“Then I wanted to know the meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others and most terrifying, with its iron teeth and bronze claws—the beast that crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three of them fell—the horn that looked more imposing than the others and that had eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully. Daniel 7:19-20 (NIV).
These verses fast forward to Revelation 13, which describes the ten horns as ten kings who will reign at the end of time and give their political, military, and economic power – and worship – to the antichrist. Numerous commentaries corroborate this belief, though some speculate it was more applicable to the rise of the Roman empire. And the little horn? According to most sources I found (but especially https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/daniel-7/), the little horn is prophecy about the end times, specifically about the antichrist.
Well that’s just great. Nothing happy about these verses. That’s the thing about the Bible, though: it presents truth, and truth isn’t always pretty or fun…but it’s always good. The truth can be quite imposing, even ugly, at least to us. The source cited above makes a good point about this. Where Daniel chapter 2 talks about four kingdoms to come, it makes the point from the vantage point of interpreting Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a statue was a dream of things he (or his successors) could endure. Here in Daniel chapter 7 we see another prophecy about four kingdoms to come yet the perspective is God’s, not man’s. We see the beasts come and go but the fourth beast makes war on both God and man.
If you don’t have your faith in Jesus, that isn’t something to look forward to. With all the changes afoot in the world right now, can you blame people if (like so many millions before them) they think that surely we must be near the end of days? After all, the future seems foreboding at best, terribly grim and threatening at worst.
Yet when your faith is in Jesus, you get to deal with these truths as they are: unpleasant things that God will use to proclaim His glory, to convince others to believe in Him, and to usher in better times. I used to be one who looked at these end-times prophecies as frightening words that nobody in their right mind would want to face. But, after putting my faith in Jesus, I now see them as challenges He will overcome as He makes all things new. Four beasts and eleven horns to overtake the world? Whatever. They’re nothing compared to my Savior. Daniel saw, then understood that.
For further reading: Revelation 13:5-6, Revelation 17:12, Daniel 7:21
Sovereign Lord, You and only You will overcome all evil.
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