December 11, 2022 – Pastor Mark Albrecht
Message Big Idea – The vision recorded in Daniel 8 came to the prophet in the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar of Babylon (553-554 B.C.). This vision concludes with Daniel saying, “I was astonished by the vision, but no one understood it” (Daniel 8:27). If Daniel didn’t understand it in the sixth century B.C., can it be understood today?
- Take a moment to reflect (if you are going through this on your own) or share (if you are with others in a group setting): What are you grateful for today? What are you struggling with today?
- When you hear the words “End Times”, what comes to mind? What are your preconceived thoughts or ideas (if any)? Have you ever read any books or seen movies on the topic?
- Read Daniel 8 (Read twice – ESV and either NLT or Message)
- Go around the group and briefly retell the passage in your own words.
- What word or phrase “jumped off the page” and intrigued you the most? Why?
- What jumps out to you about Daniel’s experience in this chapter?
- Like Daniel, there are many things we don’t understand, especially in apocalyptic sections of scripture. While we believe God’s word is true, we often don’t know when these things will happen. However, we can also take hope in God’s pattern of bringing restoration to his people. How do most Christians respond to Pastor Mark’s “Bringing it Home” points? (see points A – C)
- A. Take Comfort – God has set a time for evil to end
- B. God’s plan for history is for our good
- C. We must make sure to be about the King’s business
- This chapter touches on a theme in scripture of the restoration of God’s presence, when God will say to his people, “I will be your God, and you will be my people, and I will dwell in the midst of you.” Where else do you hear echoes of that theme in the Bible?
- This points us to an apocalyptic pattern that Jesus confirms in his promise in John 16:33, “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world.” How do you pray for strength and perseverance in the face of trouble and tribulation?
- What are some symptoms of hopelessness that you have to watch out for in your own life?
Live It Out:
- What is one thing God seems to be asking you to do in response to this passage? (i.e., “I will ….”)
- Who can you tell about this “I will” statement in the next 48 hours?
- Journal about your time in God’s Word this week. Stop to listen to what He might be telling you. Celebrate His presence through His Word!
- Spend some time in intentional prayer. Pray for each other to take heart in God in the face of tribulation.