The Kingdoms of This World

They may be fierce and fearsome, but they are flimsy and fleeting.

Daniel 7 (3)

Introduction
Daniel spent considerable time and detail describing four kingdoms that were or would be coming to the world. These were portrayed as ferocious and fearsome. Now we learn that they would also be flimsy and fleeting, because of what Daniel would see next.

Read Psalm 2.

Read Daniel 7.11, 12.

Think it Through

1.  Daniel reported that the primary horn of the final beast was boasting “pompous words”. Since this beast represents the Roman Empire, what do you suppose was the content of those words? What did the Romans require of all their citizens, from the time of Augustus on, when it came to their religious convictions? Do the words of Psalm 2 seem appropriate to summarize this boasting? Explain. Do we see anything like this kind of boasting on the part of nations today?

2.  Why would such boasting be offensive to God? According to Psalm 2, how does God respond to such boasting? The kingdoms from Babylon to Rome were fierce and fearsome, but they could not endure. Why? Even the last and most powerful kingdom would have “its body destroyed and given to the burning flame”. Why? Like the failed kingdoms of Israel and Judah, these four great earthly kingdoms would prepare the way for the coming of God’s Kingdom (vv. 13ff). How? How do failed kingdoms, be they ever so grand, large, and fierce, prepare the way for the coming of a Kingdom that is without end? Do the kingdoms of the world today in any way prepare us for entering, seeking, and living in the Kingdom of God? Explain.

Meditate
“In the one empire of the Romans, all the kingdoms at once are to be destroyed, because of the blasphemy of the antichrist. And the [succeeding] empire shall not be an earthly empire at all, but it is simply the abode of the saints, which is spoken of here, and the advent of the conquering Son of God.” Jerome (347-420 AD)

Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” Revelation 11.15

Lord, thank You for making the kingdoms of this world the Kingdom of our Lord and Christ, and for making me an ambassador in Your Kingdom. Today, help me to fulfill my calling by…

Pray Psalm 107.17-22
In Biblical terminology, fools are people who do not believe in God (cf. Ps. 14.1). You may have some “fools” like this in your Personal Mission Field. Let these verses guide you in praying that the fools of the world may be convicted of their sin and need for forgiveness, and turn to Jesus for salvation.

Psalm 107.17-22, 1-3 (Faithfulness: Great is Thy Faithfulness)
Foolish and sinful, afflicted and dying,
All of our ways with iniquity fraught –
You hear our tears, our laments, and our crying,
You sent Your Word and to us mercy brought!
Refrain vv. 1-3
  Lord, for Your wondrous works, and for Your steadfast love,
  We give You thanks, we exalt Your great Name!
  We who from east and west, north and south gather,
  Boldly redemption in Christ we proclaim!

T. M Moore

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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