“I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. 12 As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.
13 “I saw in the night visions,
and behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
14 And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed.
There have been a few times in my life when I knew the outcome of a conflicted encounter would be in my favor. One occasion had me confronting a defiant person, committed to a course of action that I knew was wrong and harmful to his Christian witness. I walked in the door to his greeting, “I know what you’re here for and I’m not going to change my mind.” At that moment, I knew he was going down…that is, rather, I knew that his bravado would bow to the truth. He truly respected me and God’s word. It was simply a matter of getting the truth into his view. He repented of his wayward plans and we left as friends. It was a great day for the rule and reign of God.
Amidst the vision of all the beasts and symbols – horns and teeth of the night vision – comes a very clear expression of simple truth. The Ancient of Days will receive the Son of Man, who will be given dominion, glory, honor, and a kingdom.
Looking back these 2500+ years, we are able to see Jesus as the fulfillment of this vision. Jesus has come to the Ancient of Days. He has been given a place of honor at the right hand of God. His reign is forever and ever.
The question for us is not whether Jesus will be given honor; he has been given that honor. The question is not whether all nations will bow down to him; they will. It’s clearly expressed in the New Testament: “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11).
The question we face is when and how we will embrace that truth – and how our friends and neighbors will embrace it as well. Will it be under duress – having to admit how wrong they were, or how oblivious they were to have ignored or resisted his reign? Or will it be the delightful expression of joy and happiness in seeing our Savior face to face? Will it be in humble faith or resentful submission?
It’s gonna happen: kingdoms will come and empires will go, but Jesus reigns forever. We have been given the privilege of seeing it, and knowing it to be reign of grace, mercy, truth, and righteousness.