Sunday, August 06, 2017

Kingdom vision

Image: Pixabay
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Daniel 7:1-14

TO CHEW ON: “Then 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 the one
Which shall not be destroyed.” Daniel 7:14

Reading passages like today's shows me how puny are my customary pictures of God, His awesomeness, and His plans for history.

Bible scholars have looked into what or who the grotesque beasts of Daniel’s dream (Daniel 7:3-8) could symbolize and come up with a variety of conclusions. Personally I don’t even want to start down that path.

What does cause my heart to do a somersault, though, is the vision of God the Father and Jesus that Daniel records at the end of our reading. After all the beasts have lost their power, we witness “one like the Son of Man” coming from the sky to stand before the “Ancient of Days” (Daniel 7:9,10) and to whom is given dominion, glory and a kingdom “… His dominion is an everlasting dominion, / Which shall not pass away, / And HIs kingdom the one / Which shall not be destroyed” - Daniel 7:14.

A few verses beyond our reading, Daniel makes reference to this kingdom again: “But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.”

My Bible’s study notes on Daniel explain: “Son of Man was Jesus’ favourite self-designation. Hence Daniel’s dream is in part messianic, announcing that the Messiah’s coming will inaugurate a new phase of God’s rule on Earth. Christ did this by bringing the kingdom of God into human experience, (vs. 18)” Coleman Cox Phillips, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1131.

Reflect now on Jesus and how often he talked about the kingdom. He was recognized as and accepted the title of king (Matthew 2:2; 27:11; John 12:13). He claimed that bringing the kingdom was the very reason He was born (John 18:37). He told many parables about it. In passages like Matthew 5,6 & 7 (parallel Luke 6:20-49) He described its principles and “laws of gravity.”

Jesus’ teachings about the kingdom bear out Daniel’s assertion in Daniel 7:18 that the kingdom is not a human kingly dynasty but is something we as individuals receive and possess now and for all eternity when we accept Him as Saviour and Lord (King).

How exciting to have this connection to the majestic coronation scene of Daniel’s vision!

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, passages like Daniel 7 put me in awe of God the Father and You, Son of Man, as they give me a glimpse into Your greatness and plans for history. May I never lose my awe and wonder at the enormity of You and Your ways. Thank You that I can live in Your kingdom now. Amen. 

MORE: Feast of the Transfiguration
Today the church remembers and celebrates the day Jesus was transfigured before His disciples. This collect prayer begins the day's liturgy:

O God, who on the holy mount revealed to chosen witnesses your well-beloved Son, wonderfully transfigured, in raiment white and glistening: Mercifully grant that we, being delivered from the disquietude of this world, may by faith behold the King in his beauty; who with you, O Father, and you, O Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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