Going Deeper 10-29-19

The first reading for All Saints Sunday…

Daniel 7:1-3, 15-18   In the first year of King Belshazzar of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head as he lay in bed.  Then he wrote down the dream: I, Daniel, saw in my vision by night the four winds of heaven stirring up the great sea, and four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another. …  As for me, Daniel, my spirit was troubled within me, and the visions of my head terrified me.  I approached one of the attendants to ask him the truth concerning all this.  So he said that he would disclose to me the interpretation of the matter: "As for these four great beasts, four kings shall arise out of the earth.  But the holy ones of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever—forever and ever."  


The Old Testament book of Daniel is very similar to the book of Revelation at the end of the New Testament.  Filled with strange and vivid symbols and images, Daniel is written in order to bring hope to the people of God in the midst of chaos and persecution… just like the Revelation of John.  For both apocalyptic books, the main theme can be summarized as this: No matter how bad things may get, trust in God; He will deliver you.


The “four great beasts” of Daniel’s dream refer to four kingdoms which played significant roles in Israel’s history: the Babylonians, the Medes, the Persians, and the Greeks.  The historical setting for Daniel was during the abusive reign of Antiochus Epiphanes, a Greek leader who brought great persecution to the Jews after the end of Old Testament history, less than 200 years before Christ.  Written almost in a type of code, Daniel tells God’s people to hang in there, pointing not only to Antiochus Epiphanes’ fall, but also to the coming deliverance and restoration of God’s people.


Some have mistakenly believed and taught that being a child of God means we are protected from hardship and calamities.  But history has proven that to be untrue.  As a matter of fact, God’s people have often suffered persecution because of their faith.  The difference (and it is huge!) is that we can always find hope and peace in knowing that God will eventually deliver us.  And not only that, God can even make good things come from bad experiences.


So, always remember:  No matter how bad things may get, trust in God; He will deliver you.


With You in His Love,

Mark Gabbert, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church
Wellington, Colorado

"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care."