Read: Daniel 7
It’s Daniel’s turn to have a dream, along with the interpretation by an angel within the dream. His dream was rather elaborate, one that must have been like being immersed in a virtual reality scene that seems real and unreal at the same time.
Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying in bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream. Daniel 7:1
Four beasts terrorize the world: one like a lion with eagles wings that transforms into a human, one like a bear and the third like a leopard with four heads. The fourth was particularly troublesome for Daniel: “terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left.” (Daniel 7:7)
The beasts boasted, consumed by their pride and power until the Ancient of Days determined their time was over. Then a marvelous thing happened:
“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. Daniel 7:13-14
Daniel didn’t know how to process these images, they were simply overpowering, but the answer was not far away:
I approached one of those standing there and asked him the meaning of all this. “So he told me and gave me the interpretation of these things:
‘The four great beasts are four kings that will rise from the earth. But the holy people of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever—yes, for ever and ever.’ Daniel 7:16-18
The Gospel is proclaimed 500+ years before Christ entered human form. It’s no wonder this was difficult to understand.
“This is the end of the matter. I, Daniel, was deeply troubled by my thoughts, and my face turned pale, but I kept the matter to myself.” Daniel 7:28
I’m trying to appreciate the imagery in the dream, especially considering the fact that this happened some 2,500 years ago, long before computer generated illustrations became commonplace in movie theaters. It’s interesting that dreams were as fanciful then as they are now. The way our minds store information and at times play back impossible scenes is fascinating and sometime startling.
For Daniel, this particular dream was one that was so vivid that he took notes, wrote down the details and ultimately shared it with you and I.
I can imagine that this chapter is one that our ancestors read over and over again as they waited for the Messiah, the one that would rule all nations, the everlasting kingdom we will possess forever and ever. Something to hold onto when our world seems to be crashing around us. Thank you, Lord, for the assurance of a wonderful place some time, some day.
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Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.