But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
Then I, Daniel, looked, and behold, two others stood, one on this bank of the stream and one on that bank of the stream. And someone said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream, “How long shall it be till the end of these wonders?” And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream; he raised his right hand and his left hand toward heaven and swore by him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time, and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be finished. 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. Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand. And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days. Blessed is he who waits and arrives at the 1,335 days. But go your way till the end. And you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.”
The book of Daniel is an incredible journey that leaves us wanting to hear more even as we are amazed by what we have heard. Daniel was given eyes to see and ears to hear visions of what God would do in human history, some of which have unfolded over time and others are still to come. Though shaken at times by what he saw, God reassured Daniel that he was a man greatly loved (Daniel 9:23, 10:11, 19). As we come to the end of the book, Daniel longs to know more, “O my Lord, what shall be the outcome of these things?”
God told Daniel to “shut up the words and seal the book,” certifying its authorship and authority, and we remember all that Daniel had already seen. He lived at a time of exile—this was no “vacation.” Many of God’s people thought they were forgotten, forced to live under the oppression of other “gods” who were unequivocally wicked. Exile was a consequence for their own prior idolatry.
To this day, we tell the remarkable stories of God's faithfulness during this time of exile: Daniel in the lion’s den; Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace. They went through so much in their own time, and God gave visions of even more to come. So we return to Daniel’s prayer: “What shall be the outcome of these things?”
We read in Daniel 12:10, “Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand.” God’s grace is the wisdom to see that Jesus is the long-awaited Deliverer, the “one like a son of man,” who was the ultimate sacrifice that purifies, washes white, and refines all who believe and become heirs of that everlasting Kingdom that shall not be destroyed (Daniel 7:13-14). The wicked remain blind to the truth of Jesus and act wickedly. It is by grace that we see Jesus through the eyes of faith.
May we trust in God’s sovereignty in and through every situation throughout every generation, listen to His voice through His Word by His Spirit, and obey whatever He shows us. Like Daniel, we have the gracious calling to proclaim the Word of God with joy to our own generation. And this Word, the Lord Jesus Himself, gives us the confidence to hear and trust the final word Daniel received, “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 12:13).
All praise to God!