Sunday 10th January 2021

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Last Wednesday we read about the circumstances which caused Daniel to cry out to God in prayer. Then, when God answers this prayer, Daniel’s response is to thank God for who he is and for helping him to          ‘remain faithful throughout testing times’

Read Daniel 2: 26-30

Daniel makes it very clear that it is God who has revealed these things to him. He uses this opportunity to tell King Nebuchadnezzar about who God is. Daniel then tells the king what he dreamed about - an enormous statue made of various sections which each represent an empire. The King would be pleased to hear that his empire is represented by the golden head. The silver chest and arms of the statue is the next empire which will be followed by another represented by bronze thighs and then this empire divides into 2 iron legs. Daniel didn’t know the names of these empires but history tells us that they are the empire of the Medes & Persians followed by the Greek empire which then divides into 2 iron legs – the Rome Empire which went both east and west.

Then we get to the feet of the statue which we are told are made from a mixture of iron baked in clay. It is revealed to Daniel that this will be a kingdom which is unstable, partly strong and partly brittle (v.42) and will not remain united. There is a great deal of speculation about this empire because it has yet to be established. Some have thought that the iron and clay represent Capitalism and Communism or democracy and dictatorship and there are many, many more ideas. Why are people so fixated with what the feet of the statue represent? Because once that empire is established, the next part of the dream will happen. Read Daniel 2: 34-35

So once the kingdom represented by the feet and toes made from Iron and clay is established, a stone comes and destroys the whole statue. Read the interpretation of this event which God gave to him. Read Daniel 2: 44-45

The kingdom described by Daniel is clearly the Kingdom of God. The smashing of the statue is understood to represent the end of time – the second coming of Jesus as king of kings. As king Nebuchadnezzar hears these revelations from Daniel, he does something really shocking and makes an amazing revelation. Read Daniel 2: 47

The King bows down before Daniel!! Nebuchadnezzar then places Daniel in charge of the whole province of Babylon. Daniel boldly requests that his friends Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego are appointed as his assistants.

So, we end chapter 2 with Daniel and his three friends in positions of great power and influence. They are then able to bring the light of God into the darkness of Babylon, and bring God’s Shalom into the city- just as Jeremiah’s message from God had told them to (see last Sunday)

What can we learn from this event which will help us in the week ahead? The interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream tells us that the kingdom of God is greater than any other power - greater than anything we will ever encounter. Nebuchadnezzar didn’t focus on the empires which would come after his reign, he focussed on what was greater than himself - a God who is wise and all-powerful.

In last Wednesday’s article I gave us a three-point summary of how Daniel described God in his prayer of thanks (Daniel 2: 20-23)

# God is wise and all-powerful

# God gives his wisdom and shalom to those who seek him

# God is trustworthy and faithful (reliable).

This is what will help us through the unknowns of this coming week. Concentrating on these things which we know to be true about God will help us to ‘remain faithful throughout testing times.’

As we look at all that is going on in the world it would be easy to get engrossed in deciphering what may happen in the future, but it probably won’t give us shalom – peace & wholeness, nor is that route likely to give us insight in how to live lives which glorify our Father in Heaven. Instead, as we hold on to the fact that our God is so big, so strong and so mighty – there is nothing he cannot do, then whatever happens this week, whoever upsets us, whatever statistic makes us afraid, whatever decisions we have to make - these truths about who God is will help us to ‘remain faithful throughout testing times.’

Use these lyrics to help you to pray, renewing your trust in God:

King of kings, majesty, God of heaven living in me, 

gentle Saviour, closest friend, strong deliverer,

beginning and end, all within me falls at your throne.

Your majesty, I can but bow. I lay my all before you now.

In royal robes I don't deserve I live to serve your majesty.

Earth and heaven worship you, love eternal, faithful and true,

who bought the nations, ransomed souls, brought this sinner

near to your throne; all within me cries out in praise.

Jarrod Cooper © 1996 Jarrod Cooper

Page last updated: 13th January 2021 7:25 AM