Daily Devotional Daniel 7:1–28
Several years ago, I had a student in class who was old enough to be my father. Over the course of the semester, I got to know him and hear his story. He was originally from Cambodia. As a teenager, he was forced to flee from his home when the Khmer Rouge rose to power. During the short reign of this regime, an estimated 1.7 million people were killed, including many members of this student’s family.
His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.
This is just one example of the horrific power of state. In today’s reading, Daniel has a vision of a succession of kingdoms portrayed as terrifying beasts. Daniel himself lived under some of these regimes. In his lifetime, Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem. He also saw the Persians conquer the Babylonians. He knew from experience the beast-like nature of empires.
From a human perspective, these powerful empires seem all-powerful. Daniel describes the fourth beast as “terrifying and frightening and very powerful...it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left” (v. 7). Yet, it is important to remember that human governments are not a law unto themselves. There is a higher power to Whom they must answer.
In contrast to the beasts, Daniel’s vision also includes a picture of God sitting on his throne as the judge (vv. 9–10). A judge is one who not only knows what justice is but who also can hold people accountable. In Daniel’s vision, the terrifying and oppressive beast is easily condemned and judged by God (v. 11).
>> We often need to be reminded that God is the ultimate authority in the universe. While human tyrants may seem to get away with evil in the present, God will hold them accountable. One day, the Lord Jesus will return and rule over all: “His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed” (v. 14). We need not live in fear, but in the confident expectation of our future hope.
Pray with Us
The earth seems full of evil people who go unchecked and unpunished. Yet we know that all are destined to face Your wrath if they do not repent. You will ultimately put an end to all wickedness.