God Is Greater Than Your Kings
Daniel 7 is pretty crazy. God gives Daniel this vision of these 4 beasts that rise up out of the sea, and these beasts are super weird and honestly kinda terrifying. We find out later that these beasts are kingdoms, nations, that are going to rise up in the world and do some really awful, beastly stuff. But in the midst of that dream, God shows up and he gives another Kingdom to one who is like a son of man who comes in the clouds. Now, all of this kind of messed Daniel up. Look at verse 28: “This is the end of the account. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts terrified me greatly, and my face turned pale, but I kept the matter to myself.” We don’t get more commentary on it later or a more full explanation. There’s just this crazy dream in the middle of the Bible that freaks Daniel out. Most of us just breeze right passed these dreams and visions, this apocalyptic literature, because we don’t really know what to do with it.
But what we can learn from this dream is ACTUALLY some of the most comforting, hopeful truth that you can imagine. We see at least 5 ways that God’s Kingdom is greater than ANY earthly Kingdom.
- In God’s Kingdom, GOD WILL RULE. Back up at verse 9, where God comes into this story, notice what God’s doing: He’s seated on His throne, in complete control. He’s wise, that’s what the image of the white hair means. His white clothing tells us that he’s righteous, everything he does is right and good. And then his throne is a throne of fire. The imagery of fire represents justice, a refining fire that burns away injustice. So unlike the beastly kingdoms of this world, God’s Kingdom is controlled by someone who is completely wise, and righteous, and just. And number 2…
- In God’s Kingdom, JESUS IS GLORIOUS. In verse 13 it says that one like the son of man came on the clouds. When Jesus talked about himself, the way he most often referred to himself was by calling himself the son of man. And then in a few places we see him saying that he’s going to come again in the clouds. Just look at what Jesus says about himself in Mark 13: “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. He will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.” Jesus really wanted people to connect him with what we see right here in Daniel 7. And what we see is that God gives His Kingdom to Jesus, and with it Jesus receives glory from all the people in His Kingdom. Which brings us to number 3:
- In God’s Kingdom THERE’S BEAUTIFUL DIVERSITY. God’s kingdom will be unlike any other Kingdom that’s ever existed. It’ll be uniquely diverse. Brazilians, and Indians, and Canadians, and Vietnamese, and Ugandans, Iraqis, Samoans, Babylonians, Japanese, you’re gonna be rolling with those people and people from every other nation. Racism will be dead in God’s Kingdom. A false sense of ethnic superiority won’t exist. What a beautiful Kingdom Jesus’ kingdom will be. So thankfully, number 4,
- In God’s Kingdom THERE’S COMPLETE SECURITY. 4 times in Daniel 7 we’re told that God’s Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, with no end, going on forever and ever. Earthly Kingdoms will end. They will. Earthly nations are not the end goal of God. It may be that our nation ends during our lifetime, who knows! But there is a Kingdom that’ll endure forever, and THAT’S the kingdom that you wanna make sure you’re a part of. Because, number 5:
- God’s Kingdom IS FILLED WITH PEOPLE. It says in verse 27 that the holy ones of the most high will fill God’s Kingdom. That’s where you wanna be. To live in this glorious Kingdom, ruled by a good, wise, just God who’s completely in control. So, how do you know if you’re one of these people? Well, it says that they’re the holy ones.
So, we all have a problem. We’re not holy. Do you know that you aren’t holy? Do you recognize the anger, bitterness, lust, pride, deceit, in your heart? Some of us work really hard to bury all of those things from others because they look ugly, but do you know that they’re there, in you? You see we’re pretty beastly individuals. The nations in this vision are beastly because the people who make up those nations are beastly, sinful, and broken.
See this is our biggest problem. Because that means you and I aren’t holy if we have sin. And that means that we can’t be a part of God’s Kingdom. UNLESS, unless we can clean ourselves up, right? And that’s what many people spend their entire lives trying to do, to clean themselves up enough so that they’re as close to holy as they can be and then just hope that God’ll bring them into his Kingdom.
But look at what Ephesians 2 says: “For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift — not from works, so that no one can boast.” The good news of God’s Kingdom is that it’s King, Jesus, did what you and I can’t do. He saved us from being stuck on the outside of God’s Kingdom. He makes us holy by giving us his own holiness, because we can’t do it ourselves through our works.
And he says it’s through faith.
What do you have faith in right now? What are you pushing all your chips in on?
Your Good works?
Or the Son of Man, the cloud rider, the one who lived, died, and rose for you: Jesus?