siege mound, and take a fortified city; and the forces of the South shall not withstand him. Even his choice troops shall have no strength to resist. 16 But he who comes against him shall do according to his own will, and no one shall stand against him. He shall stand in the Glorious Land with destruction in his power. 17 “He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do. And he shall give him the daughter of women to destroy it; but she shall not stand with him, or be for him.

  • The battles between Antiochus III and Egypt continued, with a siege mound at the battle of Panium mentioned (not far from what was eventually known as Caesarea Philippi), culminating in the final defeat of General Scopas in Sidon.  Antiochus III then had complete control over Israel (“the Glorious Land”), and it remained in the hands of the Syrians until the ascendancy of the Roman Empire.
  • The reference to Antiochus’ daughter was his arranged marriage of his daughter Cleopatra (not the famous one) to Ptolemy V as a way to make peace, and to assert his ongoing influence over Egypt.  It didn’t work, as her loyalties soon switched to the Ptolemies, negating his plan.
    • Again, the level of detail here is nothing less than astounding!  These aren’t only grand events and changes of monarchies (which is amazing enough), but some of these things are the conspiracies & soap-opera of royal life.  How could Daniel possibly invent these things on his own?  He couldn’t.  It’s no wonder so many critics try to say that all of this was written after the fact!  Thankfully, the record shows that Daniel is authentic.
    • This ought to give us incredible assurance regarding our Bibles!

18 After this he shall turn his face to the coastlands, and shall take many. But a ruler shall bring the reproach against them to an end; and with the reproach removed, he shall turn back on him. 19 Then he shall turn his face toward the fortress of his own land; but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.

  • Antiochus III changed his focus from Egypt to Cyprus & the areas surrounding Greece, but was eventually brought to a halt in 188 by another “ruler”: Lucius Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus, a Roman commander who was the brother of the commander who defeated Hannibal in 202.  In his defeat, Antiochus III lost much land and was forced to pay a hefty fine in tribute.

20 “There shall arise in his place one who imposes taxes on the glorious kingdom; but within a few days he shall be destroyed, but not in anger or in battle.

  • The one that arose was the eldest son of Antiochus, Seleucus IV Philopator (187-175).  His tax-collector Heliodorus not only took much money from the Jews in order to help pay the Roman tribute tax of 1000 talents per year, but also ended up assassinating Seleucus IV via poison.

All of this sets the stage for the Seleucid ruler yet to come – the one that would cause immense heartache for the Jews, and who would serve as a prototype for the future Antichrist: Antiochus IV Epiphanes.

  • Antiochus IV Epiphanes

21 And in his place shall arise a vile person, to whom they will not give the honor of royalty; but he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue.

  • Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164) was certainly known as a king, so how is it that Gabriel says he was not given “the honor of royalty”?  Because Antiochus IV seized the throne “by intrigue.”  Remember that the throne had gone to his older brother, and when Seleucus IV died, it ought to have passed to his son Demetrius I.  Instead, Demetrius was imprisoned in Rome at the time, so Antiochus took the opportunity to bribe the leadership and take the throne for himself.

22 With the force of a flood they shall be swept away from before him and be broken, and also the prince of the covenant. 23 And after the league is made with him he shall act deceitfully, for he shall come up and become strong with a small number of people. 24 He shall enter peaceably, even into the richest places of the province; and he shall do what his fathers have not done, nor his forefathers: he shall disperse among them the plunder, spoil, and riches; and he shall devise his plans against the strongholds, but only for a time.

  • Antiochus was initially opposed by Ptolemy VI Philometer (181-145), but was defeated in battle & actually kept as prisoner until Ptolemy threw his support behind him (“the league”).  As a result, Antiochus (at least for a time) gained a foothold in Egypt that was previously unknown even during the height of his father Antiochus III.  Apparently, Antiochus IV continued to buy influence, but it didn’t last long once Rome got involved.

