Verse of the Day Devotion. Daniel 7:3 And four great beasts were coming up from the sea, different from one another.
As we move forward from chapter six to seven, we shift our focus from history to prophecy. Chronologically, Chapter seven belongs between the fifth and sixth chapters, and why it appears after six is unknown. However, seeing it this way, we can see the incredible dream this was.
First, we read in verse one. “In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel saw a dream and visions in his mind as he lay on his bed; then he wrote the dream down and related the following summary of it.” Daniel 7:1. This brings out the actual order because Belshazzar ruled for two years, having been killed at the beginning of his third year. Having had this dream, when he woke up he felt compelled to write it down, therefore he wrote everything he saw.
And essentially, what he saw was a picture of four great kingdoms, symbolized by four beasts that he saw in his dream. “Daniel said, I was looking in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea. And four great beasts were coming up from the sea, different from one another.” Daniel 7:2-3. This sea here probably refers s to the Mediterranean Sea, and it was called the great sea as opposed to the Sea of Galilee or the Dead Sea. It is stirred up by four winds of heaven, which denotes that out of strife these kingdoms came. And from these four winds came four beasts.
Now, Daniel did not understand what he saw, and was actually distressed and alarmed. So, in his dream he asked one there what this meant. And this is what he was told. “These great beasts, which are four in number, are four kings who will arise from the earth. But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.” Daniel 7:17-18. These four beasts/kingdoms were first, the Babylonian empire, the current power. After a time, it would be defeated by the second beast, Medo-Persians, which would be defeated by the Greek/Macedon empire, which would be defeated by the Roman Empire.
However, though these four kingdoms were very powerful, there would be another. “But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.” And this kingdom will be one that never ends and will be a kingdom full of God’s people, those who have truly accepted the truth of the gospel, believing it and making it the most important thing in their lives; their heart’s filled with the Holy Spirit.
And the beautiful thing here is that all these things happened just as was told to Daniel in his dream. And this is because our Great God knows all things. In fact, He knew this would happen from before creation. “Remember this, and be assured; Recall it to mind, you transgressors. Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’; Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.” Isaiah 46:8-11.
And this truth should give us extraordinary peace, for God knows everything about us; what we have done, what we are doing, and what we will do. And He knows what has happened to us, what is happening to us, and what will happen to us. There is nothing He does not know. And because of this, we can trust Him completely. God loves us and will take care of us when we place our trust in Him. He brought Daniel and his three friends through every trial that came upon them. We should place our absolute confidence in Him just as they did. And when we do, we shall see things we could never have imagined and be safe through every trial that will come upon us.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.
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