The God who does not change (Malachi 3:somewhere – read the whole chapter it’s all good) clearly demonstrates how He deals with His people.
Please remember that New-Testament Paul tells us in 1 Cor 10 the accounts of God’s discipline and judgment of His people in the Old Testament were written for us New Testament folks, to invite as well as incite us to holiness, obedience, and success.
With that as our launch-pad, let’s consider a verse in Daniel that begins by looking forward to Daniel’s near-future (in Daniel’s OWN time) vision re the Mede-Persian westward-advancing empire being conquered by the eastward-charging Greeks, and then transitions into related but still-to-be-fulfilled (in OUR time) prophecy of the (evil) little horn that will emerge from one of the four horns that came out of the ram (Greece).
For our topical purpose, notably there’s some first-wording (in verse 12) that we don’t want to miss. Here’s two translations, for your convenience:
#1. NKJV Daniel 8:10-14
10 And it grew up to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them.
11 He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down.
12 Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices; and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered.
13 Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who was speaking, “How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot?”
14 And he said to me, “For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.”
#2. NASB Daniel 8:12
12 And on account of transgression the host will be given over to the horn along with the regular sacrifice; and it will fling truth to the ground and perform its will and prosper.
Sovereign God, who has command over the armies of man, confirms the WHY for the activation of these great prophetic troubles: Sin. There are times when the sin of the people of God provoke our righteous God to engage an army to correct His people.
Although the scriptures at all times offer understanding of this tough and sobering truth (to those who would press into the word of God in sincerity and humility), God reveals to us that EVENTUALLY, when Messiah returns, that often-considered mysterious “WHY” will become more evident, both to the nations as well as to His own people.
23 The Gentiles shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity; because they were unfaithful to Me, therefore I hid My face from them. I gave them into the hand of their enemies, and they all fell by the sword.
24 According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I have dealt with them, and hidden My face from them.” ‘
25 “Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Now I will bring back the captives of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name—
26 after they have borne their shame, and all their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, when they dwelt safely in their own land and no one made them afraid.
27 When I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and I am hallowed in them in the sight of many nations,
28 then they (ISRAEL) shall know that I am the Lord their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them captive any longer.
This is definitely NOT intended to imply that all suffering is a direct result of our own personal or even national sin – we are indeed living in a fallen and broken world. At the same time, it is wise to note that scripture clearly links the sin of the people of God to a heap of trouble. That did not disappear in the New Testament dispensation (again: 1 Cor 10), and in fact the OT verses of Ezekiel that we just read inarguably look forward to the imminent return of Messiah, clearly a NT event. Any philosophical or theological explanation or rationalization that discounts the accountability of the saints in the NT dispensation (or for that matter any dispensation) is invited to bow to the truth of scripture.
God revealed this Kingdom principle to Solomon, although He had already demonstrated it earlier (pre-Solomon) via the Midianites (in the days of Gideon), and also confirmed it again in the time of wicked king Manasseh.
1 Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years,
Revelation to David, re: Solomon
2 Samuel 7:14
14 I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men.
2 Kings 21:10-13
10 And the Lord spoke by His servants the prophets, saying,
11 “Because Manasseh king of Judah has done these abominations (he has acted more wickedly than all the Amorites who were before him, and has also made Judah sin with his idols),
12 therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Behold, I am bringing such calamity upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whoever hears of it, both his ears will tingle.
13 And I will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line of Samaria and the plummet of the house of Ahab; I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down.
THE ETERNAL TAKEAWAY:
13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.
14 For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil.
CONCLUDING ON A HIGH NOTE, HERE’S PROMISE OF HIS DIVINE GUIDANCE AND GRACIOUS COURSE-CORRECTION, AND THEN BLESSING, SUBSEQUENT TO RIGHT RESPONSE
20 And though the Lord gives you
The bread of adversity and the water of affliction,
Yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore,
But your eyes shall see your teachers.
21 Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
“This is the way, walk in it,”
Whenever you turn to the right hand
Or whenever you turn to the left.
22 You will also defile the covering of your images of silver,
And the ornament of your molded images of gold.
You will throw them away as an unclean thing;
You will say to them, “Get away!”
23 Then He will give the rain for your seed
With which you sow the ground,
And bread of the increase of the earth;
It will be fat and plentiful.
In that day your cattle will feed
In large pastures.
24 Likewise the oxen and the young donkeys that work the ground
Will eat cured fodder,
Which has been winnowed with the shovel and fan.
All scripture NKJV