Tabernacle Tuesday
~ Week Seven ~
July 21, 2020
Daniel ~ Chapter Seven
"I was watching in the night visions,
and behold, One like the Son of Man,
coming with the clouds of heaven!
He came to the Ancient of Days,
and they brought Him near before Him.
Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed."
(Daniel 7:13, 14)

Morning Meditation : Read Daniel 7:1-14

On the very night that Belshazzar was slain, Daniel was promoted to third ruler in the kingdom of Babylon (Daniel 5:29). His new position meant nothing as Nebuchadnezzar's great image lost its head and the kingdom was squeezed by the silvery chest and arms of the Medo-Persian empire. Yet the Lord, who alone "removes kings and raises up kings" (2:21), purposed that Daniel would be dressed in royal attire on that night, so that the new ruler would take notice of him and place him in the administration of his newly-formed government. His purple robe and golden adornments were what initially caught the attention of the king, but it would be his true royal attire, the "hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God" (1 Peter 3:4), which set Daniel apart and placed him in a whole other league above all the other advisors, and would capture the heart of the king and cause him to consider elevating Daniel to the position of prime minister over the whole realm. Unfortunately, this incited the envy of all the other royal administrators, leading them to devise a wicked scheme to destroy Daniel by designing a law that would rob the Most High God of the honor due His name. Their plotting provoked the anger of the Lord, who saw to it that the mouths of the true lions who sought to devour His highly-favored servant were shut forever, by turning their own devious scheme on themselves (Daniel 6:24; Esther 7:10). " No weapon formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is from Me," says the LORD" (Isaiah 54:17). Daniel could not be ensnared by the enemy's cunning, because he had confident trust in God and a disciplined lifestyle of prayer three times a day, which he refused to compromise even in the slightest degree in order to save his own skin. Undeterred that his devotion to God was now a capital crime, Daniel remained resolute, refusing to alter his habit of prayer, and he was rewarded, though not from the lion's den, but through it - as is often the case with many of the heroes of the faith (Hebrews 11). May we follow his example today, living a lifestyle of love and devotion to God in His Word and prayer, so that when the lions seek to devour us for our faith in God we will do our duty, bravely, remaining steadfast, and "serving our Lord continually," to the victorious end. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world" (1 Peter 5:8, 9).

Though monarch's came and went, and empires changed as swiftly as the wind blows, Daniel, like the God whom he served faithfully, remained the same. He was as resolute in his service to the Lord in his eighties, as he was upon his arrival in Babylon as a teenager when he first determined not to defile himself from the king's table. He resolved to remain with the Lord from the start and refused to compromise - even the simplest precepts, like dietary laws, he would not transgress. As the thirty-day decree went forth, all eyes were upon God's trusted servant, and Daniel did not disappoint. He acted with courage, willing to follow the Lord into the lion's den if he must, because he knew his God would be there in the battle with him, fighting for him. The Lord had even gone ahead of His most trusted servant and prepared him for this battle by showing him the brute nature of the beast of Medo-Persia in a vision in the first year of the reign of Belshazzar: "And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it: 'Arise, devour much flesh!' " (Daniel 7:5). The Lord communicated to Daniel the true nature of the world empires in a dream. When viewed from the human vantage point, as in Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the golden image, the nations appear great, impressive, and valuable, but from the divine perspective, as Daniel's vision revealed, these nations were dangerous, ruthless beasts that seek only to devour one another. "But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. "There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked" (Isaiah 57:20).

"I watched till thrones were put in place,
and the Ancient of Days was seated;
His garment was white as snow,
and the hair of His head was like pure wool.
His throne was a fiery flame,
its wheels a burning fire;
a fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him.
A thousand thousands ministered to Him;
ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him.
The court was seated, and the books were opened."
(Daniel 7:9-11)

As Daniel watched, he saw the rise and fall of each beastly kingdom until the greatest kingdom of all was revealed and the Ancient of Days was seated in all His glorious splendor upon a throne of fire, surrounded by innumerable servants praising Him. "Our God shall come and shall not keep silent; a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous all around Him" (Psalm 50:3). The government of God took center stage; the thrones were put in place, the court was seated, and the books were opened. The eternal, sovereign, holy God, existing from eternity past, is seen seated on the throne in the position of power and authority, moving and working in wondrous ways as He executes judgment upon the earth. "Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them" (Revelation 20:11). Through the timely vision the Lord made it clear that Almighty God, who is supreme over all earthly rulers, knows the future. This provided much needed encouragement to his servant during the exile by showing him that the Lord is the Judge of all the earth, the cruel enemies of God will all be destroyed, and the kingdom of God will be set up in the world. "Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away " (Daniel 7:14). Daniel saw the coronation of the Son of God, enthroned as ruler over the whole earth, and given a kingdom that will never be destroyed. From the human perspective it looks as if the nations are controlling the destinies of man, but we are learning over and over in the book of Daniel, that "The Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses" (4:32b). Let us take time, as we begin our day, to join the chorus around the throne in praise of the One whom the Father has committed all judgment and authority over the earth. "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing! Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!" (Revelation 5:12, 13b).

