Dreams, they are not an infrequent topic of discussion in Scripture. Today Daniel who in the first six chapters of this book has frequently been the interpreter, has a a dream himself that needs interpretation.
Beasts, wild fantastical scary beasts fill his dream. I have never had dreams quite like this, and I am perfectly fine with that.
Like the visions of Revelation, the point is not the beasts so much as the totality of the dream. Reading a bit further, we find that these dreams distress Daniel quite a bit, and this is not the last of them for old Daniel.
Daniel’s world was full of turmoil and political upheaval. The future for God’s people seemed so uncertain and evil seemed to press in from every side, this was not a dream it was reality.
Often when we feel our lives are out of control, we dream of the future with uncertain dreams as well. The hope and maybe the scariest part of all of Daniel’s dreams as well as ours is that things will change. Evil and sadness are part of this world as we know it, when God comes in things change. This is as I said both hopeful, and scary. We get use to dealing with things the way they are, but to put our trust in God who will “make all things new” including ourselves can be unsettling. This is true even for Daniel who is known for his deep faithfulness.
I do not tend to read too much into these dreams and visions as some do. I don’t think that is the point of them. I think the point is trust. Trust that God who has been faithful in the past will continue to be faithful and will not only outlast the beasts of our world and our lives, but will be with us and for us and will strengthen us even as we do battle with them.