“With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him. Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered. When they fall, they will receive a little help, and many who are not sincere will join them. Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time.” Daniel 11:32-35 NIV
Antiochus, uncle of Ptolemy, pharaoh in Egypt, had the power of Egypt in his hands. Antiochus sought to use intrigue and flattery to cause the Pharaoh to be complacent about his situation. Antiochus gave the impression that he was protecting Ptolemy from political enemies, while at the same time strengthening his own position to take over the throne. Ptolemy is deceived. Throughout the negotiations both parties were contriving in their minds to come up with strategies to get the better of each other. Neither party was sincere.
Flattery is a mighty weapon in the arsenal of Satan. People who follow his devices are taken in and also use his skill to great effect. The more lifted up we are in regards to what we can do, the more vulnerable we are to the poison of this device. We all have inward pride which wells up really easily. We can turn encouragement into acclaim and then start to think we are someone special. Everyone is prone to this device.
People who refuse God and reject His mercy of grace, will fall to this scheme. The unbelieving soul is wide open to the fiery darts of pride that the enemy shoots into our thought processes. The schemes of humankind come to nothing. As in this situation with the rulers of Egypt, God alone will decide the outcomes and His plans are never thwarted.
But there are people who know God and have been redeemed by Him, who will resist this massive temptation and stay humble. They will fight these attacks by Satan, and firmly and surely overcome. “Those people who know their God will be strong and do exploits.”
However, there will be wise people who will be overcome by the devils schemes, but only for a short time. They will make mistakes, stumble and fall. There is purpose in this. God intends them to be purified and made holy so that they will have the ability to stand in the end times for the glory of God. When we fall badly, we get a strong sense of our own corruption and God can turn this to good. It is so hard for us to look within and see our human corruptions. We resist the purifying work of the Holy Spirit, because it is too exacting and seems extreme to us. When we fail and fall, God can use our failure to understand our own weaknesses and total dependence on God.
Our lives are our witness to the saving power of God. Others see it and seek the same forgiveness for themselves. But there are always the flatterers. People who want the power of God in their lives, but not His indwelling presence that resurrects the soul. There are always the “insincere” who have a type of godliness, but not the genuine power of God.
Trouble is coming for this world and it’s peoples. Only those made righteous will be able to resist the temptations that are all around at the end time. The end will come, and only those made strong in the Spirit of God, will overcome.
These verses must make us examine our own heart and test the health of our inner soul.
Are we flatterers, seeking a place in Christian groups but having no genuine spiritual life.?
Are we going through times of difficulty or falling into sinful ways.?
Will we seek restoration and to walk in the Spirit of God in wisdom and uprightness.?
Are we the insincere who are just identifying ourselves with “Christians” for selfish gain.?
Are we being refined, purified and made spotless so that we will stand in that last great day.?
None of us are able to overcome without a genuine faith that is sincere and knows God personally and up close in our daily lives. But those who have this sincere faith will resist all evil, all charlatans and all the flatterers.
Ptolemy and Egypt fell to the king of the North, Antiochus. So did many others. Almost every place he set his heart on, fell to his schemes. Only a few were protected by God. Antiochus seemed to triumph, but when he came to the end of his conquests and mortal life, there was no one to help him. So it is with all who forget God and seek their own desires in this life.
God give us the softness of heart to seek Him…