NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN
“He will defy the Most High God, and try to change all laws, morals, and customs. God’s people will be helpless in his hands for three and a half years.” (Daniel 7:25, TLB)
For several weeks, months actually, we have been studying the Book of Daniel in Sunday School. I have to admit that prophesy has never held a really strong interest to me. My mind is far more mechanical than philosophical, given to math and engineering more than philosophy or dreaming.. But this verse literally jumped out at both Gail (my wife) and me. Immediately we both saw this as VERY current. It is now July, 2009… the current presidential term and some senate terms, and all house terms will end in 3 1/2 years!
Virtually all Bible experts date this as having been written around 535 B.C. The experts also say this was a prophesy of the Roman Empire to come about 400 years in the future of this prophesy (around 146 B.C). Why then, does this seem so current and real for today? Perhaps the Bible explains it best in its own words. Hebrews 4:12 states that the Word of God is “quick and powerful” meaning alive and active. Jesus Himself told Satan that “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that “proceedeth” (meaning currently being spoken) out of the mouth of God. Now we believe that the Bible is complete and is not subject to new words being added. However, it is alive and active. Therefore, I believe strongly that the precepts and principles written for specific times and events are applicable to ALL times and events.
From those who don’t believe in the infallibility of the Bible, the argument comes that cultures, times, morals, etc. were different then and that today’s truths are different. I do not agree. Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 1:8-11 (TLB) that ” …History merely repeats itself. Nothing is truly new; it has all been done or said before”… “How do you know it didn’t exist long ages ago? We don’t remember what happened in those former times, and in the future generations no one will remember what we have done back here.” Thank God, we have God’s Word, the Bible, where these things have been written down so we do know what was said and done back there.
Right is right and wrong is wrong. God is good and sin is evil. These absolutes are not relevant to time and circumstance. Do God’s people always do right and not sin? Unfortunately, no they don’t. We try, but we are sinners by nature and often do not succeed. Thank God who sent Jesus, who, through the shedding of his own blood, we who accept it are redeemed from sin. That forgiveness is once and for all, but is also renewable every day, every minute until that day when we are with Him and no longer have the influence of sin on us.
So then, is Daniel 7:25 a prophesy relating to today’s American political administration? I don’t know. I do know that Acts 17:24-28 the apostle Paul stated that God is not subject to man’s changes and that God Himself set the exact time and place for nations and each individual to be. I have no problem believing that God spoke from His “living and active” word to Gail and me at the exact same time in that exact place. What if nothing new comes from this prophesy in 3 ½ years? Still no problem, and that makes it no less real for us. After all, as Solomon said, “Nothing is truly new, it has all been done or said before”
As Steve Brown, a mentor of mine, would say “Now you think about that”!