My first husband's family gathered for Christmas at the church where he grew up. It was usually on a Saturday before the holiday so everyone could come. As the children became teenagers, they would share something with us they enjoyed doing. One of our nephews played piano beautifully. During one family Christmas, he played a new praise and worship number so very different than what we'd heard before. The tiny church where my husband was pastor couldn't afford the newest music, so we hadn't encountered this one. That song was "Ancient of Days". This term intrigued me so I looked it up. I was at a loss this week for a devotion because I had too many ideas bouncing around in my head like a racquetball. It was hard to choose.So I thought about one of my favorite people in the Bible, the prophet Daniel and the term, "Ancient of Days" Lo and behold, I found it!
Daniel was an amazing man of God who served the kings of Babylon for 70 years during the captivity of Israel. King Darius, one of the kings he served, was awestruck at the God Daniel served, enough so that he put out a decree regarding the amazing power He showed delivering Daniel from the lions due to a hasty decree he foolishly declared earlier. He was a prophet who was given dreams that would make our dreams and nightmares look like a poor movie production. He was "greatly beloved" by God as he is told by an angel, possibly Michael the archangel who was in a heavenly battle on Israel's behalf in chapter 8.
This dream was a view of the times to come in symbols that was significant to someone of his time than ours. Even then, he had to ask "someone there" what these things meant. In the midst of the scene, he learned of the kingdoms to rise after Babylon, the Medo-Persian, Greek and Roman empires with one yet to come in the latter days. These visions fascinated, intrigued, yet troubled Daniel. Rightly so! To know ahead of time what would happen to God's people concerning their captivity and the persecution of the saints, as well as a fantastic view of the Ancient of Days on His throne with the Messiah who would come. Many people would die as a result of these kingdoms, those who belong to God. I can't imagine the grief in Daniel's spirit over what he saw.
But in the midst of great grief, there is Hope and Joy. Let's focus there because it's easy to get trapped into the despair of situations. Verses 9-14, 21-28 Daniel sees God Almighty, the Ancient of Days, on His throne pronouncing judgment on the evil kingdoms. The "books were opened" referring to an accounting of deeds requiring judgment. Heavenly Court was in session! God judged the Roman kingdom, burning it with the fire of judgment, utterly destroyed.The second account regards atime we have not yet lived. The saints will be oppressed by this new, different kingdom that will take over the entire earth trying to change the set times and the laws. The Messiah, Jesus, will come and be given all power and authority as court reconvenes to judge this power. God's people will be over all the kingdoms of Heaven. Jesus will rule and all rulers will worship and obey Him. Daniel was troubled with the enormous responsibility that comes with foreknowledge. Prophets were entrusted with a tremendous amount of Kingdom information. He didn't thoroughly understand what he saw, but he kept it to himself until it was time for this to be revealed to God's people, as God told him.
Do you realize that even in the midst of horrible circumstances, God is still on His throne taking care of situations we can't possibly understand? Jesus is the one who was born, died, and rose again. Do we need anything else? Philippians 2:10-11 says, "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
In the grand scheme of things, God is on His throne, our risen Savior rules and reigns with power and authority! We have nothing to fear because He is with us and for us. His shed blood covers us and redeems us! There is no other Name by which we are saved. God loves you. Rejoice in His power, love, mercy, and grace.
May God bless you!