Daniel 7 – The Beauty and the Beasts
As I watched, the horn was waging war against the saints and defeating them. (Daniel 7:21)
How do we live now in the face of defeat?
Daniel 7 takes us to the split screens of Daniel’s extraordinary dream of the four beasts and the beauty of the throne room of God – events occurring simultaneously!
The first beast in Daniel’s virtual zoo is a strange hybrid of a lion and an eagle, the second looked like a bear, the third like a four headed winged leopard and the fourth like a T-Rex on steroids. But what do they represent, what is their connection with the colossal man in Daniel 2, and what have they got to do with us in North Epping in 2017?
After the vision of the beasts Daniel’s dream then takes us into the very throne room of God, (Daniel 7:9-10)
“thrones were set in place,
and the Ancient of Days took his seat.
His clothing was as white as snow;
the hair of his head was white like wool.
His throne was flaming with fire,
and its wheels were all ablaze.
A river of fire was flowing,
coming out from before him.
Thousands upon thousands attended him;
ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
The court was seated,
and the books were opened.
Then back to the lower screen where “the beast was slain…” (Daniel 7:11), before jumping back to the upper screen where we get a truly remarkable picture of the Messiah coming into the presence of the Ancient of Days.
… 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)
Throughout His ministry Jesus consistently identified himself as the Son of Man, and as the One who would come on the clouds of heaven. Together, these passages show us the two natures of Jesus, his Humanity and His Divinity. The One to whom will be given all authority, glory and sovereign power!
Whilst the rule of the beast is partial, temporary and brutal, the rule of the Son of Man will be complete, eternal and beautiful! Earthly tyrants will come and go. For a time they will wage war against the saints and will defeat them. (7:21, 25). But, they will all ultimately be defeated. The Son of Man will rule. Meanwhile, the Saints need to get on with the challenge of living in God’s world for the sake of God’s mission.