Old Testament: Daniel 7:1-28
Daniel 7:1-28 A Monster Chapter
Daniel had another dream like the one he had in chapter 2 (v. 1). The fourth year of Belshazzar was 533 B.C. He saw four great beasts (vv. 4-8):
1) a lion with the wings of an eagle but sprouted two legs like a man and had a man’s mind — representing Babylon
2) a second was like a bear with three ribs hanging out of its mouth, it was commanded to eat a lot of meat — representing Medo-Persia
3) the third was like a leopard with four bird-like wings and four heads — representing Graeco – Macedonia
4) the fourth beast had large iron teeth and trampled the others — it had ten horns and was different than the others — representing Rome
* a little horn with the eyes of a man and a boastful mouth came up in the midst of the other horns and plucked out three of the other horns (the Antichrist, cf. vv. 24-25)
After that vision, Daniel saw a vision of the Ancient of Days (vv. 9-10, cf. Rev. 1:12–16, though the vision of is of Christ in Revelation and the one in Daniel is the Father, the implication is clear, they are one in the same). The main beast along with the others were destroyed before Him (vv. 11-12). Verses 13-14 are a vision of Christ, “the Son of Man.” Jesus referred to Himself numerous times in the Gospels as “the Son of Man” (cf. Matt. 8:20, e.g.). Christ was identified with mankind because as man He was able to represent us before God and be our substitute. He is the One Who will rule the world (v. 15).
Daniel was distressed by the vision and asked an angel to help him interpret it (possibly Gabriel, cf. Dan. 8:16; 9:21). He was told that the great beasts were four kingdoms that would be superseded by a kingdom of the saints (vv. 17-18). The fourth beast, the Antichrist, made war on the saints (v. 21). The saints were rescued by “the Ancient of Days” so that the saints could populate the kingdom (v.22).
The angel went on to explain that the fourth beast represented a fourth kingdom that would eat up the rest of the earth and overcome it (v. 23). Out of the kingdom of ten horns a kingdom of ten kings will arise and then another that will subdue three of the kings (v. 24, the ten horns represent the ten nation European union). He will oppose God and attack believers being able to rule the world for three and a half years (v. 25). A court will take away his power forever (v. 26) and his kingdom will be given over to “the Highest One,” Christ, who will rule forever (v. 27).
After seeing these visions, Daniel was so shocked that he turned pale. But he kept the visions to himself (v. 28).
New Testament: 1 John 1:1-10
1 John 1:1-10 Shedding Some Light
We begin three short books by “the Apostle of Love,” John. John, of course, wrote about love but also was combating the heresy of gnosticism. Gnostics had a “secret knowledge.” The gnostics believed that Christ being a higher being, did not really have a body like we do. They were wrong. But due to their faulty doctrine, John ended up teaching us many things that have been useful through the ages.
He begins by clarifying that he and the other apostles were eyewitnesses of Christ (v. 1). They were able to see Him and touch Him with their hands. He had a literal body. He had come from the Father and He was eternal life (v. 2). John emphasizes that the apostles had seen Christ and now preach Him so that others can have fellowship with them. Their fellowship was with both the Father and the Son (v. 3). They were able to have a full complement of joy by writing about their experience (v. 4).
God Himself is absolutely pure like Light without any impurity at all (v. 5) If anyone claims to have fellowship with Him yet has an impure life, he is a liar and isn’t really close to God at all. They are, as it were, walking in the dark (v. 6).
Those who walk close to Christ will have share God and have fellowship with each other and will be cleansed by His sacrifice of blood (v. 7). Anyone who says they don’t have any impurities spiritually are lying to themselves and and they have bad doctrine (v. 8).
The way to get back in touch after breaking His rules is to just admit it to Him (v. 9). If we do that, God will cleanse us from any impurities of which we aren’t even aware (v. 9b).
Psalm 119:153-176 The Word, Part 10 A Wisdom Psalm By Anonymous
Proverbs 28:23-24 Un-a-bomber?
We live in an era of kids getting trophies for everything in sports. I don’t think that has made for a sturdy generation. In fact, kids are very fragile.
Several years ago I took a young person who wanted to be mentored for a boy scout merit badge in something like spirituality or church. It was a commendable endeavor. Part of it was even memorizing Scripture. It was great! The course took weeks to complete and the student had to commit several Bible verses to memory before receiving the merit badge.
We had met for many weeks and we finally had to finalize the course. Every week I asked if the student had done any memorization. He hadn’t done any. We finally reached the end of the class. I had allowed his mother to attend each session. We approached the hour of reckoning. The scout had to memorize several verses to finish his merit badge or he had no merit. But it was a requirement.
At the last meeting, I asked if he had memorized his verses. He pulled out the cards he had written out and started reading them. He started to read them. You read that right.
I said, “no, you had to memorize them.” He hadn’t. And if you can believe it, his mother exploded in anger at me. I was shocked. He knew that the memorization of the verses was a necessity. He could not just read off of his cards. I was not in their favor.
I was astonished that his mother got mad at me after her son failed to do something that he had weeks to prepare. He knew he had to get his merit badge. But this is the time that we live in. Verse 23 only applies to people who are seeking wisdom. Only the wise appreciate correction (cf. 2 Tim. 3:16).
I think a friend may have purloined a roll of toilet paper. Some people think that it’s OK to swipe paper clips from their employers. Some think it’s OK to pilfer what they need from relatives. It’s not OK. It’s all theft. Any kind of robbery is not right (v. 24, cf. Lev. 19:11).
Have you ever heard of the Unabomber? He was a domestic terrorist who attempted to blow up his own academic colleagues.
Someone who steals from his family and friends is tantamount to a Unabomber, destroying those who are close to him.
You can take things other than things from others. You can empty others of energy, you can embezzle emotions, you can rob them of their reputations and the respect that they deserve.
Are you ripping or robbing?
Are you a bomber?
Choose Life: Scripture: 1 John 1:9 NASB “One Of The Most Important Verses In The Bible”
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9
What is the most important verse in the entire Bible? Some might say John 3:16. Of course, that is a salvation verse. After that one, what would be the most important verse in the Bible? It most likely would be 1 John 1:9.
That verse says that if we just admit our sin when we offend God, He will forgive us. And it says even more than that. It says that God will forgive us for everything that we can’t remember to admit! That is pretty awesome, isn’t it? God always gives us more than we expect. He will forgive us if we admit offending Him and then as “value added,” He will also forgive everything else.
Can you imagine buying a car and having all the gas you need and service and insurance thrown in for free? Then the dealer throws in Onstar and Sirius radio for nothing? Actually, it’s even better. Then the salesman says, you know that Someone else bought that car for you. Wouldn’t that be great?
Well, God bought salvation for us and then threw in forgiveness for any sin we might confess afterward. Wow.
Do you have anything you want to admit or confess to God today?
If you do, you will be forgiven and you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!
If there has been a sin weighing on your mind for a while and you know God wants you to deal with it but you haven’t, but you know you really should work on it, now is the time to deal with it. (I’m working on “run-on” sentences.) If there is more than one sin God has been convicting you of, maybe you should write them down.
Now confess them all to God, realizing He will forgive all the other sins you are committing that you can’t remember.
And remember: The truth shall set you free (John 8:32)!
The purpose of Choose Life is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog: A Monster Chapter