Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Beyond the Lions

This week's Old Testament reading comes from the book of Daniel.  I'd confess that beyond the popular story of the Lions' Den, and short passages here & there in my studies of Revelation and other apocalyptic writings, I've not spent much time with Daniel.

The readings are short (7:1-3, 15-18), and just enough to get a dream and its' interpretation.  Daniel sees four great winds "churning up the great sea", and four great unique beasts coming from that sea.  In the 2nd section we get the interpretation: "The four great beasts are the four (kings) that will rise from the earth."

Before we get caught up in wondering which current or future governments will rise from the earth, we recognize there were four primary oppressive governing bodies over the Jews.  This isn't news, as we can find this interpretation in several commentaries, and it definitely fits with the message of Daniel/scripture.

1. Chaldeans
2. Persian Monarchy
3. Grecian Monarchy
4. Rome? Turkish Empire? Syria?  (the jury seems out, but sure seems like Rome)

But the primary focus, even beyond these debates, seems to be found in verses 13-14, and verse 18:

"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.  He was given authority, glory, and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him.  His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed....But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and possess it forever - yes, for ever and ever."

A good reminder, for sure. :)

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