Daniel 7

Vs. 1, “In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying on his bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream.”  As you might have noticed, this chapter is not chronological.  This dream of Daniel’s transpired before the death of Belshazzar in chapter five.  The theme of this dream is similar to that of the dream that Nebuchadnezzar had in chapter two.  In this dream, we get a preview of the End Times.  Again we have this image of four beasts (four kingdoms vs. 17) that Daniel would see.  There are differing views regarding who these nations are and the ten horns and the little horn (vs. 20).  Most scholars point to the same nations that were mentioned in my comments in chapter two.  Question: What do the ten horns and the little horn represent?  They represent the resurrected Rome in the form of a new leadership in the world and the little horn is the antichrist!  No wonder Daniel was troubled, but praise God that the ending is in our favor!

Regarding application…Jesus is Here  Vs. 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.”  It must have been a frightening vision to say the least for Daniel, but we get a cameo appearance from Jesus Himself!  Notice that during this time, which is in the tribulation years, there will be suffering from the saints.  But, God will not forsake His people.  Think about your own life for a moment.  If we search our hearts, there is probably some fear going on about a unknown future.  Fear that it may get tougher before it gets better.  But Jesus is here.  I remember the poignant scene in Lord of the Rings where Gandalf had to fight the fiery monster.  The fellowship of the Ring members witnessed Gandalf fall to his seeming death.  As they grieved for him, there was a fear about what to do next.  Many of us know that Gandalf came back and helped them in defeating evil.  But Jesus is bigger than Gandalf.  He not only will come back, but He is already here through the promised Holy Spirit!  Not only can you have comfort today, but comfort in a future that promises we will triumph in the end!

Ezekiel 1

Vs. 3, “the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, b by the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians. There the hand of the Lord was upon him.”  At the age of thirty (vs. 1), Ezekiel was now preparing to be a full-time priest, but like Jeremiah, God would call him to be a prophet.  And what a calling/vision God would give Ezekiel! The description of these four creatures are the same that John saw in Revelations 4 & 5.  The human face represented God’s greatest creation, the lion represented the fierciest animal, the ox was the greatest domesticated animal and the eagle is the greatest flying animal.  These four symbolize God’s creation and they all would submit under their Creator. The wheels would be symbolic that God is moving and active…even in the exile.

 

Regarding application…God is Here.  Vs. 28, “Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.”  It’s important to remember that this was a very sad and tragic time for Ezekiel and God’s people.  There wasn’t much hope and things were getting worse.  But, God would show his faithfulenss (rainbow) and come to not just Ezekiel but all of the exiles.  The vision was one that would be evident of God’s presence.  Question: Do you believe God is here?  When Ezekiel realized it, what did he do?  He fell facedown in reverance and awe.  Each day, we can encounter this very same God!  The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit!  Turn to Him today and no matter what trials you may be having, trust in the Lord!