Who Is In Control?

  • Randy Karlberg
Person playing with a stringed puppet

The past few months I have been encouraged by doing an in-depth study in the Book of Daniel.  If you were to ask the average believer what the Book of Daniel is about they would most likely include two stories; Daniel and the lion’s den plus Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace.  These are amazing stories that show God’s faithfulness to His people in the midst of Israel’s national judgment for breaking the covenant they had with Yahweh, the one true God.  These should be not only remembered but told to our children.  However, what is less often remembered are the visions that God gave King Nebuchadnezzar as well as Daniel regarding the future geopolitical makeup of the known world.  They are equally fascinating, and I would argue are critical for our understanding of the world we are experiencing today.  Let me explain. 

Daniel, as a young teenager in Judah, was taken captive by the army of King Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon in the year 605 B.C.  Not long after being taken captive, Daniel was brought before the King to interpret a dream that troubled him.  And to make it even more difficult, King Nebuchadnezzar would not even tell Daniel what the dream was.  Daniel had to first tell the King what he dreamed, then tell if he survived that by being correct, Daniel could then interpret to the King the meaning of the dream.  An impossibility for anyone except the One True God who is Omniscient.  The King’s dream and the revelation that God gave Daniel described the future makeup of the world powers in the years to come.  As a matter of fact, this dream foretold the conquering of the Medo-Persian Empire in 539 B.C., the Empire of Greece in 331 B.C., the Roman Empire in 63 B.C., and told of conquering empires that are still in the future!  Some of these empires that we can historically document did indeed succeed in their conquering quests and remember they were revealed more than 5oo years before these events actually happened.  The definition of true prophecy is whether what is prophesized actually occurs or not.  There is overwhelming proof that this prophecy given by Daniel was stated well before it did in fact occur.  

Many liberal scholars use these very same facts to support their argument that the Book of Daniel was written much later than it was, simply because no one could know what was to happen in advance with such detail.  What they are really saying is that they do not believe in a Sovereign God who is in control of world events.   The facts are that there is a great deal of evidence, even some non-biblical evidence, that shows the Biblical narrative of Daniel was indeed written before these events occurred.  There were at least eight manuscripts of Daniel which were found in the Qumran caves, commonly known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.  These manuscripts were placed there in 200 B.C., over 100 years before Rome ascended to power.  The first-century historian Josephus, who was neither Jewish nor a Christian, clearly mentions the Book of Daniel is read during an incident with Alexander the Great in the year 332 B.C.  He also stated that Daniel was of the royal family of Zedekiah, a detail that the Bible does not state.  Other Biblical evidence exists that along with the book of Daniel point to the Sovereignty of God.  In Isaiah 44:28 and II Chronicles 36:22-23 we read that Cyrus, whom Daniel mentions as the Ruler of Persia, gives the command to have the exiles from Judah return to Judah and rebuild the Temple that was demolished.  And Cyrus paid the bill for the project as well!  If that doesn’t point to a Sovereign Ruler, I don’t know what kind of proof you are looking for?  Isaiah wrote his book about 175 years before Cyrus was born and yet named him as said ruler of Persia.  The Book of Daniel goes on to describe the eschatological prophecies of the days still to come.  And we can see more than ever how those prophecies are coming to fruition in our days. 

With the current war in Ukraine being fought right before our eyes being so terrible and tragic, it is tempting to wonder if God sees what is going on?  We can be tempted to ask in the midst of this uncertainty if God is Sovereign?  Are you challenged with doubt regarding God’s control over the events of history?  Are you doubtful as to God’s role in current world events?  If any of these thoughts are going through your mind, I would implore you to spend some time studying the Book of Daniel.  In these precious pages of God’s Word, you will discover that not only is God in control of the daily events of our world, He is also in control of world leaders who seem to have so much power.   We serve a Sovereign God who is as much engaged in the world’s events as He is in our personal lives.  I believe you will find comfort in the pages of Daniel.  Spend some quality time there and reap the reward of inner peace that comes from true faith in the One True Living God.