Sunday, June 30, 2019

Daniel 7

Today's reading in our daily plan is Daniel 7. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Chronologically, this chapter takes place around 553 BC, and actually before chapter five. The first six chapters of Daniel present a historical record. The last six chapters of Daniel focus on visions of the future.
  • Daniel has a vision of four great beasts, which seem to each represent a world empire. These nations are evil but Daniel sees (verses 26-27) God's Kingdom coming and reigning victorious.
  • The lion with eagles wings (verse 4) represents Babylon. Statues of winged lions have been recovered from Babylon's ruins. The bear (verse 4) represents Medo-Persia. The leopard (verse 6) is Greece. The fourth beast (verse 7) points forward to Rome.
  • In verses 9-10 the prophecy shifts to the "end times." There are very similar scenes in the last book of the Bible, Revelation (see Revelation 1:14-15, 5:11-12).
  • "The books were opened" (verse 10) refers to the final judgment. We also read about these "books" in Revelation 20:12. 
  • The "one like a son of man" refers to the coming promised Messiah. Jesus used this verse to refer to Himself (see Matthew 26:64, Luke 21:27, John 1:51).
  • The "horn" (verses 21-22) that wages war against God's people is described very similarly in Revelation 13:7, where this "horn" is called the "beast." For a while, the horn defeats God's people but, ultimately, those who die for the faith will overcome and be given eternal rewards when the "Ancient of Days" (a nickname for Jesus) comes and defeats the horn.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • The book of life includes everyone who will have eternal life in Heaven with their Heavenly Father. Getting into this book happens when a person accepts God's gift of salvation by putting their faith in Jesus and what He did on the cross.
  • When you look at the world, or at your own life, so often it seems like good is being defeated by evil. It's easy to get discouraged. But we can live with hope because we know that, no matter how things look, God is in charge and God (and good) will win in the end.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • Have you put your faith in Jesus and what He did for you on the cross? If not, don't you want your name in the book of life so you can have confidence facing death, and life after death? If you're ready to put your faith in Jesus, let someone on staff at Verve know. If you're not sure yet, go to Next Step to learn more about starting and growing in a relationship with God.
  • When you lose hope about what's going on in the world or in your life, remember that God is still in charge and that in the end good and love will triumph. That reality is more real than the reality that's discouraging you.