Daniel 2- King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that none could interpret. The King ordered that all of his advisors be killed because they could not tell him his dream or its meaning. Daniel and friends go to prayer and Daniel receives the interpretation.
Daniel 2:31-46 "You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. This image's head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
"This is the dream. Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king. You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory; ... you are this head of gold. But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others.
Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile.... The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure." Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, prostrate before Daniel, and commanded that they should present an offering and incense to him.
The Lord often sends messages to earth by means of dreams and visions. We are not always open to the things He has to say to us when we are fully awake, so He comes in the night, when the mind is in neutral. This was true in Old Testament times, and is even more true today.
God-given dreams, however, are not confined to the believer- Nebuchadnezzar was no believer, at least not yet. Rather he was God's agent of judgment on Israel. Here God used this brutal and proud king- the head of gold, to deliver a message to you and I today, here in America. We must not place our faith in horses or chariots or "intelligence", or our ingenuity, collective will or money.
Isaiah 31:1 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, And rely on horses, Who trust in chariots because they are many, And in horsemen because they are very strong, But who do not look to the Holy One of Israel, Nor seek the Lord!
This dream is a warning to the unbeliever, and an encouragement to the believer that Jesus is coming soon, and all oppression and cruelty and injustice will end forever. Nothing can stop this because.....
v. 45 "The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure."
The kingdoms of man have been steadily declining in authority and goodness and glory from gold to silver to brass to iron to the weak and divided -present day kingdoms of iron and clay. They will one day soon all be ground to powder....those who trusted in the stock market, military might and in earthly things will be as those who built their house upon the sand.
The dream describes the kingdoms of this world from the pages of history- though in Daniel's time it was yet to happen...it has happened just as the dream said it would.
The Head of Gold was Nebuchadnezzar himself, and the kingdom of Babylon that he controlled. This is the nation that was used by God as an agent of judgment against His own people, & they were taken captive for 70 years. It was the most magnificent kingdom ever, located in the Middle East from Egypt to Iran and north to Turkey. It remains the hotbed of trouble in the world even today.
The Chest and arms of silver represent the kingdom of the Medes & Persians which was soon to conquer Babylon in 538 bc. It was glorious, but not as great as Babylon and would last until 330 bc when a man named Alexander arose in Macedonia and founded the Greek empire which would control the world for several hundred years.
Alexander the Great and his kingdom are represented by the belly of brass... glorious and beautiful, but not quite as great as the Medo-Persians. Alexander was so powerful a man that he conquered the world by the age of 30 and lamented that there was no more of the world left to conquer. He died of venereal disease at age 33.
Finally, we are brought to the Roman empire, signified by the legs of iron- broken into eastern and western territories. This was a brutal and oppressive dominion, and would maintain control of the world for hundreds of years. In the days of the early church, Rome was responsible for putting to death most of the disciples, including Peter and Paul.
There have been many who have tried to rule the world since Rome fell, but it is all in vain....we are now in the period of the feet and toes of clay and iron-not a good mix. The kingdom of the last days will be brittle....with no one ruler claiming total dominion. Charlemagne tried, Napoleon tried, the British empire tried, Hitler tried, the UN is trying, and the European union and Islamic Jihadists.... but none can succeed, for the dream is certain and the interpretation sure.
One day soon though, a leader will arise who will sparkle and dazzle the world- an angel of light who will rule over the revived Roman empire- the ten toes of the image. It will be satan's last stand, and in the midst of it the real king in heaven will stand and say, "I have had endured enough"....and the stone that the builder's rejected will become the chief cornerstone.
The stone cut without hands....Jesus our Savior...the Lamb will rise as the Lion!!!
Daniel 2:34 "You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth."
Christ's kingdom will not be temporary or overcome by any other kingdom to follow...it will stand forever.
Daniel 2:44 And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands.
There will be a crushing and a grinding to powder of all that man has done and tried to do.
They say that when Solomon was building the temple the cornerstone
arrived from the quarry long before they were ready for it. It appeared that it must have been an error, and so they threw it down over the hill into the Kidron Valley. It became overgrown by weeds and thorns, until one day the order came for the cornerstone to be brought from the quarry and installed. The quarry sent back word that it had already been delivered. The builders then remembered the stone that had been rejected. It was retrieved and it fit perfectly in place. For it was cut for just such a purpose.
Psalm 118:22-23 The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD'S doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.