I’ve been spending my devotional reading in the book of Daniel. Once you past the great stories surrounding Daniel and his three friends you come to Daniel’s apocalyptic visions. I’ve always struggled with visions of the end times, mostly because I have no idea what they mean. Perhaps even more frustrating are those folks who are more than happy to explain them.
What I find so refreshing with Daniel is that he shares my confusion. After one vision he confesses that he doesn’t understand what it could possibly mean. The other vision bothered him so much that he kept it entirely to himself. It’s refreshing to discover a Biblical character who is so honest. I think it would serve the modern church to embrace his example. Why do Christians insist on explaining everything in the Bible, especially concerning passages that lack clear meaning? (I’m specifically referring to those that point to the future.) Acting with authority is not the same thing as owning it. Perhaps an honest, “I don’t know” would be more of an appropriate response than some convoluted explanation that is based on an interpretation that lacks any substantial foundation. It’s better to be honest than to appear right.