Revelation of the End Times - Part 2

    The Kings of the South and of the North - Part 1

In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel (who was called Belteshazzar). Its message was true and it concerned a great war. The understanding of the message came to him in a vision.
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On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river, the Tigris, I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of the finest gold around his waist. His body was like chrysolite, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude.
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A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. He said, "Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you." And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling.
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"The king of the South will become strong, but one of his commanders will become even stronger than he and will rule his own kingdom with great power."
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"Then the king of the North will invade the realm of the king of the South but will retreat to his own country."
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"Then the king of the South will march out in a rage and fight against the king of the North, who will raise a large army, but it will be defeated."
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"In those times many will rise against the king of the South. The violent men among your own people will rebel in fulfillment of the vision, but without success. Then the king of the North will come and build up siege ramps and will capture a fortified city. The forces of the South will be powerless to resist; even their best troops will not have the strength to stand. The invader will do as he pleases; no one will be able to stand against him. He will establish himself in the Beautiful Land and will have the power to destroy it."

Daniel 10:1,4-6,10-14; 11:5,9,11,14-16 (NIV)

This passage provides prophetic detail through a vision given to Daniel about geopolitical powers, chiefly identified as "the North" and "the South," and their struggle for domination. Although much confident speculation abounds, the disagreements between various scholars are evidence that the moment(s) in world history, and end-time significance to which these events point, are uncertain.

It is clear, though, that this conflagration will be cataclysmic and will involve Israel. The imprudent among the Israelites will enter the fray of earthly kingdoms and attempt to influence its outcome,
"but without success." The LORD will grant power to "the king of the South... (who will) do as he pleases (and) no one will be able to stand against him." Even "the Beautiful Land," a euphemistic description of Israel, will be invaded by one who "will have power to destroy it."

As enigmatic as this account may be, it has application for God's people, and especially today:
When my world seems to be unraveling, and the "kings" of the earth seem to be in control, even to the point of threatening not only my peace and security, but even my very existence, the King of Kings still reigns. Regardless of what transpires in my lifetime, it is only for a moment. All that comes to pass is under His sovereign sway and ordained to a certain end -- the triumphant glory of His Son, Jesus Christ, and the everlasting jubilation of those found in Him.

Our struggle is not in the flesh but in the spirit. The flesh is fleeting, but the spirit is eternal.

A favorite poem by A. E. Housman speaks of the heroism of young men who died in the war fighting for their nation, not saving themselves and suffering shame. Consider it in the light of our allegiance to the Heavenly King:
Here dead we lie because we did not choose
    To live and shame the land from which we sprung.
Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose;
    But young men think it is, and we were young.

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.   Mark 8:35 (NIV)

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.