“In my vision that night, I, Daniel, saw a great storm churning the surface of a great sea, with strong winds blowing from every direction. Then four huge beasts came up out of the water, each different from the others.” Daniel 7:2-3
The restless sea is a frequent biblical image for the nations of the world. “Listen! The armies of many nations roar like the roaring of the sea. Hear the thunder of the mighty forces as they rush forward like thundering waves. But though they thunder like breakers on a beach, God will silence them, and they will run away. They will flee like chaff scattered by the wind, like a tumbleweed whirling before a storm.” (Isaiah 17:12-13) “But those who still reject me are like the restless sea, which is never still but continually churns up mud and dirt. There is no peace for the wicked,” says my God.” (Isaiah 57:20-21) Just as the ocean is sometimes stormy, so are the nations of the world are sometimes in confusion or even at war, just as the waves and currents of the ocean are unpredictable, so the course of world history. From the human point of view, the nation seems to work out their own destinies, but the invisible winds of God blow over the surface of water to accomplish His will in His time. Since the beasts represent the forms of the world-power, the sea must represent that out of which they arise, the whole heathen world. If there is one meaasge that we see in the book of Daniel; it is that God rules the kingdom of men. He saw four great beasts come up from the sea; these beasts represent the rulers and fallen angels behind these Empires. These Empires are raised and supported by brutish rage and tyranny. This is what we are seeing today.