Imagine if you were given a glimpse of the future… your future.
So many people want to know, must know. They chase after fortune tellers with crystal balls, visionaries or even prophets. But, I have come to realise that if God were to have shown me some of the things I was going to do at the tender age of 10 years old, I would have freaked out! Kind of how Daniel felt:
…gazing at this great vision; I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless….I am overcome with anguish because of the vision, …and I feel very weak.
In 539B.C., Daniel was shown a vision. An Angel was dispatched from heaven to bring sense to what had been seen in the distant future. In the midst of that explanation, was this:
The two kings, with their hearts bent on evil, will sit at the same table and lie to each other, but to no avail, because an end will still come at the appointed time.
One king was Ptolemy VI Philometor and the other, Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
In 170, Eulaeus and Lenaeus, the two regents of the young king of Egypt Ptolemy VI Philometor, declared war on the Seleucid ruler Antiochus IV Epiphanes. In the same year, Ptolemy’s younger siblings Ptolemy VIII Physcon and Cleopatra II were declared co-rulers in order to bolster the unity of Egypt. Military operations did not begin until 169 when Antiochus quickly gained the upper hand, seizing the important strategic town of Pelusium. The Egyptians realised their folly in starting the war, Eulaeus and Lenaeus were overthrown and replaced by two new regents, Comanus and Cineas, and envoys were sent to negotiate a peace treaty with Antiochus.
Antiochus took Ptolemy VI (who was his nephew) under his guardianship, giving him effective control of Egypt.
However, this was unacceptable to the people of Alexandria who responded by proclaiming Ptolemy Physcon as sole king. Antiochus besieged Alexandria but he was unable to cut communications to the city and he also needed to deal with a revolt in Judaea so, at the end of 169, he withdrew his army.
In his absence, Ptolemy VI and his brother were reconciled. Antiochus, angered at his loss of control over the king, invaded again.
The Egyptians sent to Rome asking for help and the Senate despatched Gaius Popilius Laenas to Alexandria.
Meanwhile, Antiochus had seized Cyprus and Memphis and was marching on Alexandria. At Eleusis, on the outskirts of the capital, he met Popilius Laenas, with whom he had been friends during his stay in Rome. But instead of a friendly welcome, Popilius offered the king an ultimatum from the Senate: he must evacuate Egypt and Cyprus immediately. Antiochus begged to have time to consider but Popilius drew a circle round him in the sand with his cane and told him to decide before he stepped outside it. Antiochus chose to obey the Roman ultimatum. The “Day of Eleusis” ended the Sixth Syrian War and Antiochus’ hopes of conquering Egyptian territory.
There are two important points I observe here:
- Daniel was “highly esteemed” (Daniel 10:10) by God. Daniel sought God, God answered.
Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.
- This all occurred exactly as the Angel said it would, 369 years after the vision was given to Daniel! Therefore God, through His foreknowledge, was able to show Daniel these things. What He says is true and 100% accurate.Kinda makes you sit up and think: if this is true (and it’s just one sentence in the Bible!), then what about the other things, the Bible speaks of, that are yet to come?!
But what I realise, the most, is this:
It is not the future, vision or prophecy I am to seek, but the One who sees all and knows all; the One who created the universe and all I can comprehend; the One who knows the beginning, the end, and everything in between; the One who sent His Son so that I might be able to call my Maker, friend; the One who has called me, and you, to spend eternity with Him… now THAT’s a future worth knowing.