Monday, May 7, 2012


He said, "Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end."
Daniel 12:9

This is the final instruction God gave to Daniel. He does not get to interpret all the details revealed to him in Daniel 11 and 12. Instead, he is instructed to let the revelation stand as is, and to seal up the scroll. There was not an interpretation by God ready to be given. There would be a time when the vision's truth would be sought and interpreted. But until that time, the book was meant to be "shut up and sealed".

I wonder how the great interpreter of dreams and visions, Daniel, felt at this command. He must have longed to know its meaning. Yet God commands him twice in the book not to sweat out the details at that time. God wanted this prophecy to be preserved uninterpreted, for a future time. And the great interpreter obeyed God. He shut up and then "shut up and sealed" the scroll. He did not bother trying to inform the reader what it all might have meant. We are left with the same sense of wonder that Daniel himself must have felt upon receiving this revelation.

This command was counter-intuitive to everything else that Daniel had done with his life. But he obeyed God in it because that was God's will. And he did not hesitate. He followed God's instruction. Daniel was faithful to God even when God asked him to do what seemed totally out of place for Daniel. The prophet was content to just record the revelation, to obey the command to avoid interpretation, and to trust that God had a purpose in a vision left for readers to ponder until the end of days.

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