In the third year of King Belshazzar’s reign, I, Daniel, had a vision, after the one that had already appeared to me. In my vision I saw myself in the citadel of Susa in the province of Elam; in the vision I was beside the Ulai Canal. I looked up, and there before me was a ram with two horns, standing beside the canal, and the horns were long. One of the horns was longer than the other but grew up later. I watched the ram as it charged toward the west and the north and the south. No animal could stand against it, and none could rescue from its power. It did as it pleased and became great. Daniel 8:1-4 (NIV).
Chapter 8 begins with Daniel recounting another vision. This one had also come to him many years before, but after the chapter 7 vision. Spoiler alert: the angel, Gabriel, appears later in this chapter and explains what the ram with the odd-sized horns mean. We will learn throughout the chapter that this vision (the ram, and a goat that is also coming) is a partial retelling of Daniel’s visions in chapters 7 (the beast with the horns) and even in chapter 2 (Nebuchadnezzar’s statue). There. Now the work is done.
…And yet, there’s always more to it. This chapter of Daniel will be yet another chapter of prophecies that were soon to be fulfilled in the ancient world (‘soon’ being a term describing a few centuries hence) and in a time yet to come. Indeed, Jesus Himself would reference something Daniel said in predicting those end times that still haven’t happened yet.
That means we should pay attention to it. After all, if some prophecies that Daniel recorded 2500 years ago can come true in multiple ways already, then it’s reasonable to assume that those he describes about the time of the end of the world will also come true. Daniel’s language is figurative, but there’s a literal interpretation we should all heed.
Repent and believe now.
It really is that simple. We don’t know when this world will end; some people think it’s soon, some think it won’t be for many more years. Yet the Bible itself – God’s revelation of Himself to us – is complete and has been for a very long time. We have sufficient information to live our lives in ways that cleave to Him. That means paying attention to clues, signs, events, what’s going on around us. When God chooses to end this world, nothing we think or do can stop it. That means the time to get serious about what we believe is now. Repent and believe. Hopefully, Daniel’s prophecies help you do just that.
For further reading: Ezra 4:9, Esther 2:8, Isaiah 41:3, Mark 1:15, Revelation 13:11, Daniel 8:5
Lord, I believe in You and You alone. Thank You for Your mercies and prophecies.
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