25 “He shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the South with a great army. And the king of the South shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand, for they shall devise plans against him. 26 Yes, those who eat of the portion of his delicacies shall destroy him; his army shall be swept away, and many shall fall down slain. 27 Both these kings’ hearts shall be bent on evil, and they shall speak lies at the same table; but it shall not prosper, for the end will still be at the appointed time.

  • The Egyptian king that had formerly made an alliance with Antiochus IV, now turned against him.  Originally, Ptolemy VI had joined with him to defeat Ptolemy’s brother in Egypt, who had risen to power in Ptolemy VI’s absence.  In order to throw off the yoke of the Syrians, Ptolemy turned to his now-deposed brother for help & together they conspired to defeat Antiochus.  All kinds of “lies” had taken place, with one side scheming against the other side for victory – all to no avail.
  • Notice the end result: “the end will still be at the appointed time.”  No matter what the schemes of men might be, God’s plan is still supreme!

28 While returning to his land with great riches, his heart shall be moved against the holy covenant; so he shall do damage and return to his own land.

  • This is the first indication of the evil Antiochus IV had in his heart towards Israel.  He had both riches & disappointment.  He brought home spoils of war, but lost Egypt in general, so he made the Jews pay the price in his frustration.  He was “moved against the holy covenant,” and decided to suppress the Jewish religion (also in response to some frustration he had being unable to install his own loyal priests).  2 Maccabees 5 describes a slaughter of men, women, boys, and girls, with well over 80,000 people killed.  He desecrate the temple by entering it & taking the holy vessels as his plunder, along with 1800 talents before he returned to Antioch in Syria.

29 “At the appointed time he shall return and go toward the south; but it shall not be like the former or the latter. 30 For ships from Cyprus shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and return in rage against the holy covenant, and do damage. “So he shall return and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant.

  • Once more Antiochus IV tried to take Egypt, but Rome was growing in power & influence & prevented it.  The “ships from Cyprus/Kittim” refer to Roman vessels which delivered an ultimatum to Antiochus. “The aggressive Roman commander Popilius Laenas met Antiochus marshalling his hosts for a siege of Alexandria and informed him that the Roman government ordered him to quit Egypt immediately or face the consequences of war with Rome. Remembering what had happened to his father at the Battle of Magnesia and recalling also his years as a young hostage in Roman captivity, it did not take Antiochus very long to give way before this mandate especially after Popilius drew a circle around him with his staff and ordered him to make his decision before he stepped outside it.” (Gleason Archer, EBC)
  • Once more, Antiochus took out his frustration upon the Jews in Jerusalem, this time causing a far greater abomination than before…

31 And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation. 32 Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.

