The Ancient of Days

Geoffrey Cox

READ : Daniel 7:1-14

A son of man . . . approached the Ancient of Days. (v. 13, niv)

In Daniel we have not “Once upon a time” but definite dates (v. 1). Though he writes of strange visions, Daniel is not telling fairy tales. He is talking about real events. What an impression his dreams create: power, great power, great powers! The terrifying creatures he sees represent kings and emperors, or nations and empires, and they may change form and appearance, as in a dream (or nightmare!).

Daniel’s visions are not bound by our ideas of time or space but move as the Spirit directs. The beasts he sees represent earthly powers directed against God, so Daniel is shown a “flash-forward” to God enthroned in great majesty (v. 9), “the Ancient of Days“—white for purity, aflame for holiness, with innumerable attendants for power and authority. Then comes the terrifying word that all mankind dreads: “The court sat in judgment, and the books were opened” (v. 10).

Daniel is shown another “flash-forward,” but this time not so far forward as the last judgment. Daniel sees the coming of the Son of Man, to whom is given an eternal kingdom, “that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him” (vv. 13-14). We will be wise to kneel humbly before this glorious God and his Son now, before the last Day.


“. . . authority, glory and sovereign power, everlasting dominion” be yours, O Lord God.