Bethel Baptist Church

"For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen." Romans 11:36

Pastor Cosand: November 2018

GOD'S OWN KINGDOM
meditation on Daniel 2

Daniel chapter 2 is an amazing chapter, written 600 years before Christ. This passage reveals, in some detail, the three empires which would follow the vast Babylonian Empire. This historical overview of human history is a repeated theme in the book of Daniel as this book holds up for us the glorious sovereign rule over the affairs of men and over the very movement of the history of mankind. King Nebuchadnezzar had a disturbing dream. It was disturbing because he did not know what it meant.

In his dream he saw a giant statue of a man. The head of the statue was gold, the chest and arms were silver, the belly and thighs were bronze, the lower legs were iron, and the feet were a mixture of iron and clay. A mysterious stone, cut without hands, appeared and crushed the statue on its feet and the rest of the statue became like chaff from the threshing floor, which the wind carried away. Not a trace of the statue was found, but the stone became a great mountain and filled the earth.

This is a wondrous dream because it was sent from God to reveal the movement of human history from the time of the Babylonian empire, 600 years before Christ until the end of time. The head of gold represented the Babylonian empire of which Nebuchadnezzar was the most glorious king. It lasted for about 73 years from 612 B.C. until its fall in 539 B.C. It was followed by the Medo-Persian empire (the chest and arms of silver) and it lasted for almost 200 years (538-333 B.C.) until Alexander the Great established the Greek dominance in all the world. Greece is the belly and thighs of bronze and it held sway for over 250 years until it was overtaken by the Roman Empire, which is represented by the legs of iron. The feet and toes represent a still-future confederacy that will be a mixture of strength and weakness … a loosely-adhering 10-nation union that will be in place during the final days of history.

But, by far, the most wondrous part of this dream is the stone that is mentioned in Daniel 2:34 … a stone cut without hands. This stone will crush the feet of the statue and scatter to dust the rest of the statue. We turn to Daniel 2:44,45 for the interpretation. "And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold" (Dan 2:44,45).

The stone which crushes all the other kingdoms is the Messiah and the kingdom of God which He establishes. The establishment of God’s own kingdom is a major theme of the book of Daniel. Here we read that it will be a kingdom which will never be destroyed. It will not be left to another people.

Babylon gave way to the Persian empire … which gave way to Greece … which gave way to Rome … which eventually collapsed. At length Spain held sway over much of the world, then England, then the emergence of the United States. Now China and India are becoming world powers. But there is coming a day when, according to Revelation 11:15, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever."

Listen to the description of the coming of Jesus to establish His kingdom in Revelation 19. "Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords" (Rev 19:11-16).

To remember that Jesus Christ is the sovereign and coming king does have an effect on our daily lives. We live with courage and confidence as life's many trials come our way. The first time Jesus came to earth they spit on Him and beat Him and slandered Him and laughed at Him, but the next time He comes, no one will spit on Him or mock Him. One of these days the sky will open and the trumpet will sound and the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ … and He will reign forever and ever. Beloved, fix your eyes on that day as long as you live, that you might be pure … and strong … and filled with hope.

Longing for His kingdom,
Pastor Cosand