Living in the Lion’s Den: The People of God in Exile
Today's Text: Daniel 7:1-28
Daniel gives these incredible insights as to how we can live in a post-Christian culture, a secular age that wants to push a Biblical Worldview to the margins, if not completely out of the picture. So far, our sermons in the Daniel series can be succinctly stated:
Jer. 29:1-14 – Live your life
Dan. 1:1-7 – Stamp your child
Dan. 1:1-7 – Draw your line
Dan. 1:8-21 – Stand your ground
Dan. 1:8-21 – Love your people
Dan. 2:1-23 - Face your crisis
Dan. 2:24-49 - Know your prophecy
Dan. 3:1-30 - Trust your Savior
Dan. 3:1-30 - Understand your culture
Dan. 4:1-37 – Guard your mind
Dan. 4:1-37 – Surrender your pride
Dan. 5:1-31 - Honor your God
Dan. 6:1-28 – Remember your home:
Dan. 6:1-28 – Show your loyalty:
Dan. 6:1-28 – Embrace your leadership:
Dan. 6:1-28 – Check your attitude:
Dan. 6:1-28 – Maintain your integrity:
Dan. 6:1-28 - Establish your consistency:
Dan. 6:1-28 – Welcome your humility:
Dan. 6:1-28 – Seal your legacy:
Dan. 7:1-28 - Quiet your panic:
Dan. 7:1-28 – Resist your (rogue) government:
Dan. 7:1-28 – Worship your God:
Dan. 7:1-28 – Protect your space:
The Passage Contents - Part 2
Living in the Lion’s Den: The People of God in Exile.
In Daniel 7, Daniel has a nightmare of a scary primeval sea with roaring wind blowing over it and with monsters that come up out of the sea one-at-a-time. Daniel also sees a throne, a ruler on that throne, millions of attendants, and he sees the most ferocious monster of all judged and defeated. What is God’s plan for dealing with the monsters? Ultimately, all of history is leading and taking you to one place – the feet of Jesus. Until then, beasts are going to rise up out of the seas; it’s your job to stay faithful to the King and resist the allure and trickery of the beast.
I see a beast rising with a dangerous worldview. I also see a Savior who’s already risen. He came to earth “like a son of man,” where the powers of evil were strong. He became like us, representing us as he faced the monsters of life head-on.
In Daniel 2 and Daniel 7, we’re given a progression of world empires, beginning with Babylon that would rule much of the world and ending with a revived Roman Empire near the end of this current age. The time at the end of history’s final empire is called the Tribulation, and it will be a time more horrific than one can imagine. Eruptions, tsunamis, epidemics, famine and food shortages, contaminated water sources – it all converges on planet earth - gradually, then suddenly. And I think man will create much of this mess. But it will be God who has the last word.
Why is Daniel 7 so important?
It’s An Encouragement. This vision of history would be an encouragement to a Jewish person who felt forgotten in the cogs of history and wondered about the future of their nation and people.
It’s A Warning. This would be a warning to Gentile nations – “Don’t get cocky. You’re only allowed to rule for a period of time."
It’s A Reality-Check. The answer to our human dilemma is not found in the political. It’s as if Daniel invites us to incorporate the doctrine of total depravity into our politics.
It's an Exhortation. Stay faithful to the Son of Man no matter what. This is an exhortation to believers in the cultural “lion’s dens.” Stand in readiness, do not be surprised or discouraged, and remember these words: “The court shall sit in judgment.” (v 26).
The point not to be missed here is: God wanted Daniel to know that God’s ultimate victory over evil would be a long time coming (Daniel wrote in 550 BC). Daniel is seeing that God’s kingdom rule won’t arrive in a consummated way with the close of 70 years in exile. Rather, another ungodly kingdom, and two more after that, will strut upon the world’s stage before the thrones are set, and a sentence is handed down. Yet this much is certain: fire will fall from heaven. Righteousness will prevail. The Ancient of Days will kill the beasts, even as their powers are said to exist for a season. Salvation will come. Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5). Open your life to him today.