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Daniels Vision
Bible Passage Daniel 1:1-28
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2023 & book Daniel.

Daniel’s Vision

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached June 12, 2023

SCRIPTURE 📖
1 In the first year of the reign of King Belshazzar of Babylon, Daniel dreamed a dream, receiving visions in his mind while in bed, after which he recorded the dream, relating this summary of events.

2 Daniel said, “I observed the vision during the night. Look! The four winds of the skies were stirring up the Mediterranean Sea.

3 Four magnificent animals were rising from the sea, each different from the other.

4 The first resembled a lion, but it had eagles’ wings. I continued to watch until its wings were plucked off, it was lifted up off the ground, and it was forced to stand on two feet like a man. A human soul was imparted to it.

5 “Then look!—a second animal resembling a bear followed it. It was raised up on one side, with three ribs held between the teeth in its mouth. Therefore people kept telling it, ‘Get up and devour lots of meat!’

6 “After this, I continued to watch—and look!—there was another one, resembling a leopard with four birds’ wings on its back. The animal also had four heads, and authority was imparted to it.

7 “After this, I continued to observe the night visions. And look!—there was a fourth awe-inspiring, terrifying, and viciously strong animal! It had large, iron teeth. It devoured and crushed things, and trampled under its feet whatever remained. Different from all of the other previous animals, it had ten horns.

8 “While I was thinking about the horns—look—another horn, this time a little one, grew up among them. Three of the first horns were yanked up by their roots right in front of it. Look! It had eyes like those of a human being and a mouth that boasted with audacious claims.”

9 “I kept on watching until the Ancient of Days was seated. His clothes were white, like snow, and the hair on his head was like pure wool. His throne burned with flaming fire, and its wheels burned with fire.

10 A river of fire flowed out from before him. Thousands upon thousands were serving him, with millions upon millions waiting before him. The court sat in judgment, and record books were unsealed.

11 “I continued watching because of the audacious words that the horn was speaking. I kept observing until the animal was killed and its body destroyed and given over to burning fire.

12 Now as to the other animals, their authority was removed, but they were granted a reprieve from execution for an appointed period of time.”

13 “I continued to observe the night vision—and look!—someone like the Son of Man was coming, accompanied by heavenly clouds. He approached the Ancient of Days and was presented before him.

14 To him dominion was bestowed, along with glory and a kingdom, so that all peoples, nations, and languages are to serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion—it will never pass away—and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”

15 “Now as for me, Daniel, I was emotionally troubled, and what I had seen in the visions kept alarming me.

16 So I approached one of those who was standing nearby and began to ask the meaning of all of this. He spoke to me and caused me to understand the interpretation of these things.

17 He said, ‘These four great animals are four kings who will rise to power from the earth.

18 But the saints of the Highest will receive the kingdom forever, inheriting it forever and ever.’

19 “I wanted to learn the precise significance of the fourth animal that was different from all the others, extremely awe-inspiring, with iron teeth and bronze claws, and that had devoured and crushed things, trampling under its feet whatever remained.

20 Also, I wanted to learn the significance of the ten horns on its head and the other horn that had arisen, before which three of them had fallen—that is, the horn with eyes and a mouth that uttered magnificent things and which was greater in appearance than its fellows.

21 “As I continued to watch, that same horn waged war against the saints, and was prevailing against them

22 until the Ancient of Days arrived to pass judgment in favor of the saints of the Highest One and the time came for the saints to take possession of the kingdom.

23 So he said: ‘The fourth animal will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, different from all the kingdoms. It will devour the entire earth, trampling it down and crushing it.

24 Now as to the ten horns, ten kings will rise to power from this kingdom, and another king will rise to power after them. He will be different from the previous kings, and will defeat three kings.

25 He’ll speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One. He’ll attempt to alter times and laws, and they’ll be given into his control for a time, times, and half a time.

26 Nevertheless, the court will convene, and his authority will be removed, annulled, and destroyed forever.

27 Then the kingdom, authority, and magnificence of all nations of the earth will be given to the people who are the saints of the Highest One. His kingdom will endure forever, and all authorities will serve him and obey him.’

