The purpose of God, as far as the earth is concerned, is clearly revealed in a remarkable prophecy contained in Daniel 2. Every confidence can be placed in it inasmuch as most of the prophecy has been fulfilled.
In a few verses, it outlines world history since the days of Daniel to the present, and on to the future.
Daniel the prophet was taken a captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. That mighty Babylonian monarch had brought the whole world to his feet, and was concerned as to what might be the destiny of the empire he had established. God revealed the answer through a remarkable dream in which the king was shown the Divine plan of the ages.
The king, however, did not understand the dream. He sought the assistance of the “wise men of Babylon,” and demanding as an evidence of their ability to correctly interpret it, that they first tell him the dream and then explain it. Naturally, they were unable to do this, and in his anger and disappointment, the king issued a royal edict against them, threatening them with death if they did not reveal the desired information within a given period.
Daniel was among those involved in this edict. He made his plight a matter of prayer. The God of Israel answered him, revealing the dream to the prophet, and making known to him its interpretation.
Armed with this knowledge, Daniel sought an audience with the king, and revealed unto him the desired information:
“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. The image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and arms of silver, his belly and thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon its feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. 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” (Dan. 2:31-35).
This was the dream as the king instantly recognized. Daniel continued by giving the interpretation. He showed that the four different metals of the image represented four world empires that would arise: the 10 toes represented a multiplicity of nations that would replace the fourth empire; and the stone which smote the image and completely destroyed and supplanted it, represented the Kingdom of God which shall be set up on earth, overthrowing the kingdom of men.
Here is Daniel’s interpretation:
“Thou, O king, art a king of kings; for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory…. and hath made thee ruler over all. THOU ART THIS HEAD OF GOLD. And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron; forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things. . And whereas thou sawest the feet and the toes, part of potter’s clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron …. but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. 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 forever. . The great God hath made known what SHALL BE HEREAFTER: and the DREAM IS CERTAIN, AND THE INTERPRETATION THEREOF SURE” (Dan. 2:37-44).
A brief consideration of this prophecy will reveal that it outlines the history of the world leading to the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. It predicts the uprise of four world powers followed by a time when individual and antagonistic nations shall arise prior to divine intervention upon the setting up of God’s reign on earth.
Next time …. The Head of Gold Explained
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