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The terms, "past", "present", and "future" are really for our benefit. With God, everything is present tense. Occasionally He chose to reveal the future to man. Daniel is a prime example of the blessings of the gift of prophecy - God revealing His knowledge of the future to mankind through a man.
Unfortunately, many Bible readers often skip over Bible prophecy. But since approximately 28% of the Bible is prophetic we miss a lot that God has to tell us if we ignore prophecy.
Insider trading is illegal when it comes to the stock market but not when it comes to Godís truth. The prophets were given "inside information" by God because He intended for us to use it.
Weíre not going to attempt to unveil every tidbit of knowledge revealed in Danielís prophecies. Our purpose is in keeping with the theme of this sermon series, "Reinventing Your Life". Daniel and his friends had to reinvent their lives when they were taken captive in Babylon. From time to time we also need to adapt to the changing world around us. One of the blessings of adapting Godís way is it gives us security. Neither the present nor the future need worry us if we follow Godís revelation.
As a matter of fact this is how weíre going to take a look at Daniel chapter seven. The dream of Daniel keys us in on where to find security.
The first eight verses of Daniel chapter seven teach us that THERE IS NO HUMAN SOURCE FOR OUR SECURITY.
Dreams and visions were often the way God revealed Himself and His will through the prophets. Numbers 12:6 - "When a prophet of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams."
So it was not at all unusual for Daniel to receive Godís Word in this manner.
In Danielís dream he envisions a great churning sea. (Verses 1-2) The sea is often used symbolically in the Bible to represent the world of nations. (Isaiah 17:12-13; Revelation 17:1,15) So a sea in the chaotic state as Daniel envisioned it represents the nations of the world in turmoil.
Four great beasts come up out of this unstable sea, representing four great Gentile kingdoms. This was also the message of King Nebuchadnezzarís dream in Daniel chapter two.
The first beast, a lion with eagleís wings, represented Babylon. (Verse 4) It is interesting that the Bible compared Nebuchadnezzar, the greatest king of Babylon, to a lion (Jeremiah 50:17) and an eagle (Ezekiel 17:3,12). Eagles and lions are known for their swiftness in overtaking their prey. Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar exhibites just such swiftness in conquering her enemies. When the beast stood up like a man in Danielís dream, it probably represents the more humane treatment Nebuchadnezzar exhibited after his bout with insanity. (Daniel chapter 4)
The bear in Danielís vision represented the Medo-Persian kingdom. (Verse 5) A bear is slower moving and larger than an eagle or lion. The army of Medo-Persia was known for its huge size and slower movements than the army of Babylon. One side of the bear was higher than the other in Danielís dream, representing the fact that the Persians wielded
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