Summary: Daniel chapter 7 moves from the historical to the prophetic. The entire chapter moves us to ask the question, Have I invited Jesus to set up His throne in my life.
Intro: Theoretically, television may be feasible, but I consider it an impossibility--a development which we should waste little time dreaming about.
Lee de Forest, 1926, inventor of the cathode ray tube.
I think there is a world market for about five computers.
Thomas J. Watson, 1943, Chairman of the Board of IBM.
We don't think the Beatles will do anything in their market. Guitar groups are on their way out.
Recording company expert, 1962.
Daniel has just left his furry friends and you would think that we would rejoin the regularly scheduled programing. Instead we are taken in the way back machine to the 1st year of Belshazzar’s reign. It feels like Marty McFly in that Daniel goes back but he goes back to the future.
In Daniel 7 we are moving from History to prophecy. It is important to know some things about prophecy before we dive into the ocean of pictures and figures of speech that are common in this type of writing called apocalypse. Isaiah 53 (read) we have the benefit of knowing the event that fulfills this prophecy. Jesus was the only person in history that could fulfill it completely. So with prophecy it is written vaguely not to confuse us but to make clear that there is only one event, course of events, or people that can completely fulfill the prophecy.
Since the events of Daniel 7th chapter have not been fulfilled completely then they must still be future.
We have to be very careful to not miss the forest for the trees in this chapter and the following chapters. The details are important but they point to the greater truth. There is so much written on this chapter and following it is easy to be swallowed up the minute details and miss the major truths.
Before we even look at part of this passage today we need to remember that Daniel reveals to us that God reigns!! Because God reigns we can live righteous lives as we trust Him. Also from last week our lives will be transformed when we allow God and His word to have the final say in every area of our lives!! (Daniel written for believers who are suffering)
I. The coming of the beasts
A) Man’s view of the kingdoms
There is a connection between chapter 7 and 2. Nebuchadnezzar saw a stature of gold, silver, bronze and iron. He viewed the kingdoms of man as powerful and valuable. Nebuchadnezzar viewed the great statue of his dream as the great accomplishments of men in history. Our appraisal of ourselves is always better than God’s.
B) God’s view of the kingdoms
God’s view of the kings and kingdoms of man are completely different than Nebuchadnezzar’s or ours. God shows Daniel and us that the kings and kingdoms of man are confused, corrupted and controlled by chaos. Daniel is told in 7:17 that the beasts are kings. Remember that you cannot separate kings from their kingdoms. The kingdoms will often take on the character of their ruler. (The same should be said of us if Jesus is our king we should take on His character and purpose!!)
1) Lion with eagles wings – Gold Babylon (Daniel 7:4)
2) Bear with ribs raised up – Silver - Media- Persia (Daniel 7:5)
3) Leopard with wings – Bronze - Greco Macedonia (Daniel 7:6)
4) Large terrible beast with iron teeth – Iron - Rome (Daniel 7:7)
There are differences of opinion and interpretation about who these kingdoms are. However it is clear they are man-made man centered and temporary. One falls to the other. They will not last. These kingdoms are temporary because they were established by the hands of man.
II. The crowning of the king
There is a great contrast between this and the opening scene. There is no rush, no chaotic winds it is just a sitting down of the throne of God. He casually takes His seat and gets ready to judge.
Now we come to the most important part of the 7th chapter. God sits his throne down right in the middle of the corrupt king and kingdoms activity.
A) Eternal (7:9)
Daniel keeps watching and the “Ancient of Days” takes His seat. This stands in stark contrast to the kingdoms that pass away one after the other. He is constant and calm. The chaotic waters of man cannot move or persuade the Ancient of days.
B) Righteous (7:9)
The white hair and clothes remind us of His perfect purity and righteousness. He will judge according to His standard. We constantly want to compare ourselves to something that makes us look God. The entire point of the Bible and this chapter of Daniel is to get us to see ourselves how God sees us. Wretched, beastly, corrupt, convicted. When we see ourselves through the righteous eyes of God we deserve nothing but judgment, conviction and eternal damnation.