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Bible Pathways - September 17, 2005

September 17


Read Daniel 7


In Today's Reading:


Daniel's vision of the beasts; vision of the ram and goat; Daniel's prayer for his people; vision of 70 weeks


After the awesome grandeur of Nebuchadnezzar's dream of world governments is described (Daniel 2:19-45), the Lord reveals through Daniel another dream that exposes man's selfish ambition and use of cruel, savage power. All these governments subsequently would control the world at different times. Daniel recorded: I saw in my vision . . . and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea (7:2).The great sea is symbolic of fallen humanity with its fierce competition and godless instability. The four winds illustrate the impact of selfish ambition and greed.


Four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse (different) one from another (7:3). The beasts correspond to the kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. The first beast (Babylon) was like a lion, and had eagle's wings (7:4). As the head of the great image of Nebuchadnezzar's dream was gold, so the lion represented the strength and power of the king among animals. And behold another beast (Medo-Persia) . . . like to a bear (7:5), represented the empire which would soon conquer and replace Babylon.


The third beast, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl (7:6), represented the Grecian Empire. The four wings illustrate the speed with which Alexander the Great would conquer the ancient world.


The fourth beast . . . was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns (the ten nations of the revived Roman Empire) This final beast was dreadful and terrible (mighty), and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue (ruthlessly conquered all that remained) with the feet of it (7:7).


The ten horns (7:24) correspond to the ten toes on the feet of Nebuchadnezzar's great image (2:31,42) and represent a confederation of ten future world rulers, followed by another little horn (king) (7:8). This little horn represents the Antichrist who shall speak . . . against the Most High, and shall wear out (oppress) the saints (believers in Christ) (7:25). The Antichrist will be destroyed by the Stone (2:35,44-45; compare Acts 4:10-12). What a glorious time that will be when Christ shall come to be glorified in His saints (Christians), and to be admired in all them that believe (II Thessalonians 1:10).


Christ Revealed:


As the Son of Man (Daniel 7:13-14). 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).


Word Studies:


7:25 wear out = to persecute with purpose of entire annihilation; 7:28 cogitations = thoughts; 8:7 choler = furious anger, bitterness; 8:24 destroy wonderfully = astonishing destruction; 9:7 confusion = shame; 9:25 wall = moat; 9:26 cut off = put to death.


Prayer Needs:


Pray for Government Officials: Sen. Charles Grassley (IA), Rep. Jim Maloney (CT), Justice David Souter, and Rep. Gene Taylor (MS) · Country: Niger (10 million) in west-central Africa · Major languages: French and Hausa · Christian evangelism is limited · 89% Muslim; 10% animist; .4% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Lift up your prayers to the Lord as incense before God (Revelation 8:3-4).


Optional Reading: Revelation 22


Memory Verse for the Week: Titus 2:12

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