Daniel, the interpreter of dreams, had his own, and they are terrifying. The latter half of the book of Daniel is filled with wild visions of future events. The course of history is contained in dismaying images of kingdoms, the first “like a lion and had eagles’ wings” (Daniel 7:4); the second, “like a bear, raised up on one side, it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth” (Daniel 7:5); next, “like a leopard, with four wings of a bird on its back, and the beast had four heads” (Daniel 7:6); and, finally, “a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet” (Daniel 7:7). Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome, we know their names. But there is another.
“Behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him. ~Daniel 7:13
A keen awareness of sin accompanies Daniel’s vision of a righteous King, and he makes no excuses, “we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled” (Daniel 9:5). God hates sin, but loves repentance more, and grace the most, and Daniel appeals to God’s mercy, “O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people are called by your name” (Daniel 9:19). This is the call to another kingdom and a righteous king. There is a future for Israel and all called by the name of God,
And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed.” ~Daniel 7:14
Empires will rise, and all will fall, except one, one that rises not from the dust of earth, but comes down from the heavens.
The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. ~1Timothy 1:15-17
God, full of righteousness and grace, justice and mercy. It is a wonder that I can approach You. It’s wonderful that You listen. My life does not warrant Your attention, but through the goodness of Your Son and the righteousness He gives me through His death, I can speak with You. I can even speak confidently. I have Your promises, written in Your Word, and I trust You completely.
So, God, I bring You praise, and I also bring the needs and concerns that surround me. I lay them at Your feet, and I pray in the Name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, Your will be done.