The book of Daniel is named after its main character. Daniel stands as a tower of faith and integrity. God Himself names Daniel, Noah, and Job as pillars of the faith. All but the most wicked of his day loved and respected Daniel. Jealous peers were unable to find any fault in him even after searching diligently. King Nebuchadnezzar clearly had great respect for Daniel, even though Daniel was a foreigner living in Babylon. His successor, King Belshazzar wrongly demoted then later restored Daniel. After Babylon was defeated by the Persians, Daniel retained favor during the reigns of both Darius and Cyrus the Great. Because of his unwavering pattern of courage, righteousness, and faithfulness, Daniel found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
Daniel was privileged to stand with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego as they were trained for their great test in the fiery furnace. Daniel 2 records Daniel being privileged to interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream about the coming world empires of Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome which would rule after Babylon. In Daniel 3, Daniel is privileged to witness the great miracle of God protecting Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace. Daniel 5 records Daniel’s privilege of being called on to interpret the mysterious handwriting on the wall during Belshazzar’s wicked feast. Daniel 6 tells us of Daniel’s great privilege in experiencing God’s mighty power in protecting him from the lions. In my mind, maybe Daniel’s greatest privilege was seeing the vision recorded in chapter seven of Daniel, which certainly appears to be a foreseeing of what will occur in the end times. Revelation 4 and following apparently record the same glorious event.
Daniel looked up and he saw the Ancient of Days, God the Father, and what a picture he saw! The name Ancient of Days is used three times in the Bible. All three occur here in Daniel 7. Oh, what a privilege to see the Ancient of Days on His throne. His hair and clothing were white like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with a river of fire coming out from it. An uncountable throng stood in passionate worship around Him. The event that all history looks forward to was about to happen. The accounting books were opened. Surely we all owe a debt to This One on the throne that we can never repay! The Son of Man, Christ Himself, The One who could, would, and did pay the debt, was presented to the Ancient of Days. Praise, honor, glory, dominion, and an everlasting kingdom were bestowed on The Son of Man. We can only imagine what must have gone through Daniel’s mind. What a privilege that was, to see a vision of his God who he worshipped supremely, remained absolutely faithful to, and fully obeyed even when threatened with imminent, painful death. But it didn’t stop there. He was allowed to see the Promised One, the Messiah, hundreds of years before His Incarnation. Daniel was privileged to see the final outcome of all history, to know without a doubt, that God the Father and God the Son would rule and reign forever. Daniel was privileged to see barriers of prejudice broken down in a world he could only imagine as all peoples, all nations, and men from every language swore allegiance to The One who would one day die for the whole world. Daniel was privileged indeed.
Oh, if we could only see God the way Daniel did. If we ever get a clear picture of our sin, our sinful nature set in front of God’s majesty and holiness, it will drive us to despair. That despair is a wonderful blessing because it points out our great need for forgiveness; it brings us to The Only One who has the ability and the authority to offer forgiveness. If we accept His offer of payment at some point during our life on earth, when the accounting books are opened The Son of Man will point out to the Ancient of Days that our debt has been paid in full. Hallelujahs are in order! As a word of warning, keep this in mind; there is no other possibility of payment by you or anyone else on your behalf. Place your trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross.