I’m a hopeless lyric geek. Nearly everything reminds me of a song.
“Go on your way, Daniel,” the angel says (in verse 9 and again in verse 13). And I immediately start singing Fleetwood Mac. You can go your own way (Go your own wa-aaa-ay). And because I’m always up for a distraction, Frank Sinatra and a whole host of random musical characters continue the game in my head.
I’ll do it my way. Are you gonna go my way? Love will find a way. She’s got a way about her. Oooo, baby I love your way.
I attribute my lyrical obsession to my endless hours spent singing along to cassette tapes in the car with my brother and friends growing up. We lived in a small Alabama town where “riding around” was the coolest thing a teenager could do, and the pastime was exactly as glamorous as it sounds. But make no mistake—we cruised that single stretch of highway like our life depended on it. I think sometimes we actually thought it did.
I was a good girl (loved my mama, loved Jesus, and America too. Tom Petty, anyone?). I did well in school and followed more rules than I broke, especially in the light of day. But underneath, I was trying to find my way just like we all were. It was acceptance and significance we were after. Our goal was our glory, be it in the form of a beer and a cigarette or youth group council and extracurricular accolades.
Many days I find myself back there, desperately trying to build my own kingdom.
Staring at the aftermath of these 12 chapters of Daniel—all the egos and kingdoms that have crumbled in both dreams and real life—I see it as clearly as when I look back on my high school self. So much effort for things that matter so little, so many idols built up just to watch them fall. Perspective might come easily enough with 20 years or 12 chapters, but not so much when you’re in the thick of the struggle and the waiting.
It’s no surprise that Daniel (by this time an old man who’s spent years in exile) stands here at the close of the book feeling pretty awful. He is utterly confused by all he has witnessed and heard, and he has one question: How and when is this finally going to end? Daniel—the man we have praised for his faithfulness, and rightly so—is just ready for this insanity to be over already.
The angel does not answer Daniel’s question but points him to the answer, in two parts: “for the words are secret and sealed until the time of the end” (Daniel 12:9). The word “sealed” here (also in Daniel 8:26) means to close up for safekeeping, to preserve as-is. The truths Daniel heard and witnessed are everlasting, unchanging truths.
The earth and all its works will burn up, but the Word of God will last forever (see 2 Peter 3:10 & Isaiah 40:8).
The angel also says this: “None of the wicked will understand, but the wise will understand” (Daniel 12:10). Wisdom is not knowing the answer, it is knowing the God who IS the answer. Daniel’s question of the “how long?” is a valid one (one echoed throughout Scripture—see Psalm 13). It’s a hard thing to be held captive in a place that’s not your home. We fret and wring our hands, with so many questions about what tomorrow holds, what next year will bring and 30 years after that. Daniel wondered, too. But our God is infinitely bigger than our confusion.
Our view is limited to hindsight, but our God sees from beginning to end because He is the beginning and the end (Revelation 1:8). The only true kingdom is His Kingdom. The only true way is His Way.
Friend, the way for the wisdom and the waiting lies in God’s Word. His Word is where He meets us, day after day, in our place of earthly exile, and fills our hearts and minds with His truth. It is where we find Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth, the Life (John 14:6). True wisdom starts here, prayerfully reading the pages of His Word.
So get up and go on your way today, sister. Be free of building your own kingdom. Take heart knowing that your way is not your own. The God of Daniel leads you.