Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 15.
Read: Daniel 7 & 8 - Read the Message paraphrase, and note 1-3 insights/questions that arise.Reflect: It is inspiring to look up and explore the intense detail in both chapters 7 and 8 of all the symbols. The visions God gave Daniel would require patience, but when understood they would show that God has a plan and He knows the future. Take the bear in chapter 7, raised up on one side and with three ribs in its teeth. Seems like an animal from some sci-fi movie. But when you know that the bear represents the Medo-Persian Empire, and that the Persians later become dominant, you know why it was raised on one side. When you also see that they conquered Babylon, Lydia and Egypt, the three ribs in the mouth make more sense too. Daniel is stressed with this vision, as probably we would be too (Daniel 7:15-16). When the angel Gabriel interprets the dream to Daniel, there is a rapid description of all the beasts until you get to the last symbol of power, when the story slows down and more details are shared. It appears at first rather gentle, not on its own but just “a little horn,” from the fourth beast. Ernest C. Lucas in his commentary on Daniel, p.180 shares: “In the Hebrew wisdom literature in particular, a person’s eyes or look and tongue or speech reveal that person’s character. In Proverbs 6:16-19, ‘haughty eyes, a lying tongue’ head the list of six things the Lord hates.”
Respond: Pray for strength.
Research: Explore which power matches the eight identifying marks of the little horn.