Monday, December 16, 2013

a cure for Horatio Syndrome

The Word for today:
Daniel 10
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
--Shakespeare. Hamlet, Act 1, scene 5
Are you prone to Horatio Syndrome? If you are, the Bible can help.
Whenever we start to lose our sense of wonder; whenever we start to think that we've seen it all; that we've been there, and done that--then it's time to turn to Daniel chapter 10.
First, we have a close encounter with the post-incarnate Jesus Christ.
{We have already seen the pre-incarnate Christ any number of times in the Old Testament. For confirmation of these sightings, we need look no further than the famous "Bethlehem" prophecy of Micah 5:2. While pinpointing the place of Jesus' birth, the prophecy reminds us that the second Person of the Trinity had been out and about already:
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
From everlasting
But here, in Daniel 10, we are treated to a sighting of the post-incarnate, resurrected Jesus:
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. (Daniel 10:5-6)
Bible scholars believe this is the risen Christ because of his similarity to the risen Christ in Revelation:
Among the lampstands was one like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. (Revelation 1:12-15)
In another remarkable scene from Daniel 10, we see--as if a veil is lifted momentarily--the conflict between good and evil; between satanic forces and heavenly forces:
"Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come." (Daniel 10:12-14)
The angel is saying that Daniel’s prayer was heard immediately and he was sent as a messenger with an answer. But on the way the angel's pathway was blocked by the prince of the kingdom of Persia; so for 21 days he could not get through to Daniel. The angel could not break through until Michael, the archangel, came to open the way for him.
This amazing scene is a vivid reminder of what Paul said to the Ephesians and to the Corinthians--and to us:
Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:11-12)
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
Daniel chapter 10 reminds us that "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
The stage we are on is bigger than we can begin to know, and the battle ranges far and wide--farther than imagination can take us.
So whenever I get a bad case of Horatio Syndrome, I scoot right over to Daniel 10 for the cure.

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