As I looked, “thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened. Daniel 7:9-10 (NIV).
All of the books of the prophets (Isaiah through Malachi) contain fantastical imagery that reveals both what is to come and descriptions of God’s character and mercy. None of them is more fantastic, however, than these two verses, where Daniel, the interpreter of visions, takes a whole new turn.
In taking that turn, I’d ask you to read the verses that are referenced below. They talk about God on His throne, in splendor and, admittedly, intimidating, maybe even frightening. Frightening, that is, until you remember that God judges in grace and truth. The man sitting on the throne is both God the Father, and God the Son, Jesus. Daniel leans forward to later tie into Revelation. It’s hardly a picture of ‘Jesus, meek and mild,’ but it’s still the same man. Still the Son of Man. Still the friend and Savior of sinners who bled, died, and rose for us.
Still the Ancient of Days. That’s a term in the Bible that only Daniel uses (https://www.gotquestions.org/ancient-of-days.html). It hearkens back to the knowledge that God is outside of time, that He created time and is older than it. The one who judges everyone in fire and holiness is also the one who created all things and deemed us, mankind, His very good, best creation of all. He did it out of love, out of the desire to be in community with us; out of His desire to share His beauty, peace, and love with us so that we could revere Him by sharing it with each other.
In the process of all that, we chose sin (and the boasts of the little horn) instead of Him; we still do, you and me. And that’s a good reason to remember that Jesus meek and mild is also trinity Jesus on the throne of power, the one both Daniel and John saw in visions. The Ancient of Days sees each of us as we are, right now. One day we’ll meet Him and He will open the books of our lives to rightfully judge us based on what we’ve done throughout our journey. Will He mark your debt ‘paid in full’?
For further reading: Exodus 32:32, Deuteronomy 33:22 Chronicles 18:18, Psalm 50:3, Isaiah 30:27, Ezekiel 1:25-28, Matthew 19:28, Jude 14, Revelation 4:2, Revelation 5:11, Revelation 20:4, Daniel 7:11
My Lord, all my faith is in You. Have mercy on me, a sinner, today and in Your holy judgment.
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