28 “At this point the vision ended. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts continued to alarm me, and I lost my natural color, but I kept quiet about the matter.”

BACKGROUND ✝
In the book of Daniel are many visions. In the first vision (whose chronological position would be between Chapters 4 and 5), Daniel saw a severe storm stirring up the sea, then, coming up out of the raging waters, four strange beasts. The meaning seems to be that God was working in the affairs of the region, stirring up events that produced in turn four kingdoms (7:1-3; see also v. 17).

The four kingdoms represented here are the same four kingdoms illustrated in Daniel 2, but there is a difference in emphasis. Whereas the vision given to the heathen king Nebuchadnezzar dealt in general with the historical significance of the events symbolized, the vision given to God’s servant Daniel dealt more with how these events would affect the people of God. The emphasis in Daniel 2 was that God controls the rise and fall of empires. The emphasis in Chapter 7 is that God preserves His people through the opposition that these empires bring. Hallelujah!

The first vision of a beast of a lion with eagle wings symbolized Babylon. Babylon was proud, ruthless, and unconquerable at the beginning, but later its cruel power softened and it became more humane (verses 4).

The second beast (a bear), already eating one victim and getting ready to pounce on another, symbolized the Medo-Persian Empire in its greedy conquest (verse 5). The third beast (leopard) pictured the swift conquest by Alexander the Great and the spread of the Greek Empire (verse 6).

The fourth beast, so horrible and terrible that it was beyond description, symbolized brutal all-conquering Rome. From the many kingdoms (‘ten horns’) brought together in the Roman Empire, one leader (a ‘little horn’) emerged as more ruthless than all others. He murdered those who opposed him and established himself as a cruel unchallengeable dictator (verses 7-8).

Daniel then had a vision of the fiery chariot throne of God, upon which sat the Lord of the universe. He would judge His creatures with absolute purity and fearful justice (verses 9-10). The ‘little horn’ dictator made such claims to power that God could tolerate him no longer. His day of judgment had come. The three previous kingdoms were merely overthrown – taken over rather than wiped out. This fourth kingdom, however, under the absolute rule of its arrogant dictator, was completely and mercilessly destroyed (verses 11-12).

In place of this anti-God kingdom, a new kingdom was set up, one that was different from all that had gone before. It was set up not by a beast-like figure but by a man-like figure. This was the universal kingdom of God (verses 13-14).

One of God’s heavenly servants explained to Daniel the meaning of the vision. The kingdoms of the world may arrogantly oppose God in their ruthless drive for supremacy, but the kingdom that triumphs, in the end, is the kingdom of God, the people of God (verse 15-18).
A reason is given for God’s devastating judgment on the ‘little horn’ dictator of the fourth beast: he used his power to make war against God’s people (verses 19-22). He blasphemously challenged the Almighty and cruelly persecuted His people, even making special laws so that the whole power of the state could be turned against them. But God allowed him to rule only for a time, then suddenly intervened and destroyed him (verses 23-26). Once again God’s kingdom triumphed; His people were victorious (verse 27).

History shows that the Roman Empire used its power with arrogance and cruelty. It blasphemed God and persecuted his people without restraint. But God’s people triumphed and the kingdom of God remained unconquerable, whereas the Roman Empire crumbled and even the most brutal of its emperors was destroyed. So will it be with all the ‘beasts’ and all the ‘little horns’, till the Son of man returns in power and glory, and His people in the most total sense inherit His everlasting kingdom?

LESSONS ✍🏽
🔷 God will destroy every power or authority that is against Him, and punish the adherents of the same power

🔷 Everyone will one day appear at the judgment throne of God to account for their stewardship

🔷 The rule and the reign of the wicked is for a short period of time

🔷 God controls the world and preserves His people from cruelty

PRAYER POINTS 🙏🏽
💥 Pray for patience in persecution
💥 Ask God to protect you from enemy invasion

CONCLUSION 📙
God is in control of the world and His power shall pull down every dominion of the enemy. In His time, He restores His own and exalts them.
AMEN

In series Bright Morning Reflections