Peace During Anxious Times

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

           We are currently going through a unique period in the history of the world.  Everyone’s life is being affected by COVID-19.  Maybe you have been diagnosed with or know someone who has been diagnosed with it?  Maybe you have gone out to the grocery store to get something and you find the shelves are bare?  Maybe your work hours are getting taken away and you and wondering how you are going to pay your bills?  Maybe you have kids in school and now must figure out who’s going to watch them, or you have to decide between staying home or going to work?  These are all very overwhelming situations and have the ability to make any person shrink back in fear. 

            The Scripture I have up above is from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount which comes from Matthew 6:25-34.  I think we can relate to this in a new way today.  There is a lot for us to be worried and anxious about what the future will hold.  We need to plan accordingly but trust that God will provide for us.  Whether it is food, money, or future plans.  Whatever we need God will get it for us.  It won’t mean things will be easy or we won’t have to sacrifice.  It means that God is with us and knows our needs.  It’s easy to want to sit and think things through to death.  Yet, I like what Jesus said in verse 34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  We just have to take this thing one day at a time.  

            In the verse before that, 33, Jesus tells us to seek first the kingdom of God.  That is where our minds and hearts need to be focused.  If we are focused on building God’s kingdom we will have peace.  But how can we be focused on building God’s kingdom when we are discouraged to leave our house?  Great question!  There are many ways we can still be about God’s business.  Prayer, we need to be praying for each other and for others going through many difficult circumstances.  Phone calls, while we may not be able to physically be near to one another we can still call people and talk to them.  If you’re good with technology you can use social media, Facetime, or other video chat apps.  These are great ways to stay connected to encourage the body of Christ and hopefully impact unbelievers.   We still need to love the people around us. 
             Pray and see what God wants you to do to love people near you.  Who does God want you to reach out to?  Who could you check in on and encourage?  Is there someone you could go buy groceries for and deliver it to them?  What better way to use this time than to seek God’s kingdom.  If we do that, God will continue to provide for our needs and bring peace to our lives. 

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Hope in the End Times (Daniel 12)

Then I, Daniel, looked, and there before me stood two others, one on this bank of the river and one on the opposite bank. 6 One of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?”

7 The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, “It will be for a time, times and half a time.  When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed.”

8 I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, “My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?”

9 He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end. 10 Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.

11 “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. 12 Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.

13 “As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.”  (Daniel 12:5-13)

Learn it:

            The last chapter in Daniel gives us one more conversation Daniel has with some angels.  Daniel is curious about when all these things will happen and “the man clothed in linen”, often believed to be Jesus, gives an answer.  His answer is based on the discussion of 70 weeks from the last chapter.  He is focused on that final 70th which is broken up into two 3.5 years.  The man in linen says that the events will take place in the second half of the 70th week.  That is when the anti-christ will cause the most pain for those who are still alive. 

            There is still hope for people during this time to accept Jesus as their Savior.  I believe that people who accepted Jesus as their Savior before this 70th week will be taken up in the rapture.  People who remain on earth will have an opportunity to recognize Christ as their Savior during the seven years of tribulation.  When the man in linen refers to the holy people being broken in verse seven, he is referring to Israel.  Some of their eyes will be opened to seeing Jesus for who he is. 

            Finally, Daniel is told to seal up his writings.  The angels, and Christ, know that these writings will be important for God’s people, which includes us!  We are then given more dates which apply to the length of the second half of the tribulation (1,260 day).  So what’s the extra 30 days?  Some believe that is the length of God’s judgement.  Then we see some extra days added on to that to make 1,335 days.  So what’s this addition 45 days?  Some believe that after the judgment of Christ, there will be a period of time in which it will take for God to setup is Kingdom.  Most of this is speculation because we don’t know what happens.  Then Daniel is told to rest and he will raise up again and receive what he is due at the right time.

Live it:

            There is a lot in this passage and in all of Daniel.  We are given a glimpse of what the end holds for believers.  There will be difficult times, but we are promised deliverance.  We are promised victory.  God will judge the earth but for those who have faith in Jesus we have a hope that cannot be stopped!  We will reign with God in his kingdom and it will be awesome!  Until then we are to continue on our work with no fear.  Just like Daniel was told to go his way, we should go our way as well.  Not with fear or anxiety but with faith that God has already delivered us.


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End Times (Daniel 11)

 “The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place. 37 He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all. 38 Instead of them, he will honor a god of fortresses; a god unknown to his fathers he will honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts. 39 He will attack the mightiest fortresses with the help of a foreign god and will greatly honor those who acknowledge him. He will make them rulers over many people and will distribute the land at a price.