  • On December 16, 167BC, Antiochus had a pig sacrificed upon the altar of the Jerusalem temple and set up an idol of Zeus within it, having done away with the Biblical sacrifices and defiling the temple of God.  He even commanded it to be called the temple of Zeus (2 Macc 6:2) in an effort to destroy the religion of Israel.  Of course his actions were opposed, and the “great exploits” of the Jewish Maccabean revolt is referenced here.
  • The dating on this is absolutely crucial.  Remember that from Daniel’s perspective, this was all future…some 400 years future, as a matter of fact.  For this reason, critical scholars have dismissed the possibility of Daniel as actually having been the one to author it.  The details here are too exact, too precise.  For him to know the political intrigue that pervaded the succession of kings is unbelievable enough, but to know the kind of detail that accompanied the Maccabean rebellion?  Surely (in their minds) this had to have been written after the fact.  If it was, then all of the prophecies could be discounted, as well as the other accounts of miracles – it just becomes an interesting piece of ancient writing, perhaps just a historical fiction.  Yet it isn’t…not by a long shot.  Not only was Daniel mentioned by name in the prophecies of Ezekiel (Eze 14:14,20) – not only does the book of Daniel contain information about the Babylonian kingdom unverified until the 19th century – but fragments of the book of Daniel have been found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, which date back to very days of the Maccabean revolt (and perhaps even earlier)!  For copies of the book to be circulated at that time as canonical Scripture, there is absolutely no way it could have been a contemporary writing.  It must have been written prior to the Maccabees, thus proving it to be prophetical.
  • Not only that, but the fact that the events that were future to Daniel have a “BC” verified historical fulfillment provide unassailable evidence that the things Jesus spoke of during the Olivet Discourse were future events.  Matthew 24:15–16, "(15) “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), (16) “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains."  Despite the arguments of critics, Jesus could not have been referring to the abomination committed by Antiochus IV Epiphanes, because that had already taken place.  Instead, the event of Antiochus IV becomes the template for what the Jews are to look for in the future, when a similar event takes place by the hand of Antichrist.  2 Thessalonians 2:3–4, "(3) Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, (4) who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God."  When that event takes place, that’s the sign for people to know the end is near.  That’s the sign that will confirm that the days are about to get far worse in regards to the Great Tribulation, but will soon be far better when Jesus returns.
  • How do we know all of this?  By the date.  Because Daniel prophesied these things in the past – because what was supposed to be fulfilled was fulfilled exactly as they were foretold – now we have confident assurance that the things yet to be fulfilled will be fulfilled in exactly the same way.  God’s word is true!

33 And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering. 34 Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join with them by intrigue. 35 And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time.

  • More prophecies about the Maccabean rebellion.  The Jews who remained faithful experienced much persecution & suffering, but eventually the rebellion gained steam & they experienced victory.  For a short time, the Jewish people actually had an independent kingdom, though the Romans would soon take them as their own.

To this point, the prophecies in Daniel 11 have all had easily explained historical fulfillment.  As mentioned, this causes fits for those who discount supernaturalism.  They imagine that Daniel had to have been written after the fact for it to be so precise.  Of course, archaeology proves beyond doubt that Daniel is original & was written prior to the events taking place, which makes its accuracy an amazing testimony to God.
What follows at this point are prophecies not so easily explained.  For critics who want to discount Daniel, they now change positions & say “Aha!  Daniel 11 isn’t nearly as accurate as claimed.  The writer was incorrect when writing of the later exploits of Antiochus IV!”  That would indeed be a problem if Daniel was writing of Antiochus…but there is plenty of evidence that he is not.  Starting in vs. 36, the character changes to someone still yet to come.  This explains the lack of historical fulfillment, being that these events to this date still have not yet happened.

  • Antichrist (36-45)

36 “Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done.

  • The first thing we need to notice is the title of “the king.”  To this point, Daniel (Gabriel) has specifically avoided referring to Antiochus IV as a king, instead emphasizing that he originally had not received the honor of royalty (11:21).  Of course he was a king; he just wasn’t referred to previously in that way in prophecy.  But now there is a king, and he is able to do whatever he wants, “his own will.”  This is something Antiochus IV was unable to do, as he was repeatedly boxed in by Rome.  Antiochus IV had an inflated ego, but the description here speaks of someone who considered himself above all gods of every religion.  This is not Antiochus; this is Antichrist.  This is the one Paul wrote of in 2 Thess 2, and John described as the Beast.  Revelation 13:5–6, "(5) And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. (6) Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven."  Daniel had written of him already in the vision of the four beasts (the little horn that arose speaking pompous words, 7:7-8), in the vision of the ram & goat (the large horn that exalted himself above the prince of the hosts, 8:9-12), and in the 70 weeks prophecy (the one bringing an end to sacrifice & offering, committing the abomination of desolation, 9:27).  This is the man who comes as the ultimate representative of Satan, who rises to power over all the world, who is worshipped by the masses, and who eventually attempts to lead an all-out assault against God.  He’s also the one who is cast into hell when Jesus returns!
  • It is “determined” that he shall come, but it is also determined that he shall fall.

