December 1

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“Gabriel, make this man understand the vision” (Daniel 8:16 NKJV).

From: December 1, 2017

It is interesting to see the angel Gabriel mentioned in our Old Testament reading on this first day of December. For he will also be of great interest to us as we read the gospel accounts of Christ’s birth during this Christmas season. There are only two angels named in the Bible (excluding the fallen one, Lucifer). They are Michael, the archangel of God and Gabriel, who acts as God’s messenger. The name “Gabriel” means “Strong Man of God.” He described himself to Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, like this: “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news” (Luke 1:19). Gabriel is recorded as bearing God’s messages to Daniel (Dan. 8:16, 9:21), to Zechariah (Luke 1:19), to Mary (Luke 1:26), and although his name is not given, to Joseph (Matt. 1:20).
 
There was something about Gabriel’s presence that struck fear in each human encounter. Perhaps it was the lingering presence of God that still clung to his person as it once did to Moses after he came down from Mt. Sinai. His purpose was specific each time. Give the addressee the message and make sure they “understand” it.

“When I, Daniel, had seen the vision, I sought to understand it. And behold, there stood before me one having the appearance of a man” (Daniel 8:15 ESV)

From: December 1, 2016

After Daniel’s vision, an angel named “Gabriel” appeared to him, charged with explaining the vision. The Old Testament recorded many other angelic visitations, but Daniel is unique in that he is the only one to whom their names are revealed (“Gabriel” in 8:16; 9:21 and “Michael” in 10:13, 21; 12:1). Yet, even with Gabriel’s help, the vision is beyond his understanding. While the vision most likely contains “already/not yet” dual fulfillment material, the identification of the “Medes and Persians,” and of the kingdom of Greece points to the time leading up to the birth of Christ. The fact that Gabriel is the angel explaining this to Daniel and then later announcing it to Joseph and Mary in the gospels is not to be overlooked. Daniel saw a vision that has partially been fulfilled in Christ’s first coming. But there is still part that is yet unfulfilled, that must point to the time leading up to His return.

‘“Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.” So he came near where I stood, and when he came I was afraid and fell on my face; but he said to me, “Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end”‘ (Daniel 8:16b-17 NKJV)

From: December 1, 2015

In Daniel’s vision, an angel named “Gabriel” (Hebrew: “God is my strength”) is charged with explaining the vision, so that Daniel might understand it. The Old Testament recorded many other angelic visitations, but Daniel is unique in that he is the only one to whom their names are revealed (“Gabriel” in 8:16; 9:21 and “Michael” in 10:13, 21; 12:1). Yet, even with Gabriel’s help, the vision is beyond his understanding (8:27). While the vision most likely contains “already/not yet” dual fulfillment material, the identification of the “Medes and Persians,” and of the kingdom of Greece points to the time leading up to the birth of Christ. The fact that Gabriel is the angel explaining this to Daniel and then later announcing it to Joseph and Mary in the gospels is not to be overlooked. Daniel saw a vision that has partially been fulfilled in Christ’s first coming. But there is still part that is yet unfulfilled, that must point to His return.

“I took my troubles to the Lord; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer” (Psalm 120:1 NLT)

From: December 1, 2014

Psalm 120 is the first of the fifteen “Psalms of Ascent,” that were read or sung by the Jewish worshipers as they climbed up to the Temple mount in Jerusalem. Today, worshipers still read these 15 psalms as they climb the 15 Southern Steps to the Temple mount. Psalm 120 begins with the appropriate place to take our troubles. Not to ourselves, to worry about them. Not to our friends, to complain. But to our God in prayer, who is able to help us. Perhaps this should always be our first step in worship. “Lord, I give You my troubles, now let me stand before You unburdened, so I may truly worship You.”

“For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world” (1 John 2:16)

From: December 1, 2013

These same three “desires” were the weaknesses that Satan targeted in the garden and the wilderness. The first Adam and his wife fell to the temptation that the fruit was good to eat, pleasing to the eye, and would make you wise like God (Gen.3:6). But the second Adam, Jesus, did not succumb to Satan’s 3-way temptation in the wilderness (Matt.4). Satan still uses these same three temptations. But living in the power of Christ, we can overcome.