40 “At the time of the end the king of the South will engage him in battle, and the king of the North will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood. 41 He will also invade the Beautiful Land. Many countries will fall, but Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his hand. 42 He will extend his power over many countries; Egypt will not escape. 43 He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt, with the Libyans and Nubians in submission. 44 But reports from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in a great rage to destroy and annihilate many. 45 He will pitch his royal tents between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain. Yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.  (Daniel 11:36-45)

Learn it:

            Chapter 11 is a detailed picture of things to come.  The first half of the chapter is about the near future for Daniel.  Things that will happen between 536 BC – 164 BC.  It is so detailed and accurate that some people believe that it was added in later to the book of Daniel.  As we have seen through the book of Daniel is that we have several predictions that we are able to verify.  What this does is that it allows us to have confidence in the things that have not happened yet.  It gives him strong credibility. 

            In the second half of this chapter, verses 36-45, are all about the end times.  The king described in it is the coming anti-christ.  He is going to be an authoritarian and will be blasphemous against God.  He will be a smooth talked and will start a great world war.  He will dominate Israel, the Beautiful Land, and make that is home base.  He will also accumulate great wealth in the process.  Yet again, as we have seen in other prophecies his reign will not last forever.  God will raise up other armies and he will come to an end. 

Live it:

            We keep seeing vision after vision telling similar stories but with more details every time.  We have learned that many of the prophecies that Daniel told have come true.  Things that he never could have predicted happened.  There are still many things to come and we await the coming of the Lord.  There are many people today that spend a lot of time looking for current events that line up with these and other prophecy’s in the Old Testament.  While that’s not wrong it distracts us from the mission Jesus gave us.  There are intense times coming in the future so we should be intensely focused on Jesus’ business. 


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Spiritual Warfare (Daniel 10)

10 A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11 He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling.

12 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. 14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.”

15 While he was saying this to me, I bowed with my face toward the ground and was speechless. 16 Then one who looked like a man touched my lips, and I opened my mouth and began to speak. I said to the one standing before me, “I am overcome with anguish because of the vision, my lord, and I am helpless. 17 How can I, your servant, talk with you, my lord? My strength is gone and I can hardly breathe.”

18 Again the one who looked like a man touched me and gave me strength. 19 “Do not be afraid, O man highly esteemed,” he said. “Peace! Be strong now; be strong.”

When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength.”   20 So he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come; 21 but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince.  (Daniel 10:10-21)

Learn it:

            For Daniel’s third vision we are given more details about how he receives it.  In the beginning of chapter 10 we see that he is in a weakened state and all of these visions are weighing on him.  When an angel arrives to tell him about this great war that is about to come, he falls to the ground and is unable to look at the angel.  The angel gives Daniel strength so he can stand and then encourages him.  He lets him know that God has heard his prayer.  It just took awhile for the angel to reach him because of some spiritual war that is going on.  When Daniel was feeling better after meeting with the angel, the angel then prepares him for his third message.

Live it:

            This passage is so cool because we get a glimpse into the spiritual realm.  We see that when God hears our prayers one way, he answers them is by sending out angels.  We read in the New Testament that part of angel’s roles is to minister to humans (Hebrews 1:14).  When angels are dispatched some of the delay may be in the fact that they get slowed down by demons!  What a thing to imagine!  This gives us some understanding about why we may have to wait for God’s help.  It’s all in his perfect timing and there is a war going on that his angels are battling against.  Have faith that God hears your prayers and trust he will meet you where you are when the timing is right. 


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70 Weeks (Daniel 9:20-27)

24 “Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. 25 Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. 26 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. 27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”  (Daniel 9:24-27)

Learn it:  

            This is one of the most difficult passages to interpret in all of Scripture.  How do we measure out the time of these 70 weeks and what does it mean?  I’ll give you my opinion based on my research and I hold this with open hands knowing that God is the only one who truly understands this.  With that said, in prophecy it is typical to believe that one week equals seven years.  Then the 70 weeks is broken up into three parts.  The first 7 weeks (49 years) is what it will take for Jerusalem to be restored after the exile.  From the time that Israel is permitted to go and rebuild Jerusalem and it is finished is roughly 48 years. 

The next time period is of 62 weeks (434 years).  This measures the time from when the walls are finished till the time the “anointed one shall be cut off” (Dan. 9:26).  Most scholars believe that this is pointing towards the time that Jesus enters into Jerusalem and is arrested, beaten, and crucified.  Which is about 434 years from when Jerusalem is rebuilt.  This is an amazing prediction and only God could have done it. 

