The imagery of Daniel’s vision is akin to what we see in movies like Lord of the Rings. It’s beyond our comprehension. Prophets who share visions use human concepts and images we understand to describe what we cannot fathom, all so we might know God’s plan…
9 “As I looked,
“thrones were set in place,
and the Ancient of Days took his seat.
His clothing was as white as snow;
the hair of his head was white like wool.
His throne was flaming with fire,
and its wheels were all ablaze.
10 A river of fire was flowing,
coming out from before him.
Thousands upon thousands attended him;
ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
The court was seated,
and the books were opened.
13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
25 [Another king] will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.
26 “‘But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. 27 Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.’
Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14, 25-27
We see a picture of Almighty God here, described as the Ancient of Days. The Ancient of Days takes his seat and thousands of thousands attend to him. It’s the image of a court and the books are opened, as if we are going to uncover the truth here. The Son of Man (this is Jesus) approaches the Father seated on the throne and he is granted authority, glory and sovereign power.
All nations and peoples worship him.
We know that the understanding of Jesus’ position in the heavens and our world is informed by Daniel’s vision. We see the same ideas in Philippians 2, where Jesus is described as being in nature God, yet taking on the human form. God exalts Jesus to the highest place and every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2:6-11).
But when is this? Certainly after ‘another king’ speaks against God and oppresses God’s people. In keeping with what we have seen even in Daniel 1, we will be handed over to this evil king for a time. Just as Nebuchadnezzar was given Israel, the people of God will be delivered to submission under unholy authority before the final days.
Who knows when and who knows how? Only God. We ought to know, however, that God is in ultimate control. None of this should surprise us and we should be careful not to give credit to the evil one when we are subject to this worldly and ungodly authority. God will allow this and he will fulfill his promises to us.
The final kingdom will be the kingdom of God and we will worship Jesus for eternity.
Take heart and be strong and courageous. God knows and God is sovereign. Let us be faithful to him regardless of circumstances and our times.