Horns and More Horns
(c) Copyright 2000 Rev. Bill Versteeg
Who remembers something about Daniel’s first dream that he had during the reign of King Belshazzar? (Beasts and Horns. Do you remember what the horns represented? = governments, authorities, powers and the spiritual powers)
Depending on the age of the children, you might choose to sing this song with them to the tune of Old MacDonald
Old Mac-Daniel had a dream, E-I-E-I-O
There standing beside the water, Daniel saw a ram, a large muscular male sheep. Wouldn’t you guess, it had two long horns. Except again, they were strange horns. One grew first to its full size, the other grew slower, but then it caught up to the first one. This ram was in full rut, it snorted and it hoofed the dirt. Everywhere it turned it saw red and it charged, toward the west and the north and the south. It was more powerful than any other animal. If anyone dared try to defend his territory, the ram would knock him over, he would be defeated, no one could rescue them. The ram did what he wanted in his strength and power.
Daniel, in his dream was wondering what this ram with its horns and the way it behaved might mean, when suddenly he saw, coming from the west a large long haired goat. And sure enough, the goat had a large horn right between its two eyes, and it was charging wherever it wanted, even throughout the whole world, and it did it without its feet even touching the ground. When the goat saw the Ram, it also snorted and hoofed the ground with its sharp hooves. Both of them snorted, and pawed and bellowed, and then the charge was on. Both of them raced toward each other a great speed, one horn against two. The goat with one horn hit the ram with two horns so hard that both of the rams horns were shattered into little pieces. The rams power was broken. The goat came, knocked him to the ground and then with his sharp hooves, trampled him and the ram died. There was no one found who was strong enough to save the ram from the goat.
The goat ruled the land with its one
horn. It grew stronger and stronger until one day, and Daniel did not
see how, its giant horn was broken off. But then in the place of the
giant horn, four new horns grew - one to the west, one to the east, one
to the north and one to the south. And then out of one of those horns,
another horn grew - toward the south and east and toward the Beautiful
This horn that grew even toward the Beautiful Land became greater and greater, in fact it grew so large that it reached into the sky, all the way to the heavens. It knocked stars out of the sky, down to the earth and then it trampled on them. But even as he saw the stars falling and being trampled on, Daniel saw that they were more than stars, they were spiritual beings with great power and authority, brought down by this powerful horn. And then the horn set itself up, made itself to be as great as the Prince of the host. Any worship, any daily worship that at one time went to the Prince of the host - the goat took that away. Even the places where the Prince of the host were worshiped, they were crushed and turned to rubble, and if the places of worship were not crushed, all the believers were kicked out. The goat insisted he himself be worshiped there. (Who is the Prince of the Host? - Jesus)
Daniel trembled as he watched. Now, not only was the worship that once went to the Prince of the Hosts stopped, this horn of the goat demanded that it be worshiped instead. And those who refused to bow before the great horn of the goat were killed. Those who lived holy lives, whose lives were filled with love and truth, they were taken captive, many were killed. No longer could the power of truth be found. Truth also was thrown to the ground and trampled on. Nations believed only lies as they worshiped the great horn of the goat.
Then Daniel heard a voice, powerful and true, a Holy One speaking. It said "How long will it take for the vision to come true--the vision concerning the daily worship and sacrifice, the rebellion that caused the surrender and destruction of the places of worship, and of the starry host that is trampled underfoot?”
Another Holy One answered: "2300 evenings and mornings - then the place of true worship will be returned to true worship." Daniel was figuring out what this all meant, he was figuring out how long 2300 evenings and mornings were in his head, he figured that each evening and morning was one day, about 6 years he thought. But his thoughts were interrupted. Now someone who looked like a man was standing in front of him, demanding his attention. From the other side of the Ulai Canal a voice called out: “Gabriel - tell this man the meaning of the vision.”
He looked like a man, but he was an angel, who had come to tell him what this all meant. Daniel was terrified. In fear he fell flat on his face and did not dare look up at the Angel Gabriel before him. Fear made Daniel’s mind turn off, he fell into a deep sleep at the feet of Gabriel. As Gabriel spoke, he touched Daniel, woke him up and helped him to stand up. Then he told Daniel what this dream would mean concerning the end of time, the predetermined time of God’s anger against the rebellion in this world.
The two horns of the ram - they were the empires of the Medes and the Persians. The One horned shaggy Goat was the Greek Empire with its first very powerful king. But he fell from power and would be taken over by four other kingdoms, less powerful than the first one. Then out of those four kingdoms, when the cup of the sins of rebellious people was filled to overflowing, a new king would arise. He would trick people, use people, manipulate nations of people. He would become very very strong but his strength would not be human strength, it would be the strength of pure evil. For a time, he would succeed in everything he did. God’s people, even the very strong people of faith would suffer and die. The truth would be trampled on. Lies would confuse everyone’s mind. They would no longer know what was true, what was a lie, what was right, what was wrong. This king would think that there was no one stronger than he was. He would even take his stand and challenge the Prince of Princes (Jesus). Then, the angel told Daniel, he would be destroyed (but not by human power - What kind of power? - Divine power, the power of faith!)
Then Gabriel said: The vision about the 2300 days - they are true - but they refer to the distant future. Take this vision, put it away for now, it will take a long time before it all comes true.
Daniel had seen things that puzzled his old mind. The drama exhausted him. For days after this vision, he remained in bed, sick. He did not have the strength to get up. It was like this dream took all the strength out of him. It was beyond what he could interpret and understand, even though he was gifted at interpreting dreams. When he regained his strength, he returned to working for the king of Babylon, as a chief administrator. Daniel learned one thing however. Even though hard times were certainly coming for God's people, he knew in the end that the Prince of Princes, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings would win over all, and his name is Jesus.
Daniel chapter 8, on which this
story is based:
(NIV) Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright (C) 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.