Learning from Daniel 7-12
7:1-28 - ‘There before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven... His Kingdom is one that will never be destroyed’ (13-14). These words point us to Christ’s description of His Second Coming, the Coming of His Kingdom: ‘They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory’ (Matthew 24:30). In Revelation 1:7, we have another echo of Daniel’s ‘vision’: ‘Look, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him’. ‘Lo! He comes, with clouds descending... Yea, Amen! let all adore Thee, high on Thine eternal throne; Saviour, take the power and glory, claim the Kingdom for Thine own. O come quickly! O come quickly! O come quickly! Alleluia! Come, Lord, come!’ (Church Hymnary, 316).
8:1-27 - Here, we have a ‘vision’ concerning ‘the distant future’, ‘the time of the end’ (26,17). Here, we catch a glimpse of Satan, the very powerful enemy of God’s people. Satan’s power is very frightening - ‘His power shall be great, and he shall cause fearful destruction...’. It was the power of Satan which lay behind the ‘stern-faced king’: ‘He will become very strong, but not by his own power’ (23-24). Satan’s power will be broken. Satan faces certain defeat - ‘He will be defeated’. How will he be defeated? We will not defeat him - ‘He will not be destroyed by human power’. There is only one Power able to destroy the power of Satan: ‘He shall be broken by the hand of God’. ‘Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ’ (1 Corinthians 15:57).
9:1-27 - ‘O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act!’ (19). How do we know God will hear and answer our prayer as we look to Him for salvation? - ‘The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against Him’ (9). We come to God with our sin - We are ‘dead in our sins and wickedness’. He comes to us with His grace - ‘By grace you have been saved through faith’. We come to God, deeply conscious of our sin. We know in our hearts that we can do nothing to save ourselves. The way of salvation can never begin with the word, ‘I’. It always begins with God. It begins with His love - ‘His great love for us’: ‘God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in our sins’ (Ephesians 2:1,4-5,8).
10:1-11:13 - Daniel came to God in great weakness - ‘I am helpless... My strength is gone...’ (16-17). From the Lord, Daniel received great strength - ‘The One who looked like a man touched me and gave me strength... When He spoke to me, I was strengthened...’. Daniel’s strength came from the love of God and the peace of God. God assured Daniel of His love for him. He called Daniel a ‘man greatly beloved’. God spoke His Word of peace to Daniel: ‘Peace be with you’. As God revealed His love and peace to him, Daniel came to realize that there was no need to be afraid. He could ‘be strong’ in the Lord (18-19). When we are weak, let us come to God and receive His strength - ‘His grace is sufficient for us. His strength is made perfect in weakness’ (2 Corinthians 12:9).
11:14-45 - We are to live for God - ‘The people who know their God shall be strong and do great things’. We are to stand against Satan - ‘The people who know their God will firmly resist him’ (32). Living for God and standing against Satan, we must ‘put on the whole armour of God’. ‘Strong in the Lord’, we ‘take our stand against the devil’s schemes’ (Ephesians 6:10-11). ‘Soldiers of Christ, arise and put your armour on, strong in the strength which God supplies through His eternal Son... From strength to strength go on, wrestle and fight and pray, tread all the powers of darkness down and win the well-fought day that, having all things done and all your conflicts past, ye may o’ercome through Christ alone and stand complete at last’ (Church Hymnary, 441).
12:1-13 - We read of two very different futures - ‘everlasting life’ and ‘everlasting contempt’ (2). We receive ‘eternal life’ through ‘believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God’. Through faith in Him, we ‘know that we have eternal life’. God gives us His promise: ‘He who has the Son has life’. To those who ‘overcome’, through ‘believing that Jesus is the Son of God’, God gives this promise: ‘I will never blot his name out of the Book of Life’. Alongside His promise, there is His warning: ‘He who does not have the Son of God does not have life’. To those who refuse to come to Christ for salvation, God gives this warning: ‘If anyone’s name was not written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the lake of fire’ (John 20:31; 1 John 5:5,11-13; Revelation 3:5; Revelation 20:15).