We will divide the study into two major parts:
Part I: A History of the Times…And the Setup for Coming Attractions:
Part II: Events Prophesied…Prophecies Fulfilled.
… These two parts will be broken down and delved into in detail.
Daniel now had the king’s attention. He also continued to remind the king that the wisdom he was sharing was from the one true God and not from his own knowledge. What integrity! Daniel could have made this a public relations spectacular for himself by taking all the credit, comparing himself to the other wise men (who failed to speak the dream or interpret it), saying, “Hey, King, look at me. I’m the man. You can always count on me for the answers to your tough questions.“
But that is not the Daniel of this book. He took no glory for himself, but instead insisted that only God in heaven could do what the king had requested. I can almost see King Nebuchadnezzar’s mouth begin to drop as Daniel set him up.
Nebuchadnezzar was probably saying something like, “Come on, Daniel, enough of this ‘My God’ stuff. What’s my dream? More importantly, what does it mean? And why are you making me wait?“
But Daniel was not to be rushed. He was in control of this particular discussion and, once again, the king was compelled to wait for the time when this young Jew would come forth with his secrets, which he finally shared when he said:
Daniel 2: 31 – 3531 Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. 32 This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, 33 His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. 34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. 35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
I imagine the king was startled, and dumbfounded, probably exclaiming something like, “I can’t believe this, Daniel. You’re a genius! You’ve done what my most seasoned astrologers and magicians could not do. You’re amazing. . . and you’re still so young!”
36 This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. 37 Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. 38 And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold. 39 And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. 40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. 41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. 43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. 44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. 45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
Not So Fast, O King
Daniel was anything but timid, for God had removed any spirit of fear from his heart as he stood eye-to-eye with Nebuchadnezzar, giving him the message from God. Nebuchadnezzar undoubtedly saw himself as a self-made king-powerful, in control, able to make heads roll at a snap of his finger.
Yet Daniel says, “Wait a minute, King. Not so fast. You are only where you are because my God has given you dominion, power, and glory. Yes, you’re a mighty and powerful king, but your reign simply cannot last.” Daniel consistently gives God the credit in the preface of all his prayers and speeches.
Daniel’s message was that:
God was in control, and that his heavenly Father would have the final say as to who would and who would not occupy all earthly thrones-including Nebuchadnezzar’s.
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE