Daniel the Beloved

September 15, 2020 

Daniel 7:1-8

1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream and visions of his head as he lay in his bed. Then he wrote down the dream and told the sum of the matter. Daniel declared, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea. And four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another. The first was like a lion and had eagles’ wings. Then as I looked its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man, and the mind of a man was given to it.

And behold, another beast, a second one, like a bear. It was raised up on one side. It had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and it was told, ‘Arise, devour much flesh.’

After this I looked, and behold, another, like a leopard, with four wings of a bird on its back. And the beast had four heads, and dominion was given to it.

After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.

 Daniel is described three times in the book as “the man greatly beloved” (Daniel 9:23; 10:11,19). It is an interesting fact that the other man whom Jesus loved, John the beloved, also wrote a book about prophesy. I guess you tell your best friend things you might not tell other people. God told these men similar things relating to the end times, things he was going to bring to pass.

It is difficult to understand the book of Revelation without having some knowledge of Daniel’s prophesy. And reading and understanding Revelation gives insight on how to interpret Daniel. These books complement one another, it is almost like Daniel’s visions are not completely understood until John.

Daniel had been given to gift of interpretation by God and was successful in revealing the message behind Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams. But when he was given his own dreams, visions by God they alarmed him. He became anxious and worried about the interpretation.

Like the visions of Ezekiel before him and John after him he was only able to describe what he saw in the terms of the language accustomed to him. It seems he didn’t have the vocabulary to describe what he saw. “It was like…” became a common expression as they all searched for ways to describe the “other worldly” creatures and phenomenon they saw. Besides the actual events portrayed there were obviously things Daniel could not understand with regards to the things they revealed about the future.

So, when Daniel spoke to one of the people in the vision and asked what it all meant. The angel answered him and seemed happy to unravel the secrets and mysteries of the dream.

God desires understanding for his people. He has given us his word, he has revealed things by his spirit that the world will not understand. He calls us to know him and to be the recipients of information about what he is preparing to do. This knowledge is available to us because as believers we are in Christ, and we are therefore the beloved of God.

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