The Book of Daniel, God Revealed Through Nebuchadnezzarís Dream, Daniel 2:46-49 - Lesson 10

 

In our last lesson we learned the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzarís dream.

While the dream was filled with details concerning a great image made from various materials the essential quality of the dream was a message from God to Nebuchadnezzar, and all of us in fact through the faithful record of Daniel.

The message was that Nebuchadnezzarís occupation ought to be with that which is eternal rather than that which is temporal.

The image is a warning against pride and the planting of oneís feet on this earth and the things of this earth that will eventually pass away.

Earthly kingdoms, no matter how glorious whether they be of gold or iron, will in the end be done away with and their glory will be forgotten.

We are given the image of the stone made without hands coming down and crushing the statue into chaff that is blown away so that no piece was found of it.

This tells us that God will use nothing from manís kingdoms with which to establish his own kingdom, the only kingdom that will endure.

All of the documents that we revere will be part of that chaff and God will have nothing to do with them and they will disappear from memory.

He will not consult our Declaration of Independence nor our revered Constitution nor will he consult any other man derived system of government when he brings his kingdom to this earth.

He will seek no advice from his creation for what we have to give will be blown away as if it never was.

The message to Nebuchadnezzar is that all gentile kingdoms will in the end be done away with and their glory will not be thought of.

The admonition to the king is to turn your eyes on the one coming to erase the glory of the kingdoms, the one who will put down all earthly kings and kingdoms to establish His eternal kingdom.

The message is to set his mind not on earthly things but on heavenly things for the glory of the kingdoms of men is simply chaff that is blown away compared to the glory of the kingdom of the king of kings.

In order to be a part of a kingdom filled with glory, a kingdom which will last forever, Nebuchadnezzar must look to the rock of his vision.

Yes, he was the head was of gold but the head of gold disappeared in the same manner as the clay.

It is not the head of gold, it is not the breast of silver, nor even the entire statue that is glorious and eternal, but the stone made without hands.

The stone brings the destruction of the statue and the creation of an everlasting kingdom.

Throughout the New Testament, our Lord taught the people of His day the same lesson God was teaching Nebuchadnezzar through his dream.

Jesus warned men that the kingdoms of the world would pass away and that they should set their hearts and minds on the kingdom of God, which He had come to establish.

He is the stone which the builders rejected, the builders who went about to build their kingdoms without.

But this stone is become the head of the corner and unless one falls upon that stone and be broken, that stone will fall upon him and grind him to powder.

Jesus taught this in Luke 20:17,  What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?  Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

Jesus is the One whose kingdom is eternal and glorious.

Nebuchadnezzar, prior to sleeping, was musing about his empire.

But God instructed him in his dream to submit to a greater King and to be a part of an eternal empire, an eternal kingdom.

Jesus is that King, and the kingdom of Heaven is the empire.

Those who trust in Him have not only obtained immortality, but salvation, eternal life, glory, and peace.

Jesus Christ was clear in his ministry that we, like Nebuchadnezzar, are to turn from our own earthly empires to the heavenly empire of God.

Matthew 6:19-21,  Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

The message of the scriptures is clear.

We are not to be people whose lives are totally invested in the present.

So many today live their lives totally invested in the now and now.

Nor are we to be people who concentrate on the past.

The Apostle Paul forgot those things which were behind and used his present to reach forth unto those things which are before, pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

He refused to focus on the temporal but rather on the eternal.

He refused to dwell on himself and to desire glory for himself but focused upon God and his glory.

This was the message of the dream of Nebuchadnezzar and caused him to fall on his face before Daniel as we read in:

Daniel 2:46-49,  Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him.  The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.  Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.  Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.

What an amazing scene we are given here.

This the most powerful king of the time, the king who is symbolized by the head of gold, the highest of the gentile kingdoms who falls before the feet of this young Israelite.

His first reaction is to worship the messenger but he quickly turns to give glory to Danielís God.

Verse 47 says the king answered Daniel.

Daniel did not record what the answer was in response to, but the turning of the king to the praise of Danielís God surely indicates that Daniel turned the kingís worship of himself to the worship of God.

This king then acknowledges the God of Israel as the only true God, and points to Him as the revealer of secrets to Daniel.

This is the king who in chapter one thought of the God of Israel as a lesser "god," as one defeated by his "gods"

He showed no care about Danielís God, or about Danielís convictions, being impressed only by Danielís superior performance.

But now we see him in a different light humbling himself before an exile, a man over whom he has the power of life and death.

He confesses Danielís God as the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets.

As revealed in later chapters this is not a born again experience for Nebuchadnezzar but this is a mile marker in the road along the way to salvation.

Nebuchadnezzar was a man of his word.

He gave Daniel many gifts, just as he promised the wise men, if they would but tell him his dream and its meaning.

Along with the gifts, Daniel received a promotion.

He was made ruler of the entire province of Babylon and placed in charge of all the wise men of Babylon.

Here was something for the wise men of Babylon to ponder.

Their gods had nearly gotten them killed.

Danielís God had saved their lives.

While Arioch attempted to use Danielís God-given gifts and abilities to further his own position, Daniel used his new standing with Nebuchadnezzar to further his three friends.

He spoke to the king on their behalf, and they were appointed to be over the affairs of the whole province of Babylon during the time Daniel was at the kingís court.

A lesson we learn from this account is Danielís willingness to wait upon God for promotion.

There is nothing in this account that shows that Daniel sought to be prominent.

He did not politic to gain position for himself.

He did not set his sights on leadership but only sought to be faithful to God and the doing of His will.

One thing we should learn from this is, that in the Lordís service we do not strive to be a leader, we simply strive to be faithful.

God is the one who chooses to place us in a position of leadership or chooses not to.

And God sought to do this in the life of Daniel by putting him in a position where he could trust God.

This was a crisis situation and this is often the place where leaders are revealed.

Daniel was forced to lead for had he not acted as he did he and his three friends would have died.

Danielís leadership came about when he acted out of necessity and out of faith, in a way that set him apart from the rest.

This is the way most of the leaders in the Bible were revealed.

God chose to reveal himself by showing the vanity of human wisdom and power and of false gods and false religions.

He placed Daniel in a leadership position and at the same time he demonstrated the ultimate power, wisdom and authority that he had over every king of every time.

It was God who brought about the crisis that threatened Daniel and all the wise men.

It was God who gave the king the dream from which all else followed.

In so doing, He showed the wise men of this world to be unwise, and by the testimony of their own lips showed their gods to be powerless.

Godís power was so evident through the faith of Daniel and his friends that the king fell before this man and his God.

Nebuchadnezzar had come a long way from where he had been because of Danielís testimony but he was not yet ready to receive Danielís God.

There will be a long time of humbling that he must go through before that becomes a reality.