“No one on earth can tell the king his dream! And no king, however great and powerful, has ever asked such a thing of any magician, enchanter, or astrologer! The king’s demand is impossible. No one except the gods can tell you your dream, and they do not live here among people” – Daniel 2:10-11 NLT
King Nebuchadnezzar has had a series of disturbing dreams. He gathers all his magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers and demands that they tell him what his dreams mean. Not only that, they have to tell him WHAT he dreamed. Their reaction? Panic. In spite of their illustrious titles, they know that none of them can do what the king is demanding. It would be impossible for them to know what the king dreamed, unless he told them. But King Nebuchadnezzar sticks to his original plan, threatening to kill them if they don’t do what he says. When they finally admit that his request is something only a god could do, and gods don’t live among men, he explodes and sentences them all to death. This death sentence would include Daniel and his friends, because by this time they were considered to be on a par with the rest of the king’s retinue of wise men.
When David gets wind of the king’s plan to have them all put to death, he asks for more time, then calls his three friends to a time of prayer. They ask God to intervene and show them mercy by revealing the dream and its interpretation. Keep in mind, Daniel has never interpreted dreams before, so this is an amazing request. While the king’s magicians saw it as impossible, Daniel viewed it as highly possible because of what he knew about the nature and character of his God. This was all new territory for Daniel, but not for God. It may be that Daniel knew the story of Joseph and how God gave him the ability to interpret the dreams of Pharaoh all those years ago in Egypt. But Daniel prays and God responds. He gives Daniel the dream and its meaning. Daniel’s reaction is one of praise and thanksgiving at the wisdom, power, and omniscience of God. While the gods of the Babylonians did “not live here among people,” the God of Daniel did. He heard Daniel’s prayer and did the impossible. Daniel knew what Jesus Himself would later express, “What is impossible for people is possible with God” (Luke 18:27 NLT).
The next day Daniel goes to the king and tells him, “There are no wise men, enchanters, magicians, or fortune-tellers who can reveal the king’s secret. But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the future” (Daniel 2:27-28 NLT). Then Daniel proceeds to tell King Nebuchadnezzar his dream and its meaning. Through the dream, God is giving Nebuchadnezzar a glimpse of what is to come. In his dream the king had seen a great statue made of gold, silver, brass, and a mix of iron and clay. The four different materials represent four kingdoms that will exist in the not-too-distant future. The head of gold is Babylon. The breast and arms of silver are Persian (currently a Babylonian vassal state). The belly and thighs of brass represent Greece (at this point just a band of warring tribes). And the legs of iron and feet of clay and iron represent Rome (at this point nothing more than a village on the Tiber River). God is revealing to Nebuchadnezzar the future history of the world, all the way up to the Tribulation. Some of these kingdoms came to power and have already fulfilled the prophecy. But the final Gentile power (Rome), which came to power and no longer exists will be revived in the last days. It will be a confederation of 10 nations which will bind themselves together in order to solidify and strengthen their power. But they will prove weak and unstable (iron and clay). At the end of the Great Tribulation, Christ will return to earth and establish His kingdom in Jerusalem. His kingdom “will crush all these kingdoms into nothingness, and it will stand forever” (Daniel 2:44 NLT). .
The God of Daniel is a great God who not only knows the meaning of dreams, but holds the future of mankind in His hands. His words concerning Babylon, Persia, Greece and ancient Rome all came true. So why should we doubt that what He had to say about the end times will not also come about just like He said? As Daniel said, our God “has all wisdom and power. He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings” (Daniel 2:20-21 NLT). Daniel could count on Him for providing an answer to prayer regarding an impossible request. But He could also count on God for not only the future of his own life, but that of the entire world as well. We serve a great God who has a firm grasp on this world. We can trust Him and rest in the knowledge that He is in control.
Father, thank You that the God of Daniel is my God as well. You are the same today as You were then. You are no less powerful, knowledgeable, capable, or approachable. You hear and answer prayers. You still do the impossible and hold the future in Your hands just as surely as You did in Daniel’s day. Thanks for the reminder. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men