How Long and What Shall Be?
Ecclesiastes 3:1 ESV
Daniel 12:5-13 ESV
Psalm 23:1-6 ESV
God has blessed me in mighty ways through the people I’ve met who understand prophecy and also interpretation of prophecy.
My dad was a great help. He constantly studied scripture, especially the prophets.
He did not tell me he had the gift of prophecy, but he did have the gift of teaching so he studied scripture all his adult life.
The first prophet I met (although he didn’t refer to himself as a prophet) was a rough looking older man. He’d been a construction worker all his life.
I was twenty years old.
He told me things about myself I didn’t understand. Unfortunately I was too young to think about writing down what he said. I was sure I would remember what he said forever…as time passed I forgot what he said.
What struck me most about what he said was how I felt when he spoke. I could feel the power of God as he spoke. I knew what it felt like because when I went to hear Billy Graham in Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium I felt the same way. The power of God swept through me like a hurricane.
When this older man spoke it wasn’t like a hurricane, but it was like a strong tornado.
Some years passed before I encountered others who received words or messages from God.
During those years when I had a dream or a vision and I shared it with people I thought I could trust, they told me they didn’t believe God speaks to us in that way in this age.
Then when I was in my early forties I met a woman who had the gift of interpretation of prophecy, dreams, and visions. She was a great help to me! We remained in contact for years even after I moved to another state.
Then, God opened doors for me to spend time with a group of people who had similar gifts. Spending time with that group was amazing and I learned a lot about how to interpret my dreams and visions.
I guess I’m saying it’s been a lifetime learning adventure. I learned how to pray, ask questions, and wait for God to reveal the meaning.
One thing I learned is that there are dreams and visions that can be interpreted and there are dreams and visions that will remain a mystery.
God does not always reveal the meaning in our time. Everything is done in God’s time.
Wise King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven”
The King gave a list and while interpretation of prophesy is not on the list, there is a time when God will reveal truth…all truth.
In Daniel 12:5-13 he shared what he saw, “Then I, Daniel, looked, and behold, two others stood, one on this bank of the stream and one on that bank of the stream. And someone said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream, “How long shall it be till the end of these wonders?” And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream; he raised his right hand and his left hand toward heaven and swore by him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time, and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be finished. (8) I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, “O my lord, what shall be the outcome of these things?” He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end. Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand. And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days. Blessed is he who waits and arrives at the 1,335 days. But go your way till the end. And you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.”
Just as Daniel was confused by what the word from God meant, there are things we simply won’t understand in our lifetime.
We do notice when Daniel didn’t understand in verse 8 and he asked what the outcome would be, he was told by the Angel he would not know until the end because the words were shut up and sealed.
There are also times we will not understand the timing.
Daniel was given great hope in verse 13 when he was told he will “rest” and he will arise in his intended place.
Maybe like Daniel when I was younger and I’d get frustrated when I didn’t understand my dreams or visions. Now that I’m older I tend to accept my ‘not knowing’.
The final vision Daniel had occurred in his latter years.
In my mind I would think the promise of rest and receiving the intended place God had prepared for him would have brought him great comfort.
We are reminded of David’s words in Psalm 23:1-6,
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Spiritual Practice: Watch and Wait
Are there times in your life when you watch and wait? Lean on God and rest in God’s promise of goodness and mercy.
In God, Deborah