Year 3 Day 14
Read - Daniel 2v25-49
Message - Scott Woodburn
So Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that almost caused him to spill gallons of blood throughout his kingdom. What did he see that caused such anguish and provoked such fury? Praise God, for the Lord had given Daniel an answer to both the content and interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream. It was just as Daniel had said, the magicians had failed "but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days." (v28)
Daniel reported that the king had seen a huge, bright and frightening statue. It's head was made of gold (v32), its chest and arms were silver (v32b), its middle and thighs were bronze (v32c), its legs were iron (v33) and its feet were a mixture of iron and clay (v33b). But suddenly a stone which had not been cut by a human hand stuck the statue on its feet and smashed them to bits (v34). As the feet lay destroyed the statue collapsed and all the gold, silver and bronze blew away in the wind leaving no trace (v35). Yet the stone that had brought destruction to the statue became a great mountain and filled the earth.
The Lord had also graciously told Daniel what this mysterious dream was all about. The golden head represented Nebuchadnezzar (v38). God had given him great power and might and glory to rule over the earth (v37). Yet nothing lasts forever and there would come after Nebuchadnezzar a kingdom of silver, a kingdom of bronze and a kingdom of iron (v39-40). The kingdom of iron would crush everything it its path but it would have an inbuilt weakness and eventually it too would collapse (v42).
History informs us that the kingdoms that followed Babylon would be the Persians, the Greeks and then the mighty Romans. Although each would display tremendous power they would never achieve the unity of Babylon. It had one head whilst the other kingdoms were represented on the statue with multiple parts denoting factions and division. Equally the brightness of gold would give way to silver then bronze and then iron. The lustre of gold would also be exchanged for the hardness of iron.
As I write this devotion all of these kingdoms have come and gone but the final kingdom remains. Daniel spoke and assured Nebuchadnezzar that the rock not carved by human hands would be another kingdom that would never be destroyed or given to another (v44). This is the kingdom of God. Rome stood against Christ but eventially fell before Him. Amazingly this was the content of Nebuchadnezzar's dream.
In response to Daniel's explanation and interpretation of his dream, Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face and honoured Daniel (v46). The king was even brought to a place of recognition towards Almighty God. He said “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery." (v47) Finally Daniel and his friends received a promotion. Daniel remained with the king and was put in charge over all the wise men and the whole province of Babylon while Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon. Just as Joseph years before had risen to power in Egypt via the interpretation of Pharaoh's dream, the Lord worked in the same way in Daniel's life.
Daniel may have been far from his earthly city but by faith he had received a heavenly one instead. It remains the blessed hope of all Christians. Empires come and go but only the kingdom of God endures and while wicked men seek to advance by the bullet and bomb, the kingdom of God marches on by the preaching of the Gospel.
Brothers and sisters, do not be alarmed by the storms of this world. There will be wars and rumours of wars and kingdoms will rise and fall. The Lord is not surprised by any of this. He is sovereign and He is good "therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12v28-29)
Q20 Did God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery? God having, out of his mere good pleasure, from all eternity, elected some to everlasting life, did enter into a covenant of grace, to deliver them out of the estate of sin and misery, and to bring them into an estate of salvation by a Redeemer.