Read Daniel 12:1. Who changes the course of history at the end of time? How do Romans 8:34 and Hebrews 7:25 help us understand what this text means?
Every chapter of Daniel so far has begun by mentioning the ruler of a pagan nation. Daniel chapter 12 likewise begins with a ruler, but unlike every other chapter the ruler is a divine prince who rises to deliver God’s people from the hands of their enemies.
As we glimpsed in our study of Daniel chapter 10, Michael is the same powerful heavenly being who appears to Daniel at the Tigris River. There He emerges as the heavenly representative of God’s people. He also appears elsewhere in Daniel as the Son of Man (Daniel chapter 7), the Prince of the host (Daniel 8), and Messiah the Prince (Daniel chapter 9). Thus Michael — whose name means “who is like God?” — must be none other than Jesus Himself.
It is important to note the timing of Michael’s intervention. According to Daniel 12:1, it occurs “at that time” (Dan. 12:1). This expression refers to the time just mentioned in Daniel 11:40-45. This is the period of time that extends from the fall of the papacy in 1798 until the resurrection at the end of time (Dan. 12:2).
Two important aspects of Michael’s work can be inferred from the verb “stand” utilized in Daniel 12:1 to describe His action. First, the verb “stand” evokes the rise of kings to conquer and rule. The verb also primarily connotes a military sense. It shows that Michael acts as a military leader who protects His people and leads them in a special way during the last stages of the great controversy.
Second, the verb “stand” also points to a judgment setting. Michael “stands” to act as an advocate in the heavenly tribunal. As the Son of Man, He comes before the Ancient of Days to represent God’s people during the investigative judgment (Dan. 7:9-14). Thus Michael’s rising or standing evokes the military and judicial aspects of His work. In other words, He is invested with the power to defeat God’s enemies and with the authority to represent God’s people in the heavenly tribunal.
|Think about what it means to know that Michael stands in our behalf, even now. What hope should that give you, a sinner?|