We live in an ever-changing world. There are transitions and changes taking place all around us. In Daniel 7, Daniel has an intriguing dream about change. He has a vision of four beasts coming from the sea. These beasts were stirred up by the four winds. In scripture, the restless sea is often imagery for the nations of the world. There is chaos and disorder. Daniel is troubled by the vision that he has. He can’t make sense of it. So he finds one who can interpret his dream.
The four beasts represent four kingdoms, the four kingdoms that Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream. The sea is the earth. The lion with the wings of an eagle represented the empire of Babylon. The bear with three ribs in its mouth symbolized the empire of the Medes and Persians who defeated Babylon. The leopard with four wings represented Alexander the Great and the swift conquests of his army, resulting in the incredible expansion of the kingdom of Greece. The "dreadful and terrible" beast represented the Roman Empire, as strong and enduring as iron and was like a beast on a rampage.
In Daniel 7: 9-12, the thrones were put into place. The Ancient of Days is seated upon His throne.
"Ancient of Days" is a name for God that emphasizes His eternality; He is the God who had existed from eternity past, has planned all things, and is working out His plan. Ancient of days speaks to the dignity, endurance, judgment, and wisdom that come with age. It also speaks to the eternal nature of God.
Kingdoms rise and kingdoms fall. Nations expand and contract. One super power gives way to another. It does not matter who the dominant nation is at the time, it is the Ancient of Days who sits on the throne forever. In contrast to the short shelf life of world powers, there is One who has always existed and will always exist. Unlike human and worldly affairs, the Ancient of Days is not limited by time. Everything around us changes. Seasons change. Television shows change. In the political world, even enemies and allies change. In a changing world, the Ancient of Days is the same.
The only real security we have in this world is to place our trust in the Ancient of Days. God’s wisdom can be trusted. His judgement is fair. He is righteous and holy. Even when we are mistreated, the Ancient of Days is watching. And because He is watching, we can be confident that HHHe will step in and rule in our favor, so that we can inherit the kingdom and be victorious over the enemy!
Last week we looked at the need to teach our children our history. We can probably agree that we should teach our children our history, but how? What can we do to pass on the history to the next generation?
In Deuteronomy 6:20-22, Moses says to the people of God, "When your son asks you in time to come, saying, 'What is the meaning of the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments which the LORD our God has commanded you?' then you shall say to your son: 'We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand; and the LORD showed signs and wonders before our eyes, great and severe, against Egypt, Pharaoh, and all his household” (NKJV).
The people of God were to transmit their own history and write their own narrative. They were to share their history and heritage with their children. This was to be done with a view towards the work of God in the lives of His people.
Textbooks, politicians, and social pundits often attempt to rewrite history. They attempt to soften the realities of the egregious atrocities of the past by reframing them, renaming them, or omitting them from history books. They make reluctant participants heroes, and vilify those who speak truth to power.
God’s word encourages us, yea, commands us to tell our children our story. We cannot depend on the media or the public education system to tell our story. We have to take on the responsibility of sharing our history with our children. In telling our history, we are to tell of the signs and wonders performed by the God of History. Our story is part of a much larger narrative. Our history did not begin with the middle passage and slavery in America. It did not begin with the Civil War. Our history is deeper than segregation and Jim Crowism. Our story includes our race and ethnicity background, yet is much more than those.
Our history, our story begins before the foundation of the world. Our story is part of what God has been doing in the world since before the world began. Our children need to know our history. They need to know how God is working, even in our darkest hour. Next week we plan to explore how to tell your history to your children.
The 2017 Oscars lasted for more than three and a half hours. There were awards given in twenty four categories. After being criticized for a lack of diversity in the 2016 Academy Awards, the Oscars for best actress and actor in a supporting role went to African-Americans, as well as the Oscar for best movie. However, most of the talk about the 2017 Oscars has been about the last 4 minutes. Out of more than 210 minutes of speeches, jokes, performances, and envelop opening, people are talking about what took place for less than 2% of the total air time of the awards show. There are some valuable lessons that we can learn as a result of this intriguing phenomenon.
Minister Ross' creativity, wisdom, and insight have inspired community, church and corporate audiences throughout the United States.