Daniel and the Four Beasts

“These great beasts, which are four, are four kings which shall arise out of the earth.”

— Daniel 7:17

Daniel had a vision of four beasts which succeeded each other. They represented four worldly kingdoms—each one being brutal in its own way. They are not lifting up their eyes to God, but they are looking downward as the beast does. This is always true of godless politics. It always acts in a beastlike manner and, therefore, it is destructive of human life. It tramps and stomps on people; it devours much flesh; it kills millions of human beings.

We think of the Persian Empire (the second kingdom prophetically described by Daniel), which later sent an army of two million men to attack Greece. History shows us that some of the battles of antiquity that these nations engaged in were enormous battles with armies that included two, three, and four million soldiers, and the number of the people that were killed was absolutely astronomical.

These beast-like kingdoms are all different from each other, whereas the kingdom of Christ, which arises in the days of the last of them (the Roman Empire), is the same, and it continues on from generation to generation and still remains the same.

The truth is much simpler than error; goodness is simpler than evil. If you want to see something that is extraordinarily complex, try to follow the plot line of a soap opera. Evil is quite contorted and convoluted and extremely complex, but God offers something that is so much simpler: Good triumphs over evil.

Lord, give me strength to live in the simplicity of the Gospel, to crave Your simple truths, and to live by them. You know, Jesus, that simple is not the same as easy, but Your grace is all sufficient…