In Daniel 8, we see the little horn, Antiochus Ephiphanes, terrorize God’s people for 6 years. God showed it to Daniel in a vision so that they would know what was coming. He assured them that this little horn would be broken—but by no human hand. At the same time, God let them know that this discipline was the result of their sin.
There may be some of you, young people, who think that you’re pretty invincible—death or disease seem like a remote possibility; you may be tempted to give your lives over to all kinds of sin and abuse. You don’t have to go far to see the effects of sin in this world: it’s in your school; it’s on your street; people wandering around, slaves to their sin. If they could see on the outside what is going on, on the inside—in their hearts—they would see that where they are going leads to death. Their hearts are rotting, just like the flesh of Antiochus Ephiphanes who was broken by no human hand; but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Those of us who perhaps fall into the adult category: most of us have reached a point where we think that we’ve got it pretty well figured out; we do a lot of good things; we come to church; but it may be that just like God’s people, Israel, we’re serving more than one God. You see it wasn’t that Israel had forsaken God completely. Many of them still went through the motions: they heard from God’s Law; they went to the temple to worship; they did pretty good things; but God wasn’t enough for them. They looked around at their neighbors; they saw the wicked prospering; they saw the allurements of the world, and so they went after those things as well. And they got caught up in it. Over time, it became less and less about God and more and more about you. But rest assured that God disciplines those He loves. Do you suffer for the sake of discipline or not putting God first or are you being broken for forsaking & blaspheming God?