The last few chapters of Daniel look like all things are hopeless. The beasts look like they are just grinding God’s people into the dust. But the book of Daniel has already been a hopeful book for God’s people, and we see hope comes up from the dust.
The king wakes up and yells for his wisest men. They run in and see a distraught and angry king. He had a terrible dream and wants to know what it means or he will kill all of his wise men. Is this what true power looks like -- that it can wake up on the wrong side of the bead and end life in whomever it chooses? Perhaps Daniel’s description of the dream will bring comfort to the king, but maybe not.
At the closing of the book of Acts, Luke beckons us to look back, not only looking at the successes and failures of the church but to look at them through the life of Paul. We see where challenges and struggles with eyes that will not see and ears that will not hear take place. Yet, Paul, in chains, still preaches without hindrance. He continues to say, “Here am I! Send me!” May we face the challenges with the same creed.
Outside the temple there was a gate called Beautiful. This gate was a sign post as to how the kingdom of God was here with the people, and that kingdom was making everything beautiful. However, outside this beautiful gate is a disabled beggar asking for change. This gate is hardly living up to the expectation of its name, but then Peter comes by and gives this beggar life and beauty in a name that is above every name.