…As for me, Daniel, my spirit was deeply distressed within me, and the visions in my mind terrified me. Daniel 7:15
… As for me, Daniel, my thoughts terrified me greatly, and my face turned pale, but I kept the matter to myself. Daniel 7:28
… I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for days. Then I got up and went about the king’s business. I was greatly disturbed by the vision and could not understand it. Daniel 8:27
How did Daniel feel? He was troubled, disturbed, exhausted and appalled; and yet, he went about his business.
Imagine if one of your friends came to you and said, “I just had the most amazing experience with God. It made me sick.” What would you think? Wouldn’t you think you friend was losing his mind?
“I had the most intense time in devotions. When I finished, I had to go lie down.”
“It was appalling. It really troubled me. I just spent time with God and felt awful afterwards.”
Wouldn’t you think there is something wrong with this person’s quiet time? I read Daniel’s vision and think, “What could he have seen?”
Daniel tells us the substance of it. In the beginning of the book, when he first describes for Nebuchadnezzar the meaning of his vision, ultimately it foreshadows the vision of Jesus Christ. The rock cut out from the mountain is not hewn with human hands. That rock smashed all other authorities and ended up with a kingdom that cannot be shaken and shall never pass away.
If Daniel was given a vision of the Messiah, God’s only Son, coming to save us, how would he make sense out of that? Simon, son of Jonah, was blessed to recognize: You are the Christ, the son of the living God. Yet the events that followed were awful.
If Daniel saw a vision of Jesus as a man on earth, it wouldn’t be a happy picture. We see what happened to Jesus in retrospect. Daniel saw the future. God’s only Son, despised, rejected, beaten, and crucified. People, like us, crucified the Lord of Glory. How would Daniel possibly make sense out of that? Indeed, he was sick and appalled.
Did you see the movie, “The Passion of the Christ”? It was not a “feel good” movie. Did you want to buy the DVD so you could watch it over and over? When we look at what God did in order to save us, it is a gut-wrenching experience.
It is so easy for us to be so familiar with the story that we can come to the communion table and be unmoved. We don’t really contemplate the price Jesus paid. There are times when God shows us things we would rather not have seen. We’d rather not know. If we do know, we don’t want to think about it. But God chooses to open a window and give us a glimpse.
The truth of Scripture is not determined by whether or not it upsets your stomach. I have read commentaries where theologians considered “Evangelical” have written in essence: “I know the text seems to say this, but I could never accept a God like that.”
Guess what? You don’t get to choose. There is only one God and He is Lord forever. If you don’t like what God says, that is your tragedy. God the Sovereign Lord is the Great I Am, and He is in charge. Even when God tells us more than we want to know, His Word is still true.