2 Daniel spoke, saying, “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 from the sea, each different from the other. 4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings. I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.
7 “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. 8 I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words.
11 “I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame. 12 As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.
What a visual experience! There is a contrast between the entities described as beasts and the entity described as the son of man. Taking Daniel’s book in small bytes allows for time to reflect and ask for Holy Spirit revelation. We can suppose and many have supposed, what each beast represents. What comes forth rather than explanation is knowledge of who God is and what he does. He uses visual, vibrant images to speak to us. Are we listening? Can we see? The people He has created are also creators and there is a fascination and appreciation for the images that are shared. In the message unfolding before us sits a judge or king on a throne, someone full of wisdom and with the title Ancient of Days might be presumed to represent God. Beasts have appeared before in visions and tales from Ezekiel and Daniel and were representations of governments. The son of man is usually a term used for Christ. One thing is clear; if the beasts are governments we can see the opinion of God for our forms of government. Reminds us of what He told Samuel. The people want a king, they will have a king, but they will be disappointed by the oppression kings bring. King as a government is seen as oppressive by a portion of any people ruled by that king/government. God demands fealty and honor. When we take our trust and place it in government or a man in leadership position we open ourselves up for disappointment and judgment.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
Which shall not pass away,
And His kingdom the one
Which shall not be destroyed.
We see governments come and go. We are promised the kingdom of God will last forever and it rests within each believer.