Daniel 8:9: “And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land.”

October 19th, 2021 by Pastor Ed in devotional

Daniel was shown a vision of the nations and times that were to come. He saw a goat with a great horn that symbolized Alexander the Great of Greece. He then saw that horn broken off and 4 new horns come, which represented Alexander’s death and the 4 leaders he left to rule his kingdom. Then out of them came another small horn that was arrogant and hard. Many believe that because the small horn came out of the 4 horns, this ruler will be from one of the divisions that ruled Alexander’s kingdom after his death. This little horn may represent the Antichrist (the final world ruler) and the final world empire before the return of Jesus Christ to earth. Or it may represent Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who ruled the Syrian division from 175–164 BC. Antiochus was a despot ruler. History tells us he was eccentric and perhaps even insane. Some of his contemporaries called him Epimanes (The Mad One), a play on the word Epiphanes (The Glorious). Jewish rabbinical sources refer to him as wicked because of his relentless persecution of the Jews.

Even if the “little horn” in chapter 8 refers only to Antiochus, it still gives us a chilling picture of the kind of leader the Antichrist of the last days will really be. In the last days, God will allow a man very much like him to rule over the earth. He will also persecute the Jews and desecrate the sanctuary of the temple. But we read in verse 25 that “he shall be broken without human means,” which means that God Almighty will intervene and save. It is not a very pleasant sounding future, but the main lesson for us is that God is working to bring salvation to as many as possible and will take care of His children even during the worst of times. This chapter of Daniel was written for believers who were struggling in their current situations, in the battle, in the storms of daily living out their salvation here on planet earth, just as we are today. Daniel was living in difficult times and circumstances but God greatly encouraged him.

Are you a depressed and battle-weary pilgrim? In John Bunyan’s book, Pilgrim’s Progress, the main character, Christian, fled his home for fear of coming destruction. Over and over again throughout the story, Christian stumbles and falls into difficulties like the “Slough of Despond,” or as we might say today, the “Marsh of Despair.” Christian was told the reason he had fallen into it was because he had taken his eyes off the distant light that showed the correct places to step, which the king had marked out. Because Christian had taken his eyes off the light and focused on his circumstances, he missed the way and fell into the marsh. As we look too much at circumstances, instead of at the light God provides, we too will fall into the stagnant mire and muck. But if we will keep our eyes focused on Jesus and remind ourselves that God is in control of His plan and that Satan “shall be broken without human means,” we will walk in the light as He is in the light.

“LORD, forgive us for focusing on what is wrong instead of what is right because of You this day.”