Scripture reading: Daniel 11: verses 1&2, Esther 1:1-4
Four kings, who are the four kings of Persia referred to in verses two of Daniel 11? I’ll give you a hint, these all followed King Cyrus and were to stand up “yet”, according to scripture; they were Ahasuerus, Artaxerxes, Darius. and Xerxes. So here goes some interesting biblical history. King Ahasuerus was married to Queen Esther from the book of Esther. Arataxerxes, our 2nd king was infamous for stopping the rebuilding of the temple mentioned in Ezra 4. in verse 21. Arataxerxes is quoted as saying, ” Therefore make a decree that these men be made to cease, and that this city be not rebuilt, until a decree is made by me.” Our third king, King Darius, was gracious enough to begin the rebuilding of the temple and it was completed during his reign. And then our fourth King, Xerxes, according to Oliver Green and his verse by verse study of Daniel, was very wealthy and “stirred up the Persians against Greece and in 480 B.C. he invaded that country but did not conquer her.” The key here is “he stirred up things against Greece” and tomorrow we meet the results of this stirred up provocation.
So, why do we care? So many names, so many facts; do I really need a history lesson? Scripture is so fascinating because it’s layered and layered with accounts that hold true This vision given to Daniel was literal historical facts given about the future. Why, one might ask? Why did God care so much to share all these details? I believe these accounts set up our understanding of the political realm of Jesus’s time. For us to understand how and why Jesus was crucified, we need to understand a little about what was going on in history. For God to set up the narrative: the followers, the miracles, the Jewish “haters”, the roman leaders, the type of death, the type of burial: this all was intricately laid out by the one that created this earth. So no surprise that the details matter to Him and therefore they should matter to us. Daniel goes on to here prophecy about times after Jesus’s death; a time period yet to come. The details are there. Are we listening, reading, and understanding?
Spend today, thanking God for being such an intricate creator of details. He created our human bodies. What could be more complicated than that? Thankfully, we are created in His image, giving us free reign to create and a notion to care about the details.