At the equator, we cannot see the stars so clearly as there is heavy cloud cover. I saw the milky way and shining stars while I was in New Zealand and the Southern Cross was awesome.
Daniel 12:2-3 “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.”
Daniel 12:13 “As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.”.”
These verses help the Faith Child to focus on eternal matters the best. Verse 13 contains things that are true of all mankind and other things that are only true of some.
|Things true of all|
|We all go our own way||Everyone in this world chooses the way in which they will go. For some, that way is God’s way. Daniel was one of these. He could be told to go his own way because his way was God’s way! Others do not walk in God’s way but choose a broader wider road.|
|We all come to an end||Again, all of mankind reaches its end. All die (even if we sometimes think that we are bullet proof) and come to the end in this life and it normally occurs quicker than we expect!|
|We will all rise||Everyone will rise from the dead. For some it is a resurrection unto life. For others it is a resurrection unto judgement.|
|Things only true of some|
|We enter rest||Daniel was promised that at the end of his life he would enter into rest. That is also true of all those who are ‘in Christ’ and have found salvation through Jesus. But to those who did not walk in God’s way ‘there is no rest for the wicked’ as the scripture says. They will only experience the consequences of judgement for a life lived in rebellion to the provision of salvation God made available in Christ. Scary proposition.|
|We receive an allotted inheritance||God’s rewards and inheritance are for all those ‘in Christ’ but their fullness and measure is in accordance to our faithful work and dedication to God’s calling in this life.|
The importance of this life is shown in verse 2: “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”
Firstly, note that there is a resurrection. Death is not the end. Though this body grows old and dies, our soul does not. The resurrection is a resurrection of the body. Now, at the resurrection some will be raised to everlasting life… yet others to everlasting contempt and shame. Their shame and punishment will last forever. That is the simple cold hard truth of the matter though it is hard to think about.
Secondly, note also the beauty of the next verse: “And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” Those that walk in the ways of God and those who help others to find and walk that path shall shine!Forever! What a great promise and a great motivation to walk in those ways! What you do now impacts eternity. It impacts your rewards. It impacts your inheritance. The Bible says ‘He who wins souls is wise’. They will be eternally grateful and you will be rewarded accordingly.
How should it influence how you live your life today?John said it like this: Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. (1 John 3:2) Peter, when thinking of the end of the age said it like this: “Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God.” (2 Pet 3:12) The Apostle Paul spent a whole chapter talking about the resurrection to come in 1 Cor 15, but closed with these words: “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Cor 15:58)
And that is the truth. If we believe that this life is a rehearsal for the reality that is to come, then our lives should reflect that.
We should abound in God’s work as He leads.
We should realise that this work is not in vain (even if little or no fruit is seen in this life!). None of it is wasted to God for He sees and records all.
May we be like Daniel who at a ripe old age could look back over a faithful life and die content that the best is still yet to come.Keep me shining, Lord Keep me shining, Lord In all I say and do That the world may see Christ lives in me And learn to love Him too. Reference: Daniel Bible Study series http://www.jesusplusnothing.com/studies/index.htm