June 15, 2016
A recent study of the Book of Daniel has me pondering a question of his and the answer he received. After a series of visits from angelic beings who gave him more information than he could comprehend, Daniel 12:8 reads: “As for me, I heard but could not understand; so I said, ‘My lord, what will be the outcome of these events?’”
No one should fault Daniel for asking for more information. It is a normal human desire to want to know the conclusion to a story. But the answer given to Daniel in the next verse was simple: “Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time.” In other words, “Finish your life and let God finish His work. No more questions will be answered at this time.”
I wonder how many times a child asks a parent something and hears, “Not yet.” “Can I wear that outfit or go out with these friends?” “Would you explain why Grandma went away and what it is like in heaven?” “Are we almost home?” “Will I soon be finished with school?” And all they hear us say is, “Not yet.” It must be frustrating.
Creator God gave us inquisitive minds. It is the way we discover new things and learn more about who we are and why we are here. Consider the inventions of the past 200 years and imagine life without these things. One of the best teaching tools is asking questions. Pity the person who never asks one.
But the downside of this desire is the demand to know what we are not yet supposed to understand. There is a time to know and a time to wait and know later – maybe not even during this lifetime on Planet Earth.
Learning to accept without having all of our questions answered involves trust. If we can trust our parent or boss or teacher, we will find it easier to leave some things in their domain and not demand to know what they know. Jesus had a way of putting people at ease during crisis situations by stating simply, “Don’t be afraid; just trust Me.”
I relate to Daniel’s desire to know more. And I appreciate his apparent willingness to accept the answer, “Not yet,” and go on with his life.
Pastor Bill Ehmann