A Horny Beast!

Everybody crowds around the lions’ cage when feeding time comes at a wildlife orphanage close to my city. The lions pace their cages, roaring their impatience. These cages have an elaborate system of gates allowing the keepers to feed the lions without becoming dessert themselves.

It was during one such feeding time that I found myself standing in front of a gate that the keepers forgot to close. If the rushing lions had not been fixated on the raw meat right in front of them, they could have leapt out to the crowd.

Thankfully, the keepers quickly rectified their error but for a moment, I felt the vulnerability of standing unprotected before hungry beasts able to reduce me to a gory mess without breaking a sweat. I wonder how Daniel felt in the dream he recorded in Daniel 7.

It is a dream reminiscent of creation, what with a windswept sea at it’s beginning, animals in the middle and a man receiving dominion at the end. Daniel, being a good Hebrew boy, would have had an intimate knowledge of Genesis 1.

There is something weird about this dream. Even though it nods at Genesis 1, there is a distortion in it. The animals are violent, blasphemous, boastful and proud. In addition, instead of being as submissive as the wildlife in Genesis 1, there is, amongst them, an insidious desire to be a man.

The real man comes along and receives dominion of the whole world only to share it with the holy people of God. The son of Man is interested in giving us the dominion we lost in the Genesis story, Daniel 7, is the story of restoration.

Yet, Daniel trembles before the horny beast, mesmerized by the haughty horn and asks about it. These animals represent man’s corporate attempts to regain the dominion lost at Eden. They will fail, burned up by the Son of Man and the Old Man.

Revelation 13, has a beast rising out of water. This, along with the fact that it is a composite of Daniel 7’s beasts, reveals that Revelation is warning us against the very evils displayed in Daniel 7: the horrors of institutionalised self- righteousness!

Any system that puts itself where Jesus ought to be, is evil, phony and misleading. Daniel 7 reveals the horn as a fake Son of Man and Revelation 13 shows us a fake Jesus – in Revelation, it is a beast with the same number if heads as its dragon father in heaven. It is resurrected and given its father’s authority and throne. It is a scary beast but next to Jesus, it is nothing.

Jesus is the hero. He alone can slay the fake Jesus and toss him in the lake of fire. Institutions are impotent unless they point you to God. No institution can provide what Jesus offers. Next to Him, it is just another horny beast to kill.

photo credit: oricosta Starkwind via photopin (license)

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