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Jehovah’s Witnesses

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THE WATCHTOWER OCTOBER 2012

 Draw Close to God

“The Ancient of Days Sat Down”

“The Ancient of Days Sat Down”

“NO MAN has seen God at any time,” says the Bible. (John 1:18) God’s appearance is so glorious that no creature of flesh and blood could possibly see him and yet live. (Exodus 33:20) However, in some reported cases, Jehovah gave selected men a vision of heaven. One such man was the prophet Daniel. What he saw no doubt filled him—and should fill us too—with awe. Notice how Daniel described what he was privileged to see in vision. *Read Daniel 7:9, 10.

“The Ancient of Days.” The title “Ancient of Days,” which only Daniel uses, indicates “one advanced (or aged) in days.” (Daniel 7:9, 13, 22) How advanced in age is Jehovah? Since he is the “King of eternity,” his existence stretches endlessly into the past—and forever into the future. (1 Timothy 1:17; Jude 25) God’s eternal existence assures us that he is infinite in wisdom, for the Bible associates age with wisdom. (Job 12:12) Granted, the idea of eternal existence is difficult for our finite minds to grasp. But should we really expect to grasp fully the incomparably wise God?Romans 11:33, 34.

Notice that the Ancient of Days “sat down.” For what purpose? The surrounding verses provide some clues, using such terms as “the Court” and “judgment.” (Daniel 7:10, 22, 26) Thus, in the vision, Jehovah was sitting down as Judge. Whom would he judge? The nations of the earth, depicted earlier in Daniel’s vision as beasts. * (Daniel 7:1-8) What kind of Judge is Jehovah?

“His clothing was white just like snow, and the hair of his head was like clean wool.” White is a symbol of righteousness and purity. In its natural state, wool may be white in color. Thus, hair that is like wool would be white. Can you imagine what Daniel saw? Do you see a white-haired Judge clad perhaps in a robe of snowy whiteness? These word pictures assure us that Jehovah’s judgments are righteous and wise. He is the kind of Judge who merits our deepest trust and respect.

He is the kind of Judge who merits our deepest trust and respect

“There were a thousand thousands that kept ministering to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand that kept standing right before him.” Who are these heavenly ministers? The Bible identifies the angels as “his [God’s] ministers.” (Psalm 104:4) Numbering perhaps hundreds of millions, God’s angels are busy “carrying out his word” and “doing his will.” (Psalm 103:20, 21) Is that not further proof of God’s infinite wisdom? Who else but Jehovah could keep such a vast heavenly army organized and busy over aeons of time?

Daniel’s vision inspires confidence in Jehovah, the Ancient of Days. His judgments are righteous, and his wisdom trustworthy. Why not learn more about how you can draw closer to the all-wise God?

Suggested Bible reading for October:

Daniel 4-12Hosea 1-14

^ par. 3 Daniel did not really see God. Rather, God impressed vivid images upon his mind. Then, in describing what he saw, Daniel used figures of speech, including anthropomorphisms—the attributing of human characteristics to God. Such word pictures help to make God comprehensible to us and are not to be taken literally.

^ par. 5 For a discussion of Daniel’s vision of the beasts, see chapter 9 of the book Pay Attention to Daniel’s Prophecy! published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.