Today's Foundations Devotional: Awakening, to everlasting life, or to shame and everlasting contempt
After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that
we may live in His sight.
The next main Old Testament prophecy of the resurrection which we shall consider is found in Daniel 12:1-3. These verses are part of a lengthy prophetic revelation concerning the last days, given to Daniel by the angel Gabriel, who was sent to him by God for that special purpose. This part of the revelation, which deals specifically with the resurrection, reads as follows:
At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.
The first part of this revelation refers specifically to Daniel’s own people, Israel, and speaks of a time of trouble even greater than any that Israel has hitherto passed through. This is undoubtedly the same time of trouble referred to in Jeremiah.
Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; and it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it (30:7).
Jeremiah indicates that though this time of trouble will be greater than any that Israel has previously passed through, yet Israel will be saved out of it and not destroyed. This agrees with the statement in Daniel 12:1.
And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book.
At this time of greatest tribulation God Himself will ultimately intervene and save the chosen remnant of Israel whom in His grace He has foreknown and foreordained for salvation.
No doubt this time of Israel’s trouble is one main phase of the total period of intense trouble destined to come upon the entire world, called in the New Testament “the great tribulation.”
Directly associated with this final period of tribulation is a prophecy of the resurrection, for Gabriel says in Daniel 12:2:
And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt.
The language used in Daniel is closely parallel to that of Isaiah. Both speak of those that “dwell in the dust”; both speak of the resurrection as an “awakening” out of the dust. However, the revelation of Daniel goes further than that of Isaiah, for it indicates that there will be two distinct phases of the resurrection – one for the righteous, who will be ushered into everlasting life, and one for the wicked, who will be doomed to shame and everlasting contempt.
The reward of the righteous at the resurrection will be based on their faithfulness in serving God and in making known His truth while on earth.
Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever (Dan. 12:3).
Lord, it is always confronting to realize that everyone will soon enter
an eternal reality; a glorious one, or a permanently terrible and
horrible one ... Oh Lord, help me to be a living witness to the
salvation and glory that can be found in Your Son, Jesus Christ!