Bible prophecy is a vast, mysterious sea. In reading the book of Daniel in the Old Testament, I got bogged down yesterday with the first half of chapter eleven. My goal is not to know how facts and people in the Bible fit together, although that is a by-product of Bible reading. My goal is to know who God is behind all that the Bible has to say.
If I believe what God says, then "All Scripture is….profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16). This means that even prophecy will teach me, reprove me, correct me, and train me. Prophecy is there to equip me, not necessarily by charts and graphs that could be composed, but by something more. What was I missing?
After reading the first 28 verses I sat back, perplexed. (This, I might add, is what takes most of my daily reading time. I read and wonder. And pray. And think, asking questions. And read again. ) What one thought was God communicating? If I was going to journal on something, then the end of verse 27 seemed to sum up the passage: "but it will not succeed, for the end is still to come at the appointed time."
I wrote and ended my reading time with prayer, confident that God will accomplish His purpose, when I heard the three-letter-word echoing as I remembered parts of the passage. "Yada, yada, yada, but….," "Yada, yada, yada, but…." I began to read backward through the passage and there it was, over and over, the word, "but" or "yet." The people would make plans, those with influence and finances and power would endeavor to reach an end, but it never happened. At every turn, at every point of near achievement, God intervened. The hand of God reveals itself in the "but’s" of life.
The greatest intervention is in Ephesians 2:4 which follows the status of our dead, rotting lives and our deserved punishment of wrath—"But God…."
I can make plans, I can desire to serve others, I can foresee great opportunities, but without God’s intervention, there will be no success. "Without me, you can do nothing." Today, I am encouraged by two three-letter words of comfort that save, redeem, and sanctify: but God.