October 31

Daniel 7:1-3, 15-18

“As for me, Daniel, my spirit was troubled within me, and the visions of my head terrified me.” vs. 15

Much of the book of Daniel is apocalyptic and similar to what we read in the book of Revelation. It’s not to be understood as history, nor does it have much in common with the books of the prophets. Rather it presents graphic images of an unsettled future, one in which evil forces threaten all that is good. The visions have come to Daniel in the night, a kind of bad dream that frightened the liver out of him. There had been four beasts rising up out of the sea, horrible creatures that bore slight resemblance to living animals, and he wondered what their significance might be. Now there are times when it’s fun to see how scary we can be–that’s part of the appeal of Halloween. And if we could reproduce the scenes of Daniel in our front yards we’d have the most popular house in our neighborhood. And maybe we need this kind of diversion in our times. Some are pretty sure we are facing a global environmental apocalypse, and it’s beyond frightening. Such persons are terrified by the possibilities. Others are stockpiling weapons to prepare for the coming civil war in the United States–and that’s really scary! Ultimately Daniel found reassurance in the promises of God, and in the end, that’s probably the best road to take. God is here! And the beasts don’t stand a chance!

Thought for the Day: Where do I find hope in scary times?

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