- Lesson 3 in the BaptistWay Press Connect360 unit “Faith Under Fire” focuses on Daniel 2:31-49.
God actively is working in human history. Although kingdoms rise and fall, Yahweh is not surprised by the seating and unseating of kings. The best way to approach this text is not to become fixated on which countries or kingdoms are represented by the various elements of the statue. On the contrary, the writer has used broad strokes to paint a picture of God’s active role in the rising and falling of kings and kingdoms. The writer was hoping that his readers, then in exile, would find hope even at their darkest moment.
Ultimately, God’s kingdom is all that matters. The end of the vision, the crushing stone, represents the kingdom of God. With the enormity of a mountain that fills the entirety of the earth, the kingdom of God will prevail.
That kingdom, indeed, has already begun in the person of Jesus, whose primary message was, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15). Indeed, did he not teach his disciples to pray, “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come”?
Ultimately, despite the coming and going of worldly kingdoms, God’s kingdom will prevail. The apostle John, in his Apocalypse, states, “The kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ; and he will reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15). Though the kingdom has already arrived in the person of Jesus, we await its full consummation upon his second advent.
Kingdoms of this world will pass away
Beware of applauding human achievements. Nebuchadnezzar was more than pleased to be called the “king of kings” and be depicted by the “head of gold” (2:37-38). And, to be sure, Daniel himself received accolades that approximated worship, as the king prostrated himself and presented an offering. In the midst of the accolades for human achievement, we must remember what Daniel himself had said: “God alone can do what men cannot.” Perhaps the best takeaway line in the whole chapter is found in verse 28: “However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries.”
The New Testament teaches that the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever (Revelation 11:15). And we have received the kingdom that cannot be shaken (Hebrews 12:28). In fact, our Lord taught us to pray looking for that day: “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come…on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10).
Based on commentary written by Howard Batson, pastor of First Baptist Church in Amarillo, as condensed by Stan Granberry, marketing coordinator for BaptistWay Press.
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