Even the Wise Stumble

stumble danceSome 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 11:35 (NIV)

Our culture does not like stumblers. We like our heroes to be perfect. I have noticed over the years that if we as a culture like a particular hero well enough we will even turn deaf ear and blind eye to his or her stumbling. Most of the time, however, we prefer to socially crucify people for stumbling, especially if their stumbling disappoints us or brings the arrogant down a notch or two.

I found it interesting what the Man in Daniel’s vision slipped in during the lengthy explanation of what was to happen politically in the centuries following Daniel’s life. “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.” In other words, even the wise may stumble, and there is ultimate purpose in their mistakes as the consequences of their mistakes refines them. People learn from their mistakes.

Having had my fair share of stumbling in this life, I can attest to both the pain and the purpose of the refinement process. The further I get in this journey the more grace I find that I have with the stumbling of others. I find myself more often choosing not to focus on the disappointment of a person’s mistake in the moment, but to consider what good purpose God’s refinement process might ultimately serve in making him or her a more healthy and whole person.

One thought on “Even the Wise Stumble”

  1. This chapter included so much that I struggled to find just one thing to focus on. Clearly the idea of war b/w the North and South was a large theme.
    I liked Matthew Henry’s summary from his commentary:
    V. From all this let us learn, 1. That God in his providence sets up one, and pulls down another, as he pleases, advances some from low beginnings and depresses others that were very high. Some have called great men the foot-balls of fortune; or, rather, they are the tools of Providence. 2. This world is full of wars and fightings, which come from men’s lusts, and make it a theatre of sin and misery. 3. All the changes and revolutions of states and kingdoms, and every event, even the most minute and contingent, were plainly and perfectly foreseen by the God of heaven, and to him nothing is new. 4. No word of God shall fall to the ground; but what he has designed, what he has declared, shall infallibly come to pass; and even the sins of men shall be made to serve his purpose, and contribute to the b ringing of his counsels to birth in their season; and yet God is not the author of sin. 5. That, for the right understanding of some parts of scripture, it is necessary that heathen authors be consulted, which give light to the scripture, and show the accomplishment of what is there foretold; we have therefore reason to bless God for the human learning with which many have done great service to divine truths.

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