I Don’t Know, But I Hope So
Read Daniel Chapter 11
Da 11:32 With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him. 33 “Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered. 34 When they fall, they will receive a little help, and many who are not sincere will join them. 35 Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time.
I do not claim to have any answers in regard to end-time prophesy. That won’t be today’s topic. Once again, I like a passage because it reveals a part of God’s character and nature. I know He doesn’t work the same in everyone’s lives, but there are many of His ways which form a pattern that is rarely broken. From these words in which the Spirit was revealing prophesy to Daniel, some interesting thoughts pop into my mind.
First, note that in the hard times forecast in these verse, there will be some ‘wise who will instruct many.’ In difficult times for Christians, there will always be a remnant of God’s children who remain true no matter what circumstances come upon them. They will be persecuted for their loyalty to God. Some will die. Others will be harmed but not slain.
There are some hard times coming for all Christians who choose to remain faithful. Our world is quickly turning against anything and everyone that stands for the truth of God’s word. We must prepare ourselves for those hard times, and find strength in Him to prevent us from falling away. We must be ready to die if necessary, and we must be ready to be one of the “wise who will instruct many” if that is His calling for our lives.
Second, there will be some who pretend to be sincere followers. Verse 34 indicates that false believers will walk alongside the true believers, pretending to ‘help’ during trying times. We are not likely to know who those pretenders are until such time as the pressure from our evil world eventually reveals their true colors. When that happens, we should not become discouraged. We have been told beforehand that this will occur.
Thirdly, some of the wise will stumble. All those who fall away will not be false believers. For a time, some true believers will fall away and side with the world. But God will not allow them to remain among the ranks of the world. He will refine, purify, and make them spotless. Presumably this will come about through His disciplines. His children will always be disciplined when they depart from His pathway.
How can these ideas be applicable to the lives of SSA believers? You may have some thoughts on the subject which are better than mine. Here are my ramblings.
We are rapidly coming to a place in time when we will have to endure public shaming because we adhere to a strict biblical stance on homosexuality. More and more of the world is embracing homosexuality as a normal, okay way to live. Not only must we suffer from the world, we will also suffer shame from some Christians. There will be false Christians taking us to task for our ‘hard line’ view of SSA, and there will be true Christians who will have temporarily bought into the world’s way of thinking. It is going to be very hard for those men and women who remain steadfast to the gospel.
Because of this passage, I glean some hope for my friends who have been deceived by untruth in regard to homosexuality. Is it possible that the “wise that stumble” are men and women who at one time believed correctly, but fell away from the truth? Is it possible that their future includes a time when God will refine, purify, and make them spotless? Lord, may it be so. I know some very wise men who have fallen away from the truth. At least, for a time, they appeared to be very wise.
Whether that is the case or not, I believe we can with certainty say that wise men do stumble at times. And, when that happens, God does whatever it takes to get those wise men back on the right track. When that happens, they will be refined and purified.
I know a lot of this devotional is supposition. I also know that I could be wrong in my assessment of the verses. But it gives us something to ponder and consider.
Prayer: Lord, whatever this means, we once again pray for our friends who are living a gay life, after a time of living for You. Help them to see the truth. Refine and purify them, as You do all Your children at the appointed time.