11/9/2020 4:04:36 PM
November 8, 2020
Last Judgment (Second Sunday of End Time)
Sermon Text: Daniel 7:9,10
Other Readings: Romans 2:2-11 and Matthew 25:31-46
- God gives us so many names for himself in order to tell us more about who he is and what he does. What does the name “Ancient of Days” tell you about God? What comfort do you get from that name?
- In Matthew chapter 25, Jesus says he as the Son of Man will do the judging, and that’s what we confess in the Apostles’ Creed. (“Jesus Christ… will come again to judge the living and the dead.”) But the context of Daniel chapter 7 makes it seem like God the Father as the Ancient of Days is overseeing the court. So, who will judge on the Last Day – the Father or the Son?
- What are the books that were opened in Daniel 7:10?
- The painting below is entitled The Ancient of Days and painted by William Blake in the 1790s. Compare the painting Daniel 7:9,10. What do you think it captures well from those verses? What do you think the painting misses or depicts poorly?
- This name for God highlights his eternal nature versus our mortal status. Just as he is eternal, so also will be his judgments and sentences. This can still be a comfort for us because we know that our God who watches over us has the wisdom to control temporal society and has the power to outlast it and bring us into eternal bliss.
- We can say both God the Father and God the Son will judge, since that’s the way Scripture talks. This is similar to the way Scripture talks about creation. It often associates creation with God the Father but also makes clear that the Son and the Spirit were involved. In the same way, while the Son is most often associated with judging, God the Father gives him the authority and will oversee it.
- The Bible speaks of two kinds of books being opened on the judgment day. The first books are those that contain everything we have ever done in our lives—the evidence for our judgment. The other is the book of life in which is written the names of all those who are saved—all who have believed in Jesus as their Savior (cf. Revelation 20:11-15).
- Other than the white hair and the serious tone of the painting, it doesn’t capture much of Daniel 7:9,10. In fact, it relates closer to the King James translation of Proverbs 8:27. Even so, William Blake basically viewed the triune God as a myth and instead thought of the being depicted here as “Urizen,” the embodiment of reason and law. Blake’s misunderstanding goes to show how carefully we must look at what all of Scripture says and humbly not imply more than it does, especially when it comes to visions of the Last Judgment.