Highlights In Today's Reading:
The Lord reveals future world events to Daniel. Each vision is explained! The four beasts illustrate four world powers (7:17,23) of "the times of the Gentiles." Look who's victorious (7:26-27)! Chapter 8, the ram, he goat, and little horn. Look who explains it (8:16). Then Daniel reads the books (9:2). He prays, pleading for God's mercy and forgiveness on Israel. Look who shows up again (9:21) to explain God's plans.
In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream. . . . Daniel . . . said, I saw in my vision by night, and behold the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another (7:1-23).
The great sea driven by opposing winds represents the confusion and competition that exist in the world, and from this tempestuous situation arise four savage beasts (world rulers) depicting the history of the world from the time of Daniel to the kingdom of Christ.
Fifty years earlier, Nebuchadnezzar had viewed a great, glorious giant figure, representing succeeding world empires that would exist until the end of time (Chapter 2). These same world kingdoms were presented from far different points of view.
To the spiritually-minded prophet, the kingdoms of this world did not appear as a dazzling giant but as savage beasts. They were symbols of selfishness, and heartless cruelty and strife. Daniel saw world monarchs in their rebellion against God and contending for mastery over competitors. Selfish ambition to achieve worldly preeminence has reduced men to the level of beasts full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity (Romans 1:29).
The Word of God declares: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). History confirms the divine indictment given at the time of the flood: The imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth (Genesis 8:21; 6:5).
There are many dazzling "giants" in our day — some are even "good" things to buy and places to go. The powerful influence of these "giants" often seeks to lure us away from God's eternal purpose for our lives. Actually, the dazzling giants are beasts that can steal our time and destroy our testimony, if we yield to them. Eternal treasures can only be gained as we truly desire, more than anything else, to be guided by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world (I John 2:15-16).
Thought for Today:
Satan, under the disguise of an angel of light (II Corinthians 11:14), would love to keep us busy doing things that have no eternal consequence.
As the Son of Man (Daniel 7:13-14). The truth of this vision was confirmed by our Lord as He spoke of His promised return. They shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory (Matthew 24:30).
7:25 wear out =b> to persecute with purpose of entire annihilation; 7:28 cogitations =b> thoughts; 8:7 choler =b> furious anger; 8:24 destroy wonderfully =b> astonishing destruction; 9:7 confusion of faces =b> look of shame; 9:25 wall =b> moat; 9:26 cut off =b> put to death.
Pray for Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts to India sponsored by Charlene Darling • Staff: Gina Lesnefsky • Government Officials: Sen. Charles Grassley (IA), Justice David Souter, and Rep. Gene Taylor (MS) • Country: France (59.1 million) in western Europe • Major language: French • Religious freedom • 80% Roman Catholic; 7% Islam; 1.22% Protestant; 1.18% Jewish; 1% Buddhist; .2% Orthodox; .2% Eastern Catholic; .2% Jehovah's Witness; 9% Other/None • Prayer Suggestion: Trust in the Lord: where He guides, He provides (Psa. 16:1-8).
Optional Reading: Revelation 22
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Thessalonians 1:4