37 He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all.

  • The phrase “God of his fathers” have led some to believe that Antichrist will be a Jew, but that interpretation isn’t necessary.  Technically, the phrase could be equally rendered “the gods of his fathers,” in reference to multiple gods of idolatry.  In any case, he regards no god as supreme, but exalts only himself.
  • Who/what is “the desire of women”?  Different thoughts abound.  It’s possible that this refers to a hatred of Messiah, who was to be the “seed of the woman.” (Gen 3:15)  It’s possible this could be translated “nor the desire for women,” referring to a perversion of some sort.  Either way, he hates God and he hates the order arranged by God.  He is the very personage of selfishness, thinking only of himself.

38 But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things. 39 Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain.

  • There is one god that he honors: that of war.  Revelation describes in detail the vast persecutions he will pour out upon the Jews and the other saints of God on earth at the time.  If there is indeed any other so-called “god” he acknowledges, it will be only Satan.  The prophecies of idolatry fit perfectly with the prophecies of the idol that will be erected of himself in the holy temple.  Those who serve him will prosper by him – those who refuse to worship him or take his mark will suffer hunger & thirst, being unable to buy or sell anything. (Rev 13:16-17)

40 “At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through.

  • At this point, things might seem to return to the previous narration of the events between the ancient Ptolemaic & Seleucid kingdoms, but we need to keep a couple of things in mind. (1) The immediate context is still that of Antichrist, and (2) If it does refer to ancient times, there needs to be an ancient fulfillment – which there is not.  Because the context hasn’t changed, we need to assume these are still future events all dealing with Antichrist in some way.
  • How does it relate?  Scholars differ on their interpretation.  Based off the opening words of vs. 40, it would seem that this is a battle that takes place between Egypt and Antichrist at some point midway through the Tribulation.  Others believe that this describes a battle that helps sweep Antichrist to power, arguing that “time of the end” refers to the beginning of the Great Tribulation, with all of it being the time of the end.  Either way, this is a battle faced by Antichrist, and one that he overwhelmingly wins.

41 He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. 42 He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels. 44 But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many. 45 And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.

  • Whenever this battle takes place, it seems that Antichrist comes through Israel, and though a few nations escape his grip for a time, Egypt does not.  He will take control over all what appears to be modern-day North Africa, eventually putting his headquarters in or near Jerusalem.  It will appear as if Antichrist is unstoppable, and at some point he will indeed control the entire world system.
  • All of that would leave Israel (and the rest of us) pretty hopeless, if it weren’t for the last few words: “yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.”  As powerful as Antichrist will become, he will never be all-powerful.  He will never be mighty enough to overthrow the Almighty God.  When Jesus returns at the Battle of Armageddon, the results will be decisive: Revelation 19:19–20, "(19) And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. (20) Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone."  For all of the talk and mystique about the Battle of Armageddon, very little “battle” is actually recorded.  Jesus shows up, and it’s all over.  His very presence is enough to bring an end to the Beast.  No one will help Antichrist, because no one can help Antichrist.  At the arrival of the Lord Jesus, everything is over!

Conclusion:
With that in mind, we can understand why all of this detail was so important to convey to the Jews.  There were trials coming in the near future, and tribulation coming in the far future.  But God knew it all, and God planned for it all.  The Jews would survive their near trials just as they would survive the future ones.  They would always be God’s people, and He would always be their God.  He knew what they would face, so He told them these things in advance so that they would be prepared.

God has told us certain things as well.  Are we listening?  Do we trust His word?

Consider it beyond the prophetic, as well.  We know God’s word can be trusted because it is proved right time & time again.  That does good for a lot more than Bible prophecy trivia.  That does good for every other promise in the Bible.  We can trust God’s plan for our lives because God knows what’s in store for our lives.  We can trust God’s provision of His strength for trials, because He knows what we’re going through.  He knows everything about us, and He cares for everything about us.  He’s our loving God!

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