We are at the part of the story where Daniel is getting ready to tell King Nebuchadnezzar his dream and what his dream means. God revealed the future to King Nebuchadnezzar in a dream and now God is using Daniel to tell the king what the future of his kingdom and what the future kingdoms will be.
Many people do not like to study the difficult passages of the Bible and therefore we either ignore them or go through them quickly. There are things found in the book of Daniel that we may not fully understand and many things that theologians disagree on and so we just do not read or study these passages of scripture. How the world is going to end was revealed to us by God for encouragement of the believers that as they see these things taking shape they can trust in God who has already seen from the beginning to the end. Jesus gives us encouragement to study and read the book of Daniel which validates the book among Christ followers and encourages us to not shy away from the more difficult passages in God’s Word.
Matthew 24:15 So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),
I have shared this verse before but I want to remind you that Jesus told us to pay attention to the prophet Daniel because we are supposed to look at what is happening and be ready for Jesus to return. We live in exciting times in our world but for many they are viewing what is taking place as a nightmare. God tells us that things will get worse as the end of the world comes to an end which is in contrast to the thought that we will reach a utopia type state as technology develops. We as Christ followers can be encouraged and not discouraged by what we see happening in our world because our God already knew everything that would take place.
Read Daniel 2:31- 39
1) God Knows the Future
We are not sure how big the statue was but as we will see it was probably something similar to what Nebuchadnezzar built in Daniel chapter 3 which would mean it was ninety feet tall. With it being made of all these precious metals you can imagine in the Kings dream how much it glistened in his dream and how it was an awesome sight to behold.
Nebuchadnezzar was concerned about his Kingdom and what would happen to it after he was gone. Nebuchadnezzar wanted to live on in history by having a kingdom that lived on even though he would not be around to enjoy it. Many people do the same thing when they donate millions of dollars to have a hospital wing, or a college dormitory named after them.
As we go through some of these dates of the empires there seems to be some discrepancies as the actual dates they ruled but they are close and they are in order. I am not going to argue every little point in Daniel because there have been many other books that have done that already. My main premise is to encourage Christ followers that God knows the future and we can trust Him and to maybe encourage skeptics to investigate these claims made in the book of Daniel a little deeper in hopes that they will know the God who created the Universe and who came in the form of a human named Jesus Christ.
Gold (Neo-Babylonian Empire 605-539 B.C.)
Nebuchadnezzar is the head of the statue because Daniel told him so but also because Babylon was known for all of its gold. Marduk, the chief god of Babylon, was also called the god of gold. Historian Herodotus visited Babylon 100 years after Nebuchadnezzar reigned and he said he did not know so much Gold existed. Daniel is quick to remind Nebuchadnezzar that the only reason he is in charge is because God placed him there for a time and not because of his leadership or dominance as a King. (2:21)
Read Daniel 2:39-40
Silver (Medes and Persians 539-331B.C.)
In 550 B.C. The Medes and the Persians came together to make one nation and in 539 B.C. they conquered Babylon therefore fulfilling the second part of Daniels dream in that Babylon would not reign forever. King Cyrus would be the first King of this Empire which God named by name 150 years earlier through the profit Isaiah. (Daniel 5:28 tells about the Medes and the Persians and Daniel chapter 7-8 describes in more detail about this empire.)
Isaiah 45:1 Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him and to loose the belts of kings to open doors before him that gates may not be closed:
Daniel 8:20 As for the ram that you saw with the two horns, these are the kings of Media and Persia.
As of Christ we can be encouraged by the simple fact that the Bible is not a bunch of made up stories of mythical creatures but that has actual historical events that take place. Yes, there is some poetic language throughout the Bible but that does not take away from the historical evidence that has been found in archeological digs. Poetic language does not mean the Bible is a mythical book it just means that God used many writers with their style of writing and creativity to explain to a world that He loves them. The Bible is an accurate book on history as well as a document that explains the future and not once has archeology proven the Bible to be false.
Prophecy is just history to God that has not been fulfilled.
Bronze (The Greek Empire 331- 146 B.C.)
Greece would be the next Kingdom that would come and conquer and its most notorious leader was Alexander the Great. Alexander the Great conquered the world and had reportedly cried because he had no more kingdoms to conquer showing that Greece was a world empire. The Greeks were known for their bronze and their brass especially when it came to using it with their military weaponry.
Daniel was dead by the time this vision of his dream came to be but he named Greece by name in Daniel 8:21 “And the goat[d] is the king of Greece. And the great horn between his eyes is the first king.” This passage and many found in the book of Daniel is why some theologians are trying to say someone else besides Daniel wrote the book. People that do not believe that God could have revealed to Daniel the specifics of the future have a hard time believing that Daniel wrote the book. There is a lot of evidence for Daniel being written by Daniel and I have already cited Jesus Christ as one who confirmed the writings of Daniel but other sources go into detail about the writing and language that prove even more that Daniel was indeed the author and that he predicted and named the future Kingdoms of the world.
Legs of Iron (Rome 27 B.C. 476 A.D.)
Daniel describes Rome with words like breaks, shatters, crushes to describe what this empire will do to all the rest of the kingdoms. Some say the two legs represent the divided empire with Rome in the west and Constantinople in the East.America has traces of Roman rule in it with how we set up government, courts, laws and our military.
