Caught in the Middle

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Daniel 10-12

Daniel is given a revelation of what will happen during the period between the Old and New Testaments, when the Greek empire will break into four parts. One part would be centered in Syria (the kings of the north) and the other in Egypt (the kings of the south). The Jews would be caught in the middle, first ruled by the Egyptian Ptolemies, then by the Syrian Seleucids. One of the Syrian rulers, Antiochus Epiphanes, would desecrate the temple (11:31). During these critical times it was important for Jews to maintain their faith and identity. “The people who know their God shall stand firm and take action” (v. 32).

In many situations we are “caught in the middle.” If we really know God, know of his sovereign power, know that he calls upon us to be faithful no matter what may happen, then we too will stand firm. As we said before, the purpose of this book of Daniel is to give God’s people the courage to remain faithful.

Daniel 12 tells about the length of time that the desecration of the temple will last. The final word implies resurrection. “You shall rest, and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days” (12:13). We grow weary amidst the struggles between the forces of good and evil. But we shall have rest, and the final word is resurrection. Trusting in God we know we are on the side which will eventually win.

PRAYER

Father, give us courage to be faithful to you in our day when the struggle is often very subtle. In Christ. Amen.