Day 15

The Son of Man

from the Daniel reading plan


Daniel 7:1-28, Psalm 104:1-5

BY Andrea Lucado

Growing up as a pastor’s daughter, my church was like my own personal playground. My sisters and I spent many hours there and we knew each hallway, back staircase, and classroom. We used to play in the closet where the felt figures and flannel boards were kept for Sunday school. I remember sticking felt Daniel to the board with the felt lions. I remember Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and the little felt fire.

However, I do not recall there being a felt version of the bear-like beast holding three ribs between his teeth or a beast with ten little horns, one of which had little eyes. Those were mysteriously missing from our church’s felt-figure collection.

This is probably because the felt-figure manufacturing company knew that no Sunday school teacher in his right mind would be teaching on the prophecies of Daniel to small children. Daniel himself was afraid of the visions he saw (Daniel 7:15).

Can you imagine what a five-year-old would tell her mom after being picked up from class? “Mommy! We learned about beasts and rivers of fire and giants who stepped on everybody and HORNS!”

Chapter 7 of Daniel marks a notable shift in this book, a shift from historical account to end-times prophecy, or, what theologian types call “apocalyptic literature.” Sounds fun, right? Ok, I know, I know. There’s no way around it—chapter seven is when the book of Daniel gets weird.

Weird, but not un-interpretable and not impossible. Scripture does not include dreams and visions to throw us off or confuse us. The prophecies of Daniel are purposeful and, ultimately, hopeful.

We can break down Daniel’s dream in this chapter into three parts:

  1. The four beasts
  2. The Ancient of Days
  3. The Son of Man

The Ancient of Days is God, and He is holding the book of judgment, which makes me squirm a little. The Son of Man is Jesus. And the four beasts symbolize four kingdoms: Babylon and Medo-Persia (who both ruled during Daniel’s day), Greece, and the last beast, which represents a more general kind of evil, an evil that has been present throughout all of history and continues to reign today. (I encourage you dig into that last one on your own, because it is really, really interesting!)

The part when Jesus arrives on the scene gives me chills. Until He shows up, everything in the vision is terrifying and warlike and confusing. The beasts, the horns—utter chaos. Then, the scene quiets down, the Son of Man arrives on a cloud and approaches the throne of the Ancient of Days. All eyes turn toward Him. The narrative focuses on Christ.

Jesus interrupts a world gone awry.

He did this with His birth, and He will do it again in the Second Coming. This is why Daniel 7 and the chapters that follow matter so much for us. The prophecy, friends, is not over. We live in the midst of it. Jesus came once, and He is coming again, to do away with the fourth beast once and for all.

For now, we live in the tension of prophecy yet to be fulfilled but eagerly anticipated.

What we see in this vision is not meant to scare us; it is meant to give us hope for victory. It promises that despite the chaos, violence, pain, and suffering, the Kingdom of our Christ is coming. And when it does, He will reign.

Forever and ever, He will reign.

“His dominion is an everlasting dominion
 that will not pass away,
and His kingdom is one 
that will not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:14).

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Post Comments (116)

116 thoughts on "The Son of Man"

  1. ed sheeran x album says:

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  2. Agnes says:

    I’m reading this the day after the Paris attacks with tears streaming down my face because I feel so heartbroken. I had skipped a couple days reading this plan and I know it’s no coincidence that I read this today. God was saving it for when I needed to hear it. I know the truth of the Gospel but I admit that I am afraid. I’m afraid of ISIS and I’m afraid for my family and the love of my life, all of whom live on different continents than I do. But God doesn’t call us to be afraid- he calls us to trust and believe. He promises to wipe every tear from our eyes and his words are trustworthy and true. I pray for peace and renewal for all the family and friends of the victims in Paris, and I pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to speak the truth of God’s victory to me as well.

  3. lorinicole33 says:

    in my study bible there is a sentence that reads "The bigger the tyrant, the more statues littler the landscape". and it goes on to ask, What Images litter the landscape of our time, and are they symbols of power. If so, how does that power affect you. REPLY with your answers.

    1. Alice says:

      This devo made me think about the evil present in our world, and how it seems appealing or fun of just feels good, like for me, trying to do everything on my own, believing that lie that I can control everything in my life and then believing all the lies that come after telling me I’m a failure because obviously I can’t control everything in my life. As for in general in the world there is evil that affects so many people- poverty, substance abuse, rotten governments, evil social norms. All things that don’t come from God, but that he wants to redeem.

  4. Andie Walton says:

    Praise His holy name!! While reading Chapter 7 I could not help but relate it back to our world today. Everything is so scary but I am reminded that Christ is coming back too. He will fix and making everything better. This gives me so much comfort and hope.

  5. Michele says:

    Sounded so depressing, until the Son of Man came on the scene. And He will have dominion over all. And He will put things right. That gives me hope, keeps me sane in this crazy world!

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