I watched as thrones were put in place
and the Ancient One sat down to judge.
His clothing was as white as snow,
his hair like purest wool.
He sat on a fiery throne
with wheels of blazing fire,
and a river of fire was pouring out,
flowing from his presence.
Millions of angels ministered to him;
many millions stood to attend him.
Then the court began its session,
and the books were opened. (Daniel 7:9–10 NLT)
In Daniel’s vision, the Ancient One is clothed in white, which signifies His righteousness, and His hair being as white as the coat of a pure lamb illustrates His wisdom. Throughout the Bible, fire is often used as a symbol of God’s holiness and presence, but here it is used as a symbol of something else, judgement. In Knowing God, J. I. Packer writes, “The Bible leaves us in no doubt that God loves righteousness and hates iniquity, and that the ideal of a judge wholly identified with what is good and right is perfectly fulfilled in him.” The image of God as the Ancient One, or Ancient of Days, is used to illustrate His perfect judgement over all creation. As the one who established the heavens and the earth and set them in motion, He is the only one able to sit on the throne that serves as the judgement seat over this world.
The beautiful thing about God as judge is that because of the manger—because the Word became flesh—He knows what it’s like to be in our shoes, to walk around as flesh and bone, to be tempted and tried, to suffer and die. Though this does not in any way lessen His holiness and thereby soften His judgement, we can rest assured that He knows our weaknesses and struggles because He, too, experienced what it is like to be weak and struggle. We can also trust that God’s view is not limited; as the Ancient One, He holds dominion over all of time.
Using Psalm 9 as your guide, worship the Ancient One, who is also the Word made flesh.