DANIEL 8:1-27 | 1 JOHN 2:1-17 | PSALM 120:1-7 | PROVERBS 28:25-26
Click on the arrow below to listen to a recording of this post:
Daniel’s fearsome dreams continue — with symbolism so rich that he has an interpreter come to him within the dream to explain the meaning of the dreams to him.
Daniel records it like this: 17 As he came near the place where I was standing, I was terrified and fell prostrate. “Son of man,” he said to me, “understand that the vision concerns the time of the end.”
There are apparently some clear references and associations to be made in terms of prophecies fulfilled, and others that remain open to interpretation.
The one phrase that stood out for me in this passage refers to one of the little horns that grew so large and strong that it made Truth to be thrown to the ground! Yes, this does happen at times. But only for a season. Because Truth cannot remain fallen and trampled upon by men’s feet, and forgotten or replaced by anything else.
It will stand up, sometimes later rather than sooner, and it will make itself known.
Daniel’s dreams and visions left him physically exhausted. But Daniel didn’t have the benefit of hindsight like we do now. There is much scholarly work on the interpretation of this and other Biblical prophecies, and one may delve into in as little or as lot as one wishes. For now, I found this one source that offers some insight into this chapter of Daniel 8. You will find it here.
The reading in I John continues the theme of the manifestation of Truth in our daily lives, and presents a simple litmus test to check for whether or not we might be able to claim that the Truth resides within us. Loving our fellowmen is it.
John says: 3 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
And then John says this: 7 Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. 8 Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.
And yet again, John wishes to make the contrast between light and darkness, and says this:
9 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.
What this means to me is that regardless of the circumstances that might exist even with the most difficult of relationships, we must not and cannot give in to succumbing to allowing hatred to find a permanent place in our hearts. Because doing so would mean that the Truth is not within us, and we would therefore be lying if were to claim otherwise.
And besides this, hatred is not as satisfying as forgiveness, anyway. Wouldn’t you agree?
Turning now to our reading from the Psalms, we find David crying out in his most inimitable style:
1 I call on the LORD in my distress,
and he answers me.
2 Save me, LORD,
from lying lips
and from deceitful tongues.
Finally, a couple of verses from the book of Proverbs that stand the test of time:
25 The greedy stir up conflict,
but those who trust in the LORD will prosper.
26 Those who trust in themselves are fools,
but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word. Amen.