I’m going to give just one day to Chapter 8. I know, I know, I have given entire weeks to other chapters, what do I have against Chapter 8? Nothing. It’s just not going to get but more than a day.
If you have the time, please read through the entire chapter right now. Remember, you can type in the book and chapter in the YouVersion button to the right.
Chapter 8 is another vision of Daniel. There are horns and goats running all over the place, chasing each other, ramming each other. It’s like Dodge truck commercial gone bad.
I’ll give you the little history lesson that goes with this. Ready?
The ram represents the kings of Media and Persia. The goat is the king of Greece and the giant horn is Alexander the Great. (cool, huh?) The horn was broken and that represents Alexander’s death.
“Another horn” comes from one of horns. It started small. It represents Antiochus IV Epiphanes who tried to wipe out the Jews. It says in Daniel 8:23 and following that he was wicked, a stern faced king, a master of intrigue and very strong. He caused astounding devastation and succeeded in whatever he did. He destroyed the mighty men and the holy people. He caused deceit to prosper. We stopped the daily Jewish sacrifices and set himself up as a god, thus the “Prince” referred to in verse 11. This guy was bad news.
There is a reference to 2,300 evenings and mornings in verse 14. That turns out to be the time between the time that Antiochus desecrated the Lord’s altar and when the new one was established.
Here’s the great part! Between the Old and New Testament something amazing happened. A man named Judas Maccabeus got sick and tired of seeing the Lord’s temple and sacrifices being neglected and ruined. He and others charged Jerusalem, recaptured it and rededicated the temple to the Lord. This happened in December of 165. This is the origin of the Feast of Hanukkah still celebrated by the Jews today. Awesome.
Hanukkah means “dedication.” When Solomon built the temple he dedicated it to God. In 2 Chronicles 7, there is a beautiful scene of the people dedicating the temple and themselves to God. They had their Hanukkah, their time of dedication. And they did so by offering sacrifices. It was a beautiful, memorable event.
Remembering that we now are the “temples” of God, we too have an “Antiochus” who would like nothing more than to ravage our temples and leave us without sacrifice and honor. Of course, I’m referring to our spiritual enemy, Satan. Just as Antiochus ruined the temple of God, our temples can be ruined. Again, I’ll save the details of the temple for another study coming up, but take to heart Romans 12:1. “…offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.”
Our dedication, our Hanukkah can be an everyday event. We dedicate our human temples and sacrifice ourselves to our Maker. In this we worship Him and that, my friends, is what He wants. Not so he can rule over us with a might and heavy hand, but to free us to be all He created us to be! Free to love and live fully!
Just as Daniel prophesized concerning Antiochus that “he will be destroyed, but not by human power” our enemy will carry the same fate. Which leads us to this:
We cannot stay on our faces worried and concerned and upset about the future. No, we do what Daniel did in verse 22, “Then I got up and went about the king’s business.”
Man, do I love that! He doesn't let what he saw keep him down nor does he run up a mountain and get in a fraidy hole. No, he got back to work. He trusted God and what His Word said.
The same goes for us! Get up! Be about your King’s business. Whatever He has assigned for you, do it and do it for Him. Love. Teach. Give. Bless. Worship. Serve. Die.
Be about the King’s business! It’s the best business in town, I guarantee it.