1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream and visions of his head as he lay in his bed. Then he wrote down the dream and told the sum of the matter.
2 Daniel declared, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea.
3 And four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another.
The book of Daniel falls into two categories. First, we have the historical stories, set in the time of the Babylonian captivity. In the first six chapters we have seen men surviving a fiery furnace and hungry lions; a king lose his mind and behave like an animal; young men choose God’s way rather than the pagan way; a disembodied hand write warnings on the wall. It’s been pretty exciting! Now we enter into the second type of writing by Daniel, which is equally exciting. Now come the visions and end times prophecies that can be difficult and challenge our imaginations. Time to slow things down a little and take few verses per day.
First of all in chapter 7 we find Daniel actually taking credit for writing the book. “Then he wrote down” tells it all. There can be no doubt about who wrote the book at this point. There has been much speculation in the past as to whether or not Daniel actually put pen to paper himself, because if he did the writing then the visions and prophecies are truly miraculous. There are those who would call this into question because of the accuracy with which Daniel tells of the future. Those folks just cannot or will not believe that God would reveal such detail to Daniel. As far as this blog is concerned, belief in the miraculous has never been a problem. Daniel saw the visions and he wrote them down – long before they took place.
Verses 2 and 3 of today’s reading are fairly straight forward. Daniel saw a vision that would encompass events taking place on a global basis. These events would affect the entire world. The four great beasts will be the next four great world powers that would dominate the planet, with the final one bringing in the advent of the Messiah. As we read the rest of this chapter, we will even see into the very end times when Christ is seated on His throne. Needless to say, it’s a big chapter and will involve much of the rest of Scripture, including the visions of John from the Revelation. For today we recognize God’s sovereign power over all of the world, including its leaders. Daniel has shown us in the first 6 chapters that God is sovereign over the life of the individual. Now we will see what He does on a grand scale.