Our scripture this morning is Daniel 12:1-3.

At that time Michael, the archangel who stands guard over your nation, will arise. Then there will be a time of anguish greater than any since nations first came into existence. But at that time every one of your people whose name is written in the book will be rescued. Many of those whose bodies lie dead and buried will rise up, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting disgrace. Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever.

Daniel, whose name means “God judges” or “God’s Judge”, was a prophet during Israel’s exile in Babylon. Scholars call this Apocalyptic Literature, which are visions of the end times. The Book of Revelation echoes many of these themes. The historical Daniel may or may not be the author of this book. However, we should ask not “is the story true?” but rather “what is the truth in the story?”

There are several familiar lessons in Daniel: The Fiery Furnace (Ch 3), The Writing on the Wall (Ch 5), and The Lion’s Den (Ch 7). Daniel and his companions were faithful to God through severe trials. In each of these we are shown God’s love and protection for His people, even in their captivity.

This passage deals with the resurrection of the dead, a promise that those who die in the Lord will be raised on the last day. It warns that “some will be raised to everlasting life and some to everlasting disgrace.” By faith, we can be connected to God eternally. The choice is ours to make. 

Gracious God, thank You for making a way for us to be saved. Through the gift of Your son we may come to You for forgiveness. Bless us to help lead others to righteousness and live with You forever. Amen.

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