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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