Feet of Iron and clay
Some say this was part of the Roman Empire where some believe this is something that will take place in the future before Christ return. Daniel makes it clear that this will be a divided Kingdom because even though they make up one nation they will keep their own cultures and therefore, never become one people.Mixed marriages is mentioned in verse 43 as one indicator as to why the nation will not bind together which could mean that the families will be divided by their religions.
Toes and Feet
Daniel 7:24 tells us that there will be ten Kings and Revelation 31:1 and 17:12 says that there will be a Ten Kingdom Confederacy. Many believe that this will be part of a New World Order or something similar to the European Union but another explanation could mean that the number ten means completeness. We will have to wait and see but if we are to be looking to the book of Daniel as Jesus told us to do then we have to be mindful of both of those interpretations.
The Inferiority of the Kingdoms
The Dream went from Gold to Clay which some say means that it started more expensive and then went to a cheaper but stronger metals until it was mixed with clay. The Bible teaches that the world will be getting worse and not better.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
There has never been a world dominant empire since Rome even though some have tried. Napoleon failed at Waterloo, Hitler failed when alliances all over the world stopped him and every other leader will fail to be another world empire because Jesus is coming. (Unless the ten toes represent the last world empire which could be the interpretation)
Read Daniel 2:44-45
2) The Future Belongs to Christ
When Daniel first started telling Nebuchadnezzar the dream he told them that when the stone, which was made not with human hands comes it will crush the other kingdoms. When you hear about the Rock we automatically know that Jesus is the rock because the Bible constantly refers to Jesus as the Rock. Psalm 118:22; Isaiah 8:14; 28:16; Matthew 21:42-44; 1 Peter 2:6-8; 1 Corinthians 10:3-4 are all passages that refer to Jesus as the Rock.
When Jesus comes at the end He will crush all of the earthly Kingdoms and set up His own that will take over the world. Jesus used similar language which the disciples would have known and understood in Matthew 21:44.
Matthew 21:44 And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him
Re-Read Daniel 2:34-35
Since what was prophesied by Daniel happened accurately we can have assurance that what is going to take place will happen just as God has planned and or allowed. When Christ comes this evil age will end with all of its sin and death and He will set up a Kingdom for all eternity. Jesus was rejected the first time He came because He came as a servant (Isaiah 53) but when He comes again He is coming to rule.
Notice that Jesus strikes the feet which is not the ideal place if you trying to knock a statue down. The stone hitting the Feet is significant because it shows when Jesus will come again and it will be in those last days when the 10 Kings or Kingdoms are ruling the earth. It is also significant because the pagans thought that when one Kingdom destroyed another that their gods were superior to the gods of the other nation. The dreamed showed Nebuchadnezzar that God would be supreme over all the gods of the earth and none would be able to stop Him.
Matthew 24:29-31 Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Revelation 21 tells us that the reason the rock destroys the kingdoms and then they blow away is because God will set up a new Kingdom that will reign forever. Jesus is not coming back to make things better, He is coming back and the Kingdoms of this world will be destroyed and blown away as He makes all things new.
“If God does not control our lives from the actions of kings and others in positions of power to the most minute circumstances then everything in life is uncertain. We are victims of circumstances, and whatever happens will happen. Que sera sera! But if God is sovereign, as the Bible declares him to be and if he is our God, if the promises he makes and the actions he takes are certain of fulfillment, then we can be confident of the future and know that we will be able to live our lives in a way that will lease God.” (J.M. Boice, Commentary on Daniel, pg 29)
3) Your Future depends on your response to Christ
Read Daniel 2:46-49
Nebuchadnezzar just experienced the true God through Daniel who showed him his dream that only the King knew about. This was truly a miracle for Daniel to be able to tell the king exactly what he dreamed without knowing any details. God took this pagan King and showed him the future, not only his kingdom, but world events that would take place after he was gone and you would think a miracle like that would be enough to change his heart but not even that made Nebuchadnezzar a believer. Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged that Daniels God was the god of Gods but not the only God. Nebuchadnezzar believed in many gods and now The God was just one more that he added to his list of gods. Many people have experienced God and have seen His miraculous powers but they still do not have a personal relationship with Him. Many people say they believe in God but they have not made Him the only God in their lives. In fact many people are still trying to be god of their life and only go to the True God when they can not handle things themselves. Jesus prayed for people to understand and have a relationship with God.
John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
Acts 16:31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
John 1:10-13 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.11 He came to his own,[b] and his own people[c] did not receive him.12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
You can know about God without knowing God. If you study anyone you can learn about them but as we all know that does not mean you have a personal relationship with them. Many people in our churches know many facts about Jesus but they do not know Him personally. This is why we say it is a relationship and not a religion. A religion you find out about your god but in a relationship you spend time with Him.
Once Jesus establishes His earthly rule it will continue forever and we will live the life God initially created in the Garden with Adam and Eve. No sin or suffering but just the enjoyment of spending time with our Creator forever. The question is have you come to a personal relationship with Christ or are you more like Nebuchadnezzar who experienced the things of God without knowing God? That is the ultimate question you need to find out before you die because that is the only thing that really matters for your soul. I would encourage you to go and talk to God right now and see if you have believed on what Jesus Christ did on the cross for you.