Have you ever been behind the scenes at a theatre? Or in the changing rooms at a sports ground? Or in the staff room at a school? What did it feel like?
I love looking at the sea, but unless it’s perfectly calm I can’t stand being on it – I have to stare at the floor of the boat, because if I see the horizon moving up and down... well, you know.
In the Bible ‘the sea’ often stands for chaos – which is certainly how Daniel describes it (v 2). It is the origin of the ‘beasts’ (v 3), and represents untamed evil – which is why in Revelation 21.1 there is ‘no longer any sea’.
Look over verses 4 to 8 before reading any further – what do you think is the meaning of the beasts?
We might try to identify the beasts as different empires – Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, etc – maybe, but I think there’s a more important point. While the beasts are rampaging, behind the scenes the ‘Ancient of Days’ is sitting on the real throne (‘as I watched’, 7.9). And then ‘one like a son of man’ arrives (v 13), and at last God’s everlasting and worldwide rule is made manifest (v 14).
This is history’s secret: it’s not random, uncontrolled chaos; God knows what’s going on, and though all the ‘beasts’ of the earth don’t know it yet, their days are numbered... Alleluia!
How are the forces of chaos threatening you? Tell God about it, and ask him to lift the veil to show you his power in your life.