            The last week is the trickiest.  Does this last week happen right after Christ’s death or is there a gap and we are still waiting for these events to happen?  If we look at the description in Daniel and compare it to historical events there is nothing that lines up with what has been described.  Some people make arguments that it describes the fall of the temple in Israel in 70 AD but that event happened 37 years after Christ’s death.  So, they still have a mathematical issue.  I believe that there is an undetermined gap in this last week and it points to the time of tribulation.  There have been gaps in other prophecies so it’s not unheard of to assume a gap in time. 

            In the future there will be a time of seven years of great tribulation where the anti-christ will rule.  Jesus refers to this same seen in Matthew 24:15, 21-22.  In that passage Jesus is understanding that this prophecy in Daniel is still to come. 

Live it:

            The purpose of prophecy is to spur us on to reach lost people and be reunited with God.  He wants to spare us from His coming wrath, but we have to acknowledge Him as God, and He is the only one that can save us.  Who has God placed in your life for you to share with them the Gospel?  How can you play apart in His mission to redeem the world?   


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Prayer of Repentance (Dan. 9:1-19)

I prayed to the LORD my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5 we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules. 6 We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. (Daniel 9:4-6)

And now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and have made a name for yourself, as at this day, we have sinned, we have done wickedly. 16 “O Lord, according to all your righteous acts, let your anger and your wrath turn away from your city Jerusalem, your holy hill, because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and your people have become a byword among all who are around us. 17 Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of your servant and to his pleas for mercy, and for your own sake, O Lord, make your face to shine upon your sanctuary, which is desolate. 18 O my God, incline your ear and hear. Open your eyes and see our desolations, and the city that is called by your name. For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy. 19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people are called by your name.” (Dan. 9:15-19)

 

Learn it:
 

In Daniel’s prayer in chapter nine it was a wonderful example of how we should pray. He starts of in verse four by worshiping God. He lists out some of God’s qualities of how he is great, awesome, keeps his covenant, and is steadfast in love. These are some beautiful things about who our God is! Can I get an amen? After this he spends that next ten verses confessing his sin and the sins of Israel. He confesses how they did not follow God’s commands; they ignored His prophets and there was no excuse for what they had done. They deserve the punishment they are experiencing right now. In the midst of the confession he points out that his only hope is in God’s mercy.

He closes out his prayer with a plea for mercy to God in verses 15-19. He asks God for mercy, not because they have earned it but because God is merciful. It is in God’s nature to love His people and that is what Daniel is asking God to remember. He wants God to hear their cries just like he heard the cries when his people were in slavery in Egypt. He begs for another exodus that they might return to the promised land and worship God again.

 

Live it:

 

Do you struggle to set aside time to pray? Why? One thing that can happen is we feel it become repetitive or we do not know what to pray so we get bored. Scripture gives us help on how to pray. In this passage we have a beautiful example of how to ask for God’s forgiveness. I encourage you to take time and pray through this and make it personal. Confess how you have disobeyed God and ask for his forgiveness and guidance. He will meet you where you are. Another awesome prayer of repentance you can pray is Psalm 51. Meditate on this passages and seek God who is merciful and wants to help you.


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Trials and Deliverance (Daniel 8:19-25)

 

[Gabriel] said: “I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath, because the vision concerns the appointed time of the end. 20 The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia. 21 The shaggy goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between its eyes is the first king. 22 The four horns that replaced the one that was broken off represent four kingdoms that will emerge from his nation but will not have the same power.

23 “In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a fierce-looking king, a master of intrigue, will arise. 24 He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy those who are mighty, the holy people. 25 He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.  (Daniel 8:19-25)

Learn it:

            Chapter eight Daniel has another vision of the future.  This vision is focused on two nations and has two meanings.  The first is that it predicts a time in the near future where the Jews are going to experience persecution.  Around 160-170 B.C. Antiochus IV was king of Syria and he attacked Israel.  In the assault he killed 40,000 Jews and more than 10,000 where captured.  In the vision the “little horn” represents Antiochus and the horrible things that are coming. 

            While that is one meaning for the “little horn” it is also pointing towards the anti-christ.  While Antiochus did horrible things to the Jews the anti-christ is going to do horrible things to people, including Christians, around the world.  He will also allow deceitful people to prosper and it will seem as if the world will turn upsides down.  Yet, Daniel is also told that he will be destroyed.  Not by human’s but by something divine!

Live it:

            In the Old Testament we see multiple times the Jews going through times of persecution.  Before each time prophets told the Jews that God would deliver them.  In the New Testament we are told that Christians are going to experience persecution for their faith.  Just like in the Old Testament we are also promised strength to endure it and we will also experience deliverance.  I pray that whatever you are going through today that you trust God.  Lean on Him and He will give you strength and true deliverance.  While the deliverance can come in different forms we know that God will provide for us exactly what we need. 


