Lesson III from the Book of Daniel
Disobedience is the refusal or failure to obey rules, laws, etc.: a lack of obedience. Obedience means to be submissive to the restraint or command of authority: willing to obey. (Merriam-Webster). It is just the nature of man to want to do things his way and not God’s way. And yet God expects and requires that we obey Him. The Bible tells us that obedience is actually better than sacrifice.
And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22)
So why can’t we just do what we want to do? Why is that so bad? Well, the Bible, our guidebook for life, tells us that all disobedience is sin: Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (1 John 3:4) and The soul that sinneth it shall die. (Ezek. 18: 20). God hates sin and He will punish all who commit sin. (More on how to avoid his wrath later).
The Jewish people, God’s chosen people, were perfect examples of disobedience. Whatever God told them to do, they refused to do. Whatever He told them not to do, they did it anyway. The nation of Israel has already experienced great punishment for their disobedience. After years of warnings through the prophets and after receiving opportunity after opportunity to change, severe punishment came in the form of loss of their Temple, land, and freedom. The ten tribes were overthrown and captured by the Assyrians in approx. 722 B.C. The Babylonians overthrew Judah in 606 B.C. through 586 B.C. Judah’s exile lasted for 70 yrs. and they were allowed to return to Jerusalem. But did Judah learn their lesson? No. They did not learn their lesson but continued in their own way rather than God’s way. Continued disobedience brought continued punishment. The Jews have been scattered over the face of the planet for their disobedience. They have suffered persecution, murder, and attempts to annihilate them. God, however, remains faithful to His Covenant with Israel, and because of His faithfulness, they have not been eradicated. But God knows what must be done in order to get His chosen people to turn to Him in obedience. The antidote to their disobedience is what caused Daniel great anguish in Daniel chapters 9-12. Tribulation and Great Tribulation are yet to come and will be a time of severe punishment.
The greatest disobedience of the Jewish people has been their rejection of Jesus Christ as the Messiah. They rejected Him, God’s greatest gift to mankind, and actually killed Him. But, while man meant it for evil, God meant it for good. Their rejection of Jesus opened the door for us, the Gentiles, to be able to receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Interestingly enough, even though Daniel was given the great revelation about the coming punishment for his people at the hand of the Anti-Christ as well as all other End Time events, he never saw the church. As amazing as we think we are, we are a parenthetical insertion between Daniel 9:26 and 9:27. The entire church age is hidden from Daniel in that valley between the two verses. Pretty humbling, huh? Let me explain.
In Daniel 9:26 we see the words “shall Messiah be cut off”. This is God telling Daniel that the chosen Messiah shall be killed. The next verse skips to the time when the Anti-Christ will lie to Israel and make a false covenant of peace with them and their enemies when it says “and he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (meaning 7 years) and in the midst of the week (3 1/2 years) he shall cause the sacrifice…). So, the entire time, from the death, resurrection, the ascension of Jesus Christ, and the entire church age all the way up to the Rapture, is a big parenthetical insertion. WOW! It’s as though God stopped His progression towards causing His beloved people to come back to Him and allowed us, the Gentiles an opportunity to be saved.
Doesn’t that make you want to throw back your head and scream “THANK YOU, FATHER!” Doesn’t it make you want to run to Jesus and cry “THANK YOU JESUS! for dying for us?” “THANK YOU FOR MAKING A WAY OF ESCAPE?” And then, “Save me, Lord. I accept you as my Lord and savior. I want to obey you in every way. Don’t let my soul be lost.”
Why are the Gentiles not running towards Jesus with all of their power? Gentiles have the nerve to look down upon the Jews for killing Jesus and for their disobedient behavior, yet the unsaved Gentiles kill Him every day by rejecting God’s salvation. They are also walking in disobedience every day. Are they crazy? Do they not know? Can they not understand that if they are left here when the Rapture takes place the same Tribulation that the Jews will experience is waiting for them if they do not accept Christ? Clearer still, do they not understand that their life is on a straight trajectory to Hell if they die without Jesus?
To those of us who are saved and have accepted our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, have we done all that we can do to get the message out? Let’s work harder Saints. The curtain is closing and we don’t have much time. If you are saved, stay saved and help others escape the coming Tribulation. And for those who don’t believe the End Time is near, remember the end of YOUR time is near. If you are not saved, your rejection of Jesus assures your eternal damnation beginning at the time of your death. This applies to Jews and Gentiles alike. Don’t let this be your outcome.