The Babylonian Exile #7

Faced with the threat of execution, Daniel and his companions went in prayer to Him who is the revealer of secrets and sees into the innermost recesses of the heart. How long God waited ere He responded to these men’s fervent pleas is not revealed; the important thing is that He did respond. “Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven … I thank thee and praise thee, O thy God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast now made known unto me what we desired of thee … Therefore, Daniel went in to Arioch whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon; he went in and said thus unto him: Destroy not the wise men of Babylon; bring me in before the king, and I will show unto the king the interpretation” (Dan. 2:19, 23-24).

Arioch wasted no time. He immediately went before the king and said unto him, “I have found a man that is of the captivity of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation. The king answered and said unto Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen and the interpretation?” (Dan. 2:25-26). Daniel answered before the king, “The secret which the king hath demanded can neither wise men, enchanters, magicians, nor soothsayers, show unto the king; but there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and he hath made known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days …” (Dan. 2:28-29). Daniel further said, “But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but to the intent the interpretation may be made known unto the king, and that thou mayest know the thoughts of thy heart” (Dan. 2:30). Daniel spoke these words to banish from the king any thought he might have of supernatural wisdom or knowledge — he was simply God’s mouthpiece so that what the king had dreamed might be revealed to him as to its purpose and the magnitude of the work God was planning to accomplish then and the everlasting ages.

Daniel said, “Thou, O king, sawest, and behold, a great image. This image, which was mighty, and whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the aspect thereof was terrible. As for this image, its head was of fine gold, its’ breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of brass, its legs of iron, its 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 in pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver and the gold, broken in pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors; and the wind carried them away, so that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. This is the dream: and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. Thou, O king, art king of kings, unto whom the God of heaven hath given the kingdom, the power, and the strength, and the glory; and wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven hath he given into thy hand, and hath made thee to rule over them all: thou art the 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 as iron that crusheth all these, shall it break in pieces and crush. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. 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. And whereas thou sawest the 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 doth not mingle with clay. And in the days of those kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall the sovereignty thereof be left to another people; but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Dan. 2:31-45).

Nebuchadnezzar was overwhelmed with the revelation Daniel gave him. He “fell on his face and worshipped Daniel and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odors unto him. The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth your God is the God of gods, and the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou hast been able to reveal this secret” (Dan. 2:46-47). The king rewarded Daniel with great gifts and honors as well as his three companions (according to Daniel’s request). Today every Christian is blessed as a consequence of the fulfillment of this dream by a pagan king 2,600 years ago. In our next article we’ll deal with particulars of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.

Jim McDonald