"The Mighty One, God the LORD,
has spoken and called the earth
from the rising of the sun to its going down.
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God will shine forth.
Our God shall come, and shall not keep silent;
a fire shall devour before Him,
and it shall be very tempestuous all around Him.
He shall call to the heavens from above,
and to the earth, that He may judge His people:
"Gather My saints together to Me,
those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice."
Let the heavens declare His righteousness,
for God Himself is Judge." Selah
(Psalm 50:1-6)
Afternoon Devotion : Read Daniel 7:15-28

The vision greatly troubled Daniel, and he wanted to know the truth about the fourth beast, "which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful;" particularly the little horn which rose up to make war against the saints of God. This powerful kingdom points to the Roman Empire with its destructive strength, but Daniel saw something in his vision that wasn't in Nebuchadnezzar's dream. This final human kingdom would be unlike any of the other previous kingdoms, though it is of the same spirit of immorality, idolatry, and abominable acts found in its original head and carried through the other kingdoms, with its opposition towards God and His people - it would declare war on God! The ten horns (ten toes (2:41-42)) are ten kings or kingdoms that will exist in the last days, possibly an extension of the Roman Empire, from which the final world kingdom will be organized, and through which the kingdom of the Antichrist will come and actively oppose God and His people. This counterfeit Christ will overcome the power of three other rulers and do what Satan has planned for him to do, making him ruler of the world, controlling the economy and religion, and attempting to change times and the law. For forty-two months he will hold world-wide supremacy, and will demand the worship of no one but himself. "I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom" (v. 21, 22).

"But the court shall be seated,
and they shall take away his dominion,
to consume and destroy it forever.
Then the kingdom and dominion
and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven,
shall be given to the people,
the saints of the Most High.
His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and all dominions shall serve and obey Him."
(Daniel 7:26, 27)

The Lord provided Daniel with a panoramic view of history that began with the kingdom of Babylon and climaxed with the thousand year reign of Christ on earth. "And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years" (Revelation 20:4). The final world kingdom will be given destructive power for a time, but like all the other kingdoms that preceded it, it too shall fall in the court of the Great King (v. 26), and the Kingdom of God will reign forever. "Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this" (Isaiah 9:7). Daniel found strength for himself and his people in exile as the first parts of the vision became reality, providing them with the comfort and hope they needed to endure trials and tribulations as they looked forward to the day when their Messiah would reign on the throne of David forever. "Then the seventh angel sounded: and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of the world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" (Revelation 11:15). As we continue our journey through the book of Daniel let us draw hope, with the knowledge that, in this season of restless uncertainty, increasing hostility, and rising lawlessness, all of Christ's enemies will be made His footstool, the dominion of the enemy will one day be taken away, and the kingdom of God will eternally reign. Let us lift our eyes up above the difficulties of the present day and see the ever-present Ancient of Days seated on the throne surrounded by a multitude of saints singing His praise. Let us bring our offering of praise and prayers of thanksgiving for the times in which we are living that afford us the freedom to give our attention to prayer and to the sharing of the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which offers all who will believe in Him the promise of eternal life with God and future reign with Him in His kingdom. "Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God" (Psalm 90:1-2). "Even so, come, Lord Jesus" (Revelation 22:20).

"When the Son of Man comes in His glory,
and all the holy angels with Him,
then He will sit on the throne of His glory.
All nations will be gathered before Him,
and He will separate them one from another,
as a shepherd divides His sheep from the goats.
And He will set the sheep on His right hand,
but the goats on the left.
Then the King will say to those on His right hand,
"Come, you blessed of My Father,
inherit the kingdom prepared for you
from the foundation of the world."
(Matthew 25:31-34)
Evening Prayer : "Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times a day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days." (Daniel 6:10)

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As we travel through the Book of Daniel
we want to focus on following the example of his faith,
but as we do, let us prayerfully consider setting aside
Tuesdays as "fast" days,
as we feast upon the goodness and grace of our Lord this summer
(consider a full day fast, a partial fast, or a Daniel fast (1:12))

Scripture Meditations for the Week:

Wednesday: Psalm 149
Thursday: Isaiah 9:6-7
Friday: 1 Corinthians 15:20-28
Saturday: Revelation 11:15-19
Sunday: Psalm 145
Monday: Isaiah 11:1-5

Journal: _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Memory Verse for the Week:

"Then to Him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed."
(Daniel 7:14)
Read about 2020 The Year of Divine Government HERE

A Proclamation of Prayer for the Pandemic
(with links to the YouTube ANOINTING prayers through the Psalms)
to provide peace and to encourage faith in times of crisis
when fear, doubt, and uncertainty try to rob us of our joy!
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"Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
and your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
and let your soul delight itself in abundance.
Incline your ear, and come to Me, hear, and your soul shall live."
(Isaiah 55:2, 3a)
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Setting the world on fire for Christ ~ One heart at a time!
TESTIFY to the gospel of the grace of God
a 12-week devotional prayer and fasting journey through the Book of Daniel
copyright (c) 2020 Traci A. Alexander. All Rights Reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright (c) 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc., and the Holy Bible, New International Version, copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.