This is Part 2 of Prophet Daniel's Dreams and Visions. Click here for Part 1.
Read the story here (Daniel chapters 7-9)
Prophet Daniel waited for God to deliver and save His people from suffering. He was shocked how long he had to wait for God. But he had confidence in God's faithfulness that He would keep His promises to all the Prophets.
Because Daniel had put his trust in God, God gave him many visions for the future, including empires Daniel did not even know about but later all came true after his time (Persian, Greek and Roman Empire).
All these visions and dreams pointed to God's final salvation plan: a Messiah, someone called the 'Anointed One' and the 'Son of Man' sent by God to bring an end to sin.
The Beasts, the Ram and the Goat
Daniel's visions of the beasts, ram and goat reveal the sinfulness of mankind. Powers in this world, one king after another, one empire after another, are all like beasts. They only bring destruction and deception.
Dreams and Visions for the 'Son of Man'
"In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached God and was led into His presence. God gave him authority, glory and power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His kingdom will be everlasting and will never be destroyed" (Daniel 7:13–14).
Who is the “one like a son of man” who comes with the clouds of heaven to be presented before God? It says he is like a 'human', but he comes down from heaven? And God gives him authority, glory and power? And all nations and peoples will worship him? How can a human share glory and power with God? This does not seem to make any sense!
Prophet Daniel's vision, however, is totally consistent with God's promises to the Prophets:
Prophet Adam: a son of Eve would have the power to crush Satan’s head (Genesis 3:15)
Prophet Abraham: the lamb of the sacrifice would be prepared by God
Prophet David: God's everlasting kingdom will be established through a descedent of David
Prophet Isaiah: The Messiah sent by God will be like a human suffering at the hands of men
In chapter 9, we can see Daniel's concern is not to fight these evil powers of the world with his own methods, but to pray to God for forgiveness. His prayers focused on mankind's shame and unfaithfulness to God, but also God's faithfulness to His people despite their sins.
The chapter also shows God's response to Daniel. God spoke to Daniel not because he was without sin, but because he humbled himself, confessed the sins of his people, sought understanding, and prayed earnestly for the world.
Although Daniel couldn't understand God's plan for these 'beasts' in detail, he understood he did not deserve God's mercy but God's mercy would still be enough for him. He understood God's heart for justice and righteousness.
What was God's answer?
In another dream, God showed Daniel His divine plan to atone all sins of mankind by making the final sacrifice. Today we do not know exactly what 'sevens' means (the word can also mean 'week' or simply 'a period of time'). It means Daniel still needs to wait for these visions to come true.
But God's message made His promises very clear (Daniel 9:24). God would:
put an end of sin and transgression,
make reconciliation for iniquity,
bring in everlasting righteousness,
seal up the vision and prophecy,
and to anoint the most Holy.
The Messiah God had promised to send to make atonement for the world's sin would be here on earth. He would be called the Anointed One, and His kingdom would be everlasting.
Your Response: Listen to God and Pray...
1. In what ways do Daniel's prayers still relevant to our lives today?
2. What do we learn about the coming Messiah? Why do you think it was important that God revealed these details of the Messiah to Daniel?
2. Daniel’s personal story, though full of suffering and injustice under a foreign empire, was a small part of God’s greater story. What do the visions and dreams God gave him teach us about God?
3. How would you respond to God after studying Daniel's story?
4 Who can you share this story with?