Day 19

The End of Days

from the Daniel reading plan


Daniel 12:1-13, 2 Peter 3:8-13, Revelation 1:4-8

BY Patti Sauls

Scripture Reading: Daniel 12:1-13, 2 Peter 3:8-13, Revelation 1:4-8

“How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever?” (Psalm 13:1). When I’m struggling, these words from the psalmist often echo in my mind. I was 15 years old when I learned about Jesus, began reading the Bible, and became a Christian. Now I look back on over thirty years of following God and finding Him faithful. Yet when I trudge through deep valleys of anxiety, conflict, or brokenness, I still often find myself doubting, wondering, Lord, do you see me? Do you care?

Daniel’s visions were terrifying, and the suffering he saw was ongoing and global. He was given a weighty responsibility to witness and report such intense distress. Yet he was also given a powerful reminder of God’s promises. This gracious reminder is for us as well.

An angelic interpreter explained to Daniel, “Those who have insight will shine like the bright expanse of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:3). What a strange thing to say, that God’s people would shine like stars. But the imagery was not lost on Daniel. He was a faithful Israelite, and this “star talk” would trigger the memory of God’s ancient promise made in the midst of another man’s vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield… Look at the sky and count the stars, if you are able to count them…. Your offspring will be that numerous” (Genesis 15:1,5).  God promised to grow and protect a vast nation through Abram’s family tree. Yet, as the years went by and his wife, Sarai, bore no children, Abram began to fear that God might not be true to His Word.

Like Abram, Daniel was scared of the future. When would the distress give way to deliverance? “How long until the end of these wondrous things?” asked another witness in the vision (Daniel 12:6). Daniel didn’t get all the answers, but he did receive assurance that God was, and would always be, trustworthy. In remembering the stars, Daniel knew that God had not forgotten Abram. A son, Isaac, was born. God kept His promise to grow the nation of Israel through Abram’s descendants, and He changed Abram’s name to Abraham, meaning “Father of a Multitude” (Genesis 17:5). God proved Himself true to Abraham, and He would continue to be faithful to Daniel and all future believers.

Maybe the stars can trigger our memory of God’s faithfulness too. God knows we can be confused by the world’s suffering and by our own pain. Like Daniel, we may be scared of the future. But God assures us He is “the Alpha and the Omega… the one who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8).

This is our trustworthy, unchanging, eternal hope. God established His people through Abraham’s son, and He protects and secures His people through His own Son, Jesus. God is with us: we are His people, and He is our God. We may forget God, but He does not forget us. He sees us, and He cares for us. Remember the stars.

Patti Sauls lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband Scott and daughters, Abby and Ellie, where they serve alongside the people of Christ Presbyterian Church. Prior to living in Nashville, the Sauls planted churches in Kansas City and Saint Louis and served at New York City’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church. A trained speech therapist, Patti also enjoys serving behind the scenes, hiking with friends, and reading good books.

Post Comments (26)

26 thoughts on "The End of Days"

  1. Janice M says:

    Just catching up! I love this devotional, what wonderful reminder that God hears us and keeps his promises.
    I have been suffering from anxiety the past couple of months and I have found myself saying, “how long Lord?” This as a wonderful reminder that everything is in God’s timing. Thank you for this.

  2. Laura Beckom says:

    Such a good study what I once found to be a difficult book of the Bible I now find encouraging.

  3. Hannah Dean says:

    Prayers for you and your family Diane.

  4. Dorothy says:

    I just received great news, Finley, the little girl I take care of is coming home today. The surgery went well. She will have the casts on for six weeks which for her is going to be very hard for a very active five year old. Please continue to pray for all of us.
    The book of Daniel reminds in some ways of the book of Revelation. Some of Daniel’s visions were similar to John’s vision in Revelation if I remember correctly.
    Patti’s words hit home in so many ways. Lately, I have been asking some of the same questions. I have been also finding myself straying (as I’m sure some of you have noticed) from the Lord and my daily devotions. I will be copying a few of Patti’s sentences on index cards and posting them throughout my apartment.
    I also hope you my SRT sisters don’t mind if I write some of your posts on index cards and post them throughout my apartment, I find some of them to be words of encouragement when I need them most. I might even pass a few along to my sister if you don’t mind.
    God bless all of you and have a great weekend.

  5. Alicia Gilbert says:

    I’m praying that my life can model Daniel’s in faithfulness after this study. I am in my last year of law school, so in many ways, I feel like I’m isolated from other believers and have to work through hard questions in what feels like on my own. I feel like I often fail to share my faith with others. Law school is hard- harder during a pandemic. But the peace God has given me over the past 2 years tells me that my fellow students need His love, provision, promise, hope, and presence too. Thank you SRT for this study.

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