God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Monday, September 16, 2013

September 16 - Daniel 7-9: God Wins in the End

Today’s Reading: Daniel 7-9

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

God shows Daniel the future using grand visions with animals.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

God told Daniel through a vision that although four countries would rule over them, God's saints would receive an everlasting kingdom. The kingdoms would fight Israel but God would win in the end.
Two years later Daniel had another vision of Greece defeating Media and Persia. Greece would fight Israel, but God would win in the end.
Daniel prayed to God, "We deserve shame. May Your Mercy and Grace deliver us. You will give us salvation only because Your Name is great."
Gabriel answered Daniel, "God will set your relationship right but first Israel must have its evil removed."

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

Daniel's visions tell of the immediate future.

Similar to Nebuchadnezzar's dreams and Ezekiel's visions, Daniel's visions were meant to deliver a message for his day. The visions foreshadowed the regime changes that would soon occur. Each small part of the vision would correspond to a distinguishing characteristic of each king to come. In the second vision, Daniel sees the rise and fall of Alexander the Great's kingdom. Both the four kings and Alexander the Great would fight God's Chosen People. God's purpose for Daniel's visions was to prepare His Chosen People for persecution.

God would win in the end.

At the conclusion of each vision, the same event happens—God defeats the beast(s). Since God's Chosen People would have difficult times ahead, God wanted to make sure they knew He would defeat their enemies. The four beasts and the ram would not get the final say against Israel. No matter the persecution, God will win in the end.

Daniel thanks God for His Grace and Mercy removing Israel's sin and punishment.

When Daniel realizes Israel would be returned in 70 years (as Jeremiah informed the exiles), he also realizes Israel has not become holy. They do not deserve to be returned to their land. God would return them, though, because God wants to set all things right with those with whom His Relationship is strained. He is willing to set our relationship right repeatedly hoping we will acknowledge His Mercy and Grace and set things right in our relationships with others. How awesome is our god! Our forgiveness is not dependent on our actions but on our acceptance of God's mercy and passing it on.

Do you trust that God will win in the end?

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