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.
Daniel declared, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea.
And four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another.
The first was like a lion and had eagles’ wings. Then as I looked its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man, and the mind of a man was given to it.
And behold, another beast, a second one, like a bear. It was raised up on one side. It had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and it was told, ‘Arise, devour much flesh.’
After this I looked, and behold, another, like a leopard, with four wings of a bird on its back. And the beast had four heads, and dominion was given to it.
After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.
I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.
“As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire.
A stream of fire issued and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened.
“I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire.
As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.
“I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him.
And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.
“As for me, Daniel, my spirit within me was anxious, and the visions of my head alarmed me.
I approached one of those who stood there and asked him the truth concerning all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of the things.
‘These four great beasts are four kings who shall arise out of the earth.
But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.’
“Then I desired to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the rest, exceedingly terrifying, with its teeth of iron and claws of bronze, and which devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet,
Do we consider ourselves among the holy ones, the saints, as we follow Christ? Then there is coming a time of persecution and pain. But there will follow a time of victory and this will last forever. How do we apply this? Perhaps on many levels. For our daily living we know we face many obstacles to our peace. This can be in the form of the driver who cuts us off as an example. How do we react? We are victors, if we are believers. This event and others like it should not disturb our peace, for we are victors. Revelation calls us overcomers. We overcome in the spirit. We do not have to cave in to feelings of rejection, lack of control, injured pride. Our peace remains because we know the end, it rests in Christ and we are in Christ. What is truly important? To life? Ask the one facing death or one who has faced death. Relationships with God and our fellow man and woman take priority. Loving beyond the hurt, pain, depression and destruction creates overcomers for they see beyond the events and the feelings. Blessed be the name of the Lord.