Manna for Today

 

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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God’s Rescue and Deliverance (Daniel 6)

 19 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. 20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”

21 Daniel answered, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king.”

23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

24 At the king’s command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.

25 Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations and men of every language throughout the land:

“May you prosper greatly!

26 “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.

“For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. 27 He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”

28 So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

Learn it:

            Daniel is a faithful servant to God.  His always are always fixed on Jerusalem when he prays.  Not only is his prayer life strong but even in his job responsibilities he has complete integrity.  The king recognized Daniel’s work ethic and raised him to one of the highest places of power.  This would have upset people because Daniel was a captive.  His loyalties would have been questioned. 

The only way his enemies could bring him down was to create a law that would contradict Daniel’s faith.  When the king made this new law, he did it not thinking of the consequences it may have on Daniel.  When Daniel’s enemies brought up the charges against him it grieved the king greatly.  He could find no way to free Daniel because the law was iron clad.  From the world’s perspective Daniel’s fate was sealed and he was going to die. 

Daniel is thrown in the lion’s den and a long night ensues for the king.  In the morning he rushes down and finds that Daniel is still alive!  Daniel is found to be innocent and the king kills those responsible for going after Daniel.  Then the king issues a decree for everyone to recognize the power and authority of the God of Israel.  He has an eternal kingdom and has power over all things. 

Live it:

            We must never waver in our allegiance to worshipping God.  He will always be there for us.  No matter what man’s law may tell us what to do we should continue to seek after God.  I pray that we would be able to have that boldness in our day to day lives.  God can get us through any difficult situation.  He will provide for us.  He will protect us.  All he wants is faithful followers.  How can you pursue God today?  How can you seek His kingdom and give Him glory? 


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Pastor’s Corner