Believers Under Horrible Pressure

Joseph Holbrook, Jr.

READ : Daniel 8:1-12

The time between the end of the Old Testament and the coming of Jesus was a time of severe testing, with the power of the Greek Empire forcing crisis after crisis of conscience on those who tried to remain true to their faith.

Daniel sees this period in this vision in the capitol of Elam. This is the city where Queen Esther and her uncle Mordecai lived a few years later. The ram depicts the combined empire of the Medes and the Persians that overthrew Babylon.

After ruling for 204 years, they were overthrown by Alexander the Great, leader of the Macedonian Greeks, who ruled all the known world. After the sudden, unexpected death of Alexander, as depicted in verse 8, his empire was divided. The king who eventually ruled in the Holy Land, Antiochus Epiphanes, committed unspeakable atrocities against God’s people.

Peter tells Christians not to be “surprised at the fiery ordeal which will come upon you to prove you.” Most of us North Americans have escaped fire so far. But we know our Christian brothers and sisters are suffering intensely in many countries.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, you went through the fiery ordeal for us. If we should be called on to do so, stand by our side, we pray. Amen.