10/17 Daniel 12:4

4 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."

An angel had given Daniel a vision of the future of Israel and the scenario of the last days. Daniel didn't understand this vision, and the angel said the words were to be shut up and the book sealed until the time of the end. Many who are curious about the end times have tried to understand Daniel and Revelation. The angel said the book was shut up until that time. We can certainly guess, but only the wise will understand when the time arrives.

What we do know is explained in the verses around our passage. There will be a time of great trouble for the Jews (Daniel 12:1). Other prophecies refer to this as "Jacob's Trouble" (Jeremiah 30:7). God will bring a great deliverance for those whose names are written in the book. Our verse for today tells us that people would be running to and fro. Never before in history of the world has man traveled to the extent that he travels today. Our skies are filled with ever larger jets transporting greater numbers of people from one side of the planet to the other. Knowledge is increasing at an exponential rate. Schools can't keep their textbooks up to date with the constant increase of knowledge. In my brief lifetime, computers and cell phones have become common household items. Changing a heart valve or doing a bypass is routine. Hips and knees are replaced with titanium. Hearts are kept in rhythm with tiny devises implanted in the body. We've mapped our own genome and sent a great telescope into orbit which photographs galaxies deep in space.

Is it time for the book of Daniel to be opened? We should keep our eyes on Israel. The threat of their annihilation grows daily as the turmoil in the Middle East increases. We should be living as if every day was our last. Love wholeheartedly. Obey the leading of the Holy Spirit. Pray without ceasing. Live in expectation of the Master's return (Luke 12:25-48).

Consider: What would you change about your life if you knew Jesus was returning for you today? Why wouldn't you live that way every day?