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Greg Brothers is an Adventist pastor in Oregon.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

"We must believe in free will; we have no choice" - Saul Bellow.

Call it fate. Call it destiny. Call it kismet or predestination – and if you’re a fan of Old English, then you’ll call it “doom.”

But whatever you call it, the idea that God is in charge of everything that happens may not seem like the best of news.

Consider Daniel 8, for instance: Daniel’s vision of a “little horn” that rebels against God, persecutes His people, and shuts down operations in His temple for 2300 “evenings and mornings.”

That’s a long time . . .

And on the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be anything that Daniel can do about it. The play has been written, the parts have been cast, and the show will go on as God directs.

No, it would seem that God’s people are doomed. Fated. Predestined to live through a nightmare that will go on and on and on.

But Daniel knows God too well to be discouraged . . . and as Daniel 9 opens, he is reading another prophecy – a prophecy made by the prophet Jeremiah almost seventy-years before:

This is what the LORD says: "When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you (Jeremiah 19:10-12, NIV).

In short, God knows what He’s going to do – but God always leaves something for us to do.

That’s why Daniel prays the prayer He does in Daniel 9.

That’s why we should never be discouraged our afraid. Whatever the future may hold, after all, we know the One who holds it – and we can always reach out to hold His hand.

That’s not fate.

That’s our choice.

And it's God's choice too.

1 Comments:

Blogger Ron Corson said...

I recently thought of something which I put on my blog.
Adventist Media and Conversations

Ss you said above:
"Consider Daniel 8, for instance: Daniel’s vision of a “little horn” that rebels against God, persecutes His people, and shuts down operations in His temple for 2300 “evenings and mornings.”"

How can the 2300 days of shutting down the the temple and persecution begin with the decree to rebuilt the temple. It really does not make much sense unless I am missing something. Though I was raised SDA and I don't think I am missing anything.

11:54 AM  

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