Daniel Foretells the Future
“His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:14)
The prophet Daniel lived some five centuries before Mary. You may know the story of Daniel in the lions’ den, where God protected him overnight after his detractors had him thrown into a den of hungry lions.
The next day, the unscathed Daniel is freed and the hungry lions feast on his enemies when they’re tossed in to take Daniel’s place.
But the book of Daniel has much more than the story of his escape from a den of ravenous lions.
The first six chapters share six stories, including the one about the lions.
The last six chapters include four future-focused prophecies that God reveals to him through visions. (The angel Gabriel, who visited Zechariah and Mary, shows up in Daniel’s second and third visions.)
We read the first of his four visions in Daniel 7. In this vision he sees four winds and four great beasts. The fourth beast has ten horns. An eleventh horn appears; it has eyes and a boastful mouth.
Then Daniel sees God (the Ancient of Days) sitting on his fiery throne with a river of fire flowing before him. Millions attend him and one hundred million stand in his presence. Court is in session and the books are opened.
This is all quite perplexing, but don’t stop reading. Next comes the important part, the one that anticipates Jesus.
Daniel witnesses one like a son of man, who arrives with heavenly clouds. The man approaches God and comes into his presence. He receives authority, glory, and sovereign power.
People from all nations and every language worship him. His dominion will last forever, continuing without end. His kingdom will stand strong eternally.
This dream perplexes Daniel, just as it does us. He seeks an interpretation and receives one that explains the four beasts and the ten horns.
When the person explaining the vision to Daniel gets to the last part, he simply says that this kingdom will last forever, and all rulers will worship and obey him (Daniel 7:27).
This final part of Daniel’s vision is what Gabriel alludes to when he comes to Mary and tells her about what Jesus will do (Luke 1:32–33).
Though the precise meaning of Daniel’s vision may not have been clear to him then, it is clear to Gabriel when he comes to tell Mary about Jesus.
If we follow Jesus as his disciple, we’re part of this everlasting kingdom that Daniel saw in his vision.
When we read things in the Bible that don’t make sense, do we seek someone (or the Holy Spirit) to explain it to us?
What is our response when we see Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in the New Testament?
Prayer: Lord God, speak to us and reveal your truth as we read the Bible. May your Word cause us to revere who you are, what you did, and your plan for us.
[This devotional is taken from the December 6 reading from The Advent of Jesus.]
Celebrate Christmas in a fresh way with The Advent of Jesus. It’s a forty-day devotional that prepares our hearts to celebrate the arrival of Jesus in an engaging read. Begin your Advent journey now and gain a greater sense of wonder for the season.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.