Today I read Daniel chapter 11. The entire chapter is the middle part of a speech made by a heavenly being who appeared to Daniel after he'd been praying earnestly and fasting from "tasty food" for three weeks. The speech is a detailed explanation of what would happen "in the latter days." The messenger speaks of kings rising up and being overthrown, of armies and alliances, of schemes and betrayals. He speaks of people's evil intent and their ability to get their way with smooth words. He speaks of what they will think and what they will say.
Many scholars for many centuries have tried to figure out which kings and armies and countries are meant in this passage. How many of these events have already taken place? How many remain? I don't pretend to know the answers to those questions, and honestly, I don't feel a particular need to know. But something else amazes me about these prophecies.
This messenger from heaven spoke with authority from God, and he told Daniel exactly what was going to happen in the future--even down to the intentions of people's hearts. Do you realize what this means? God not only knows your heart and my heart today. He knows the future intentions of every future heart. He knows what will happen as surely as though it has already happened. In Daniel 11, He knows who will betray whom and whose son will rise up against his father. If he knows these things, it doesn't take much imagination to realize he knows everything about everyone's future.
You make choices every day, and you are responsible for the consequences of those choices. You are not a puppet. And yet, God knows what choices you are going to make before you make them. He knows your past, present, and your future. This, my friends, is a mystery we will never fully grasp. But it's a mystery that should make us shout for joy.
God has promised He has a plan for your life. He has promised to answer prayers prayed according to His will. If we come to Him and ask that His plans be accomplished, we can be confident they will. Not only is He all-knowing, He's all-powerful. He can bring His will to pass in spite of anything anyone else does. And nothing ever catches Him by surprise, because He already knows the entire future down to what color you will paint your toe-nails ten years from now.
Isn't that amazing? Wonderful, comforting craziness.
The rise and fall of kingdoms is in the hands of my Father who loves me. I hope that makes you feel as loved and safe as it makes me feel.
If your brain isn't exploding, I'd love to hear your thoughts about all this. :)