Tuesday, March 29, 2011

His rule is eternal—it will never end

Dan. Chapter 7-14 NLT (Excerpted)  
   1 Earlier, during the first year of King Belshazzar’s reign in Babylon, Daniel had a dream . . . 2 In my vision that night, I, Daniel, saw a great storm churning the surface of a great sea, with strong winds blowing from every direction. 3 Then four huge beasts came up out of the water, each different from the others. . . . 
   7 Then in my vision that night, I saw a fourth beast—terrifying, dreadful, and very strong. It devoured and crushed its victims with huge iron teeth and trampled their remains beneath its feet. It was different from any of the other beasts, and it had ten horns. . . . suddenly another small horn appeared among them. Three of the first horns were torn out by the roots to make room for it. This little horn had eyes like human eyes and a mouth that was boasting arrogantly. 
   9 I watched as thrones were put in place and the Ancient One sat down to judge. His clothing was as white as snow,   his hair like purest wool. He sat on a fiery throne  with wheels of blazing fire, 10 and a river of fire was pouring out, flowing from his presence. Millions of angels ministered to him; many millions stood to attend him. Then the court began its session,  and the books were opened. 
   11  I continued to watch because I could hear the little horn’s boastful speech. I kept watching until the fourth beast was killed and its body was destroyed by fire. . . .  13 As my vision continued that night, I saw someone like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal—it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed.

In the book of Daniel, chapter 7 drops back to a few years before the time when Babylon was taken over by Darius the Mead. The previous King-- grandson of the great Nebuchadnezzar, was king still. God gives Daniel a vision of the end of history before the eternal kingdom commences. It must have been horrific for Daniel to see a fast forward pictograph movie of the entire coming four thousand years of human history at a macro level. There were endless conflicts and centuries of war among nations. Each nation exercised what it thought was its authority. However, all of it was part of God's great plan. The interepretation of the dream given to Daniel in vv 17-28 conveyed that God is in control at every turn of world events. The suffering, the conflict, they wars, the persecutions of righteous people-- they all play a part in God's great plan and prepare many for what we read about in verse 14 and verse 27-- the time when the 'holy people of the Most High' will be given God's kingdom and it "will last forever, and all rulers will serve and obey Him."

We can read the updated version of the dream in the vision given to John the Beloved in his book of Revelation. The interpretations match and convey a picture that many, today, are seeing as an approaching time in human history. Even in the past two weeks the news talk shows have been taking up the worried discussion about this being the approaching end. There is the great world disorder, that will precede the fourth world ruler, who attempts to set himself up as 'god.' We have seen in Daniel's writings that such an attempt does not work out so well for those who make it. That will be true of the fourth kingdom's world ruler as well. It all ends in fire, while the persecuted people of God receive the Kingdom from the Messiah the Prince.

Notice, beginning in verse 9, the awesome scene of the Judgment Seat of God. What Daniel saw was probably beyond his ability to describe and these were the best words he could come up with based on his life experiences. We notice that God is in the seat of power and the source of fire (a purifying substance). We notice that while millions of angels do his bidding, this one arrogant world ruler stands ignorantly defiant of the Creator exercising his boastful pride. Boasting and pride never end well. They always lead to a downfall. This usurping little horn (political power) build his kingdom on treachery of other rulers who gave him his start. And he thinks he can usurp the power of God Himself so he boasts and rebels, until fire consumes him.

With such an outcome to boastfulness, I think I want to ask that the Lord deliver me from any time of boasting about anything other than in the power of God alone. How about you?

Your servant,

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