Monday, February 25, 2013

Adult Sunday School Lesson for March 3, 2013

      "Daniel's Vision of Change"

International/Uniform Sunday School Lesson for March 3, 2013

Scripture Text: Daniel 7:9-14
Purpose:To discover that even the darkest of times cannot negate the sovereignty of God

Daniel 7:9-14 (CEB)
9As I was watching,
thrones were raised up.
The ancient one took his seat.
His clothes were white like snow;
his hair was like a lamb’s wool.
His throne was made of flame;
its wheels were blazing fire.
10A river of fire flowed out from his presence;
thousands upon thousands served him;
ten thousand times ten thousand stood ready to serve him!
The court sat in session; the scrolls were opened.
11I kept watching. I watched from the moment the horn started bragging until the beast was killed and its body was destroyed, handed over to be burned with fire. 12Then the authority of the remaining beasts was brought to an end, but they were given an extension among the living for a set time and season.
13As I continued to watch this night vision of mine, I suddenly saw
one like a human being
coming with the heavenly clouds.
He came to the ancient one
and was presented before him.
14Rule, glory, and kingship were given to him;
all peoples, nations, and languages will serve him.
His rule is an everlasting one—
it will never pass away!—
his kingship is indestructible.

My Thoughts by Burgess Walter

I will be the first to admit that I do not understand everything about the Book of Daniel. My knowledge now is far more cloudy and than what I thought I knew when I accepted the interpretations I was taught at a younger age.

I now believe it possible that the original Jewish Old Testament may have had it right when they considered the book to be a “Book of Writings” located between Ester and Ezra-Nehemiah, Rather than a “Book of Prophecy” as we now have it located after the great books of prophecy Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekial in our current translations. Apparently the translation done from Hebrew to Greek by the 70 scholars assembled by Alexander the Great, called the LXX or Septuagint, changed it at that time to a book of prophecy.

Clearly the first 6 chapters consist of heroic tales like Daniel in the lions den, and the three Hebrew children in a fiery furnace. The last 6 chapters seem to be a collection of apocalyptic dreams by Daniel.

While Daniel had little problems in interpreting the complex dreams of Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king, he found his own dreams almost impossible to interpret. Even though in Daniel 1:17 it says, “And God gave knowledge, mastery of all literature, and wisdom to these four men. Daniel himself gained understanding of every type of vision and dream.”

The part that dreams can play in our own spiritual life is somewhat fascinating. Although I don't think all dreams are necessarily from God, I am convinced by my own experience and friends experience that some dreams are sent by God for our own comfort, challenge, understanding or edification.

Daniel's dream has been interpreted by many great bible scholars over the years, and may or may not be relevant to our times and it may or may not be about the new European union of 10 countries or about the Catholic Church lead by the Pope in Rome.

Most commentators agree it may have been a foretelling of things to come or things that had already transpired. The four beast or winds could imply the great earthly kingdoms of Babylonia, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome as they progressed though history.

Modern thinking could be that since the Roman Empire was never conquered, that now the European Union, represents that part of the dream when Daniel sees the beast with 10 horns and one of those horns is a braggart that consumed or replaced three of the original horns which would make it 8 horns, maybe that horn was Russia of the 20th century or maybe its is the United States that comes out of the European nations in the 17th centruy.

The good news for us is the fact that Daniel also saw the “Son of man” or “one like a human” come and appear before the “Ancient One” and “all people, nations and languages will serve him” His rule is an everlasting one..... his kingship is indestructible.”

Daniel's message to those in captivity, was a message of hope, today we can accept it also as a message of hope. God is in control of the future, we can not change it, only God can make changes to His plan. There is nothing we can do, except, what the people of Nineveh did, when Jonah told them to repent or in 40 days they would be destroyed, their repentance saved them from God's original plan of judgment.

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness”

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