September 15 (Daily reading: Daniel 7-9, NIV) In the first half of the book, Daniel interpreted the dreams of the kings Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar. In the second half, he wrote about his own dreams and their apocalyptic interpretations. Daniel was very troubled by them (7:15, 28). “I was appalled by the vision; it was beyond understanding” (8:27). Gabriel himself came on two occasions to interpret the visions for Daniel. Gabriel told him, “Understand that the vision concerns the times of the end … it concerns the distant future” (8:17, 26). And he said, “I have now come to give you insight and understanding” (9:22).
We may not understand what Daniel saw, but we can be instructed by his visions. As an example of this, think about one powerful vision that God gave Daniel. He saw God as “the Ancient of Days” who was attended by “thousands upon thousands.” He also saw “one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven” who entered the presence of the Ancient of Days. This one was “given authority, glory and sovereign power” and “all peoples…worshiped him.” This statement was made about him: “His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed” (7:9-14). In addition, “All rulers will worship and obey him” (7:27). Revelations 1:12 identifies the “one like a son of man” as Christ. We like Daniel are mystified by these visions. But we can know this: the Ancient of Days and the Son of Man are working out the divine plan for the earth. They know exactly how and when it will all happen. We can only praise God that He is in control!
– Al Gary