Daily Thought for: 16th May

ANCIENT OF DAYS

Daniel 7. 1-23

As mortal beings, our whole life is subject to time. ‘We spend our years as a tale that is told’, Ps. 90. 9, and in view of the brevity of our lives we are advised by the same psalmist ‘to number our days’. In our reading today, we pause to consider One who is above and apart from time, ‘having neither beginning of days, nor end of life’, Heb. 7. 3, One who is ‘from everlasting to everlasting’.

In chapter 7, Daniel is given a remarkable vision of Gentile powers. They are seen to have the characteristics of wild and ravenous beasts and, in the end times, they will oppose and seek to destroy all that is of God. Just as their ferocious assault reaches its height, Daniel’s attention is directed away from earth to an awesome heavenly scene where all is prepared for the intervention of divine judgement. Thrones are set in place and the Supreme Judge is in session. He is introduced as the ‘Ancient of days’, v. 9 - the One whose sovereign rule guides the whole course of time from the first day of creation to the ‘coming of the day of God’, when time will be no more. His appearance presents holiness, purity, majesty and power. Garments white as snow portray His unsullied character. Hair like pure wool, not white with the decay of years as ours becomes, is symbolic of timeless dignity and eternal wisdom. The throne of fire proclaims the consuming quality of His judgement.

In verse 13, Daniel observes ‘one like the Son of man’ who approaches the throne to receive a ‘kingdom ... which shall not be destroyed’. We are reminded of other scriptures which reveal dialogue and activity within the Godhead, e.g. Pss. 2. 8; 45. 6-8; 110.1. Equal in being, united in purpose, yet distinct in identity, such is the great mystery of Deity.

When Daniel is given the interpretation of the vision, the Ancient of days is seen as the administrator of judgement. We are reminded of the Lord’s words that ‘the Father . .. hath committed all judgment unto the Son’, John 5. 22. We are assured therefore that the Ancient of days is the same One who in grace and lowliness became the infant of days in order to undertake and accomplish the great work of salvation.

 

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