When things go bad in the world, we often start to wonder what God is doing. Why is He allowing so many problems, so much trouble? We are tempted to think, to worry, that maybe God has faded from the scene or stopped caring. Because He knows our humanness and our tendencies, God has taken steps to prepare us for bad times. He has always done that for His people. Over the next few weeks, we are going to see this as we continue our study in Daniel. We are not just going to look at the “what” of prophecy, but also at the “why”: WHY did God give us this prophecy and WHY is He even allowing these things to happen?
In Daniel 7, God showed Daniel a trailer of what to expect politically in the Middle East for both the near and distant future – all the way to the final judgment. In Daniel 8, God zooms in a little bit on the next 500 years or so for Israel. The picture is disturbing and puts Daniel out of sorts for a bit; it stuns him. Let’s try to get a glimpse of what this prophetic message would have felt like to him and then try to get an understanding of the implications, not just for Israel, but to help us understand God’s ways better, so that we grow in our awe of God and live our lives more wisely.