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God’s Victory (Daniel 7:9-14; 21-22; 25-28)

 As I looked,

“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. 10       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.

 

11 “Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. 12 (The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.)

13 “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. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men 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 7:9-14)

 

He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time.

26 “ ‘But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. 27 Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.’  (Daniel 7:25-27)

Learn it:

            At the end of the vision Daniel see’s the “Ancient of Days” who is God take is his throne in preparing to judge the four beasts and the “little horn”.  This is an epic scene where tens of thousands stand before God in His fiery throne and He throws them into another blazing fire.  God is handing out his perfect judgement and is then about to hand over the world to His Son.  This is depicted in verses 13-14.  This is the moment that we as believers are waiting for.  For Jesus Christ to come and reign on earth.  For His kingdom will last forever!  There is nothing else like the Kingdom of God, no one will be able defeat it and everyone who is a part of that kingdom will bow before God and worship Him.    

Live it:

            As we read this part of chapter seven it should stir us with hope and shouts of praise.  God has defeated Satan and has established his kingdom on earth!  Oh, how we long for that day to come.  Until that day we live knowing that God has the final word and we should live as victors.  Do not let this world get you done.  Keep this passage close to your heart that God is all powerful and nothing can stop the coming of His kingdom.  Until that day we keep doing His work and inviting people to be a part of this future kingdom.


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A Coming War (Daniel 7:7-8; 19-20; 23-24)

“After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.

8 “While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully.  (Daniel 7:7-8)

“Then I wanted to know the true meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others and most terrifying, with its iron teeth and bronze claws—the beast that crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. 20 I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three of them fell—the horn that looked more imposing than the others and that had eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully.  (Daniel 7:19-20)

“He gave me this explanation: ‘The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. 24 The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings.  (Daniel 7:23-24)

Learn it:

            In this vision Daniel is very interested in the fourth beast.  He sees that this one is different than the other three.  Traditionally the fourth beast represents Rome.  What is so unique about it, is that it represents Rome in two different time periods.  For us, it represents the Rome that eventually defeats Greece and then it represents this future kingdom that is going to be a huge superpower that takes over the world. 

            It is this future Rome that will have 10 horns, which represents 10 nations underneath this superpower.  This nation is going to be unlike anything we have ever seen.  It will be a terrifying time in world history.  Then from the 10 nations a “little horn” is going to come up.  This “little horn” represents the anti-christ.  He will have great influence and cause many problems for believers.

Live it:

            Before Christ comes there will be difficult times in the world.  It will be a terrifying time where people are being killed and living in fear.  God wants us to be aware of things so that we can prepare for them.  It is a reminder to followers of God to be out in the world proclaiming his goodness and calling others to follow Him.  It is also a reminder that we should not be surprised when we do encounter the world turning against because God has told us it is going to happen.  It should cause us to rejoice that he is going to come back soon.  It gives us hope. 


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Hope for an Eternal Kingdom (Daniel 7:1-6; 15-18)

Daniel said: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. 3 Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea.

4 “The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a man, and the heart of a man was given to it.

5 “And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ‘Get up and eat your fill of flesh!’

6 “After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule. (Daniel 7:2-6)

‘The four great beasts are four kingdoms that will rise from the earth. 18 But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever—yes, for ever and ever.’ (Daniel 7:17-18)

Learn it:     

            The style of writing in Daniel changes.  It’s gone from stories to writing about visions Daniel has about the future.  This first vision starts with a vision of the sea and strong gusts of wind.  The wind represents turmoil and chaos going on.  Then out of the great sea come up four beasts.  It is widely believed that these four beasts represent the same four nations from King Nebuchadnezzar’s first dream in chapter.  The four nations the beasts represent would be Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. 

            What’s amazing is how the descriptions of the beasts relate to the nations.  For example, the first beast represents Babylon.  Other Biblical writers often refer to Nebuchadnezzar as a lion or an eagle.  When the lion’s wings are removed it represents when Nebuchadnezzar loses his mind and then his humanity is restored.  There are many connections I could make for the other four, but we see God giving Daniel insight into the future.

Live it: 

            What does this mean for us today?  How do we apply these visions to our lives?  Prophecies are to give us hope.  Hope that God has a plan and he is going to take care of His people.  Verse 17 in this chapter gives us that confirmation about what is to come.  There will be an eternal kingdom after all the earthly ones.  We hope in this eternal kingdom and long for it to come.  We have hope because the prediction about the four beasts came true so it gives us confidence that this eternal kingdom will also come.  We can rejoice and give God glory for his plan for us to reign with him forever. 


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