Bible Pathway - Sept. 17, 2011

 

Read Daniel 7

Highlights:

God reveals to Daniel what will happen in the future (Dan. 7:1-14)! His first vision explained (7:15-28). His second vision explained (8:19-27). A loving Creator provides understanding (9:22-27).

In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had viewed a great, glorious, giant figure, representing succeeding world empires that would exist until the end of time (Dan. chap. 2). Fifty years later: In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream. . . . Daniel . . . said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another (7:1-23). These same world kingdoms were presented from far different points of view.

To the spiritually-minded prophet, the kingdoms of this world did not appear as a dazzling giant but as savage beasts. They were symbols of selfishness, and heartless cruelty and strife. The great sea driven by opposing winds represents the confusion and competition that exist in the world, and from this tempestuous situation arise four savage beasts (world rulers) depicting the history of the world from the time of Daniel to the Kingdom of Christ. Daniel saw world monarchs in their rebellion against God and contending for mastery over competitors. Selfish ambition to achieve worldly preeminence has reduced men to the level of beasts full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity (Rom. 1:29).

The Word of God declares: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9). History confirms the divine indictment given at the time of the flood: The imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth (Gen. 8:21; 6:5).

There are many dazzling "giants" in our day — some are even "good" things to buy and places to go. The powerful influence of these "giants" often seeks to lure us away from the eternal purpose of God for our lives. Actually, the dazzling giants are beasts that can steal our time and destroy our testimony if we yield to them. Eternal treasures can be gained only as we truly desire, more than anything else, to be guided by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world (I John 2:15-16).

Thought for Today:

The kings of the earth set themselves . . . against the Lord, and . . . His anointed. . . . Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron (Ps. 2:2,9).

Christ Revealed:

As the Son of Man (Dan. 7:13-14). The Truth of this vision was confirmed by our Lord as He spoke of His promised return. They shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory (Matt. 24:30).

Word Studies:

7:25 wear out to persecute with purpose of entire annihilation; 7:28 cogitations much troubled thoughts much bewildered; 8:7 choler brutal rage; 8:24 wonderfully with astonishing success; 9:7 confusion of faces look of shame; 9:25 wall coat; 9:26 cut off cut to death.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Official: Sen. Charles Grassley (IA) • Country: Yemen (17 million) in southwestern Arabia • Major language: Arabic • Attempts to convert Muslims to Christ are fiercely opposed • 98% Muslim; .03% Christian (all secret believers) • Prayer Suggestion: Encourage others to praise the Lord throughout the day (Ps. 67:5).

Optional Reading:

Revelation 22

Memory Verse for the Week:

John 1:11
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