What hope do we find in the prophecies of Daniel of a soon coming Saviour?
God revealed to the monarch of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, a dream that troubled him (Dan 2:1). He saw a giant having a head of gold, a chest and arms of silver, a belly and thighs of bronze and legs of iron. Its feet was most extraordinary, they were made partly of iron and partly of clay. (Dan 2:31-33). Nebuchadnezzar was so agitated that he consulted with the “wisest” men of that day. The only problem was that he had forgotten his dream, and therefore not only did he insist that his scholars give the dream’s interpretation, he also insisted that they reveal the dream! (Dan 2:2-5).
The wise men were perplexed and they gave the following answer: Dan 2:10-11"There is not a man on earth who can do what the king asks! No king, however great and mighty, has ever asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or astrologer. What the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among men."
The king was furious. He declared that all the wise men of the kingdom be destroyed (verse 11). One young Hebrew however, petitioned the king to give him some time to allow His God to reveal the king’s dream and it’s interpretation. This Hebrew was Daniel. He prayed, and God showed him the dream, as well as the interpretation. Prayer works my friend. We have to believe in our loving God! He always answers our prayers! When Daniel finally appeared in front of the king he said: "No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come.” Dan 2:27-28
In other words God is a personal God. He knows the mysteries and troubles of our lives. He is interested in giving us peace of mind (verse 30).
Daniel reveals the king’s dream. He saw a giant having a head of gold, a chest and arms of silver, a belly and thighs of bronze and legs of iron. Its feet were most extraordinary, they were made partly of iron and partly of clay. (Dan 2:31-33). Nebuchadnezzar immediately recognized his dream.
The interpretation is even more revealing: This dream refers to kingdoms to come, kingdoms that dominated the people of Israel. Dan 2:37-38 records the first kingdom: “You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; in your hands he has placed mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold.” The head of gold was thus referring to Babylon (606-539 BC). The chest of silver was referring to Medo-Persia (539-331 BC, see Es 13:1, 17-19). The belly and thighs of bronze was referring to Greece (331-168 BC, see Dan 8:20-21). The legs of iron was referring to the Roman empire (168 BC – 476 AD). The feet made up of iron and clay represent the political world of today (476 to the end of time).
It’s interesting to note that as the end drew nearer, the value of the metals decreased and the strength of the metals increased. As the end approaches, there will be a decline in the beauty of culture and civilization, and an increase of military might.
The most remarkable part of the dream is the end of it. “While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.” Dan 2:34-35. What or who is that rock that will come at the end of times?
Let’s see what Daniel said: “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands-a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.” "The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy.” Dan 2:44-45.
At the end of time, our King of Kings will come and all the political turmoil of our world will cease as He establishes His everlasting kingdom on earth. What’s the difference between His kingdom and our worldly kingdoms? “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Rev 21:1-5. “He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’” Rev 22:20
He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon." I can’t wait for that day!
Daniel later received a similar vision (you can read it in Daniel 7). This vision also ended with the promise of an everlasting kingdom: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” Dan 7:13-14. “But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever-yes, for ever and ever.’” Dan 7:18.
In the last chapter of Daniel (chapter 12) we receive the following promises:
"At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people-everyone whose name is found written in the book-will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.” Dan 12:1-3.
When Jesus returns to establish His reign, He will raise the dead and judgment will occur. We have a caring God! He is coming soon! Are you ready for Him?
To which group do you belong? Are you belonging to those who will be risen up "to everlasting life"? Or do you belong to those who will be risen up "to shame and everlasting contempt"? It is still not too late to avoid the consequences of this last group. Will you accept Jesus in your life right now by answering His call at http://www.answers2prayer.org/saviours_call.html and enjoy His presence in your life?
By Rob Chaffart
Daniel was among the Jews who were taken
captive into Babylon about 2600 years ago. He rose to a high
position in the Babylonian government. Daniel saw and
described the great world empires that were to come. He also
prophesied about a Messiah.
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The Nugget: Published three times a week, this newsletter features inspirational devotionals and mini-sermons dedicated to drawing mankind closer to each other and to Christ.