Daniel, God's Word, Wisdom

To Know or Not To Know

Daniel 12:8,9 – 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.”

The last two chapters of Daniel depict the revelation of events to take place in the near future along with a glimpse of the end times. Like the other dreams and visions within this book, these prophecies are hard to understand and I will need to spend a lot more time reading them to even begin to know what they mean. As we have learned, Daniel had an appetite for knowledge and had been granted great wisdom from God, but sometimes even he had trouble understanding what was told. Most of the time the visions were explained to him but on at least one occasion he was told to “seal up the vision, for it refers to many days from now.”

Understanding is not always given for it is not for us to know all things. God reveals his plans and purposes at specific times that are right for us. Until then, we trust in his sovereign power, believing that all things are under his control and are being worked out for his glory. In the very last verse of the book of Daniel, the angel of the Lord tells him:

“But go your way till the end. And you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.”

Daniel had been a true and faithful servant. His mind had been troubled at times by what he was shown and God knew how much Daniel alone could bear. It was now time for him to rest in the Lord until he would be taken home.

There are truths that every one of us need to know but there are others that we don’t. So while we need to content ourselves that some things will never be understood, we should never stop striving to understand God’s word. I should caution you though – Deuteronomy 29:29 tells us, ‘The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.’ Simply put, you can no longer live in ignorance once truth has been revealed.

You can’t unknow what has been told and once you know, you have a responsibility to apply that truth to your life and live according to His word.

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