BOOK OF DANIEL – A Most Important Document

Posted by on Apr 10, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on BOOK OF DANIEL – A Most Important Document

A Most Important Document

Ask a number of people what they would say is the most important document ever produced and you will get a variety of answers. The choice is endless with such things as the Magna Carta, the Treaty of Versailles, the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence or the Gettysburg Address. There are many more we could list. I sincerely doubt many, including a number of Christians, would name Daniel chapter two as being of such importance. That is a sad reflection of the ignorance of not knowing the importance of the book of Daniel. Oh for sure, many remember Daniel in the lion’s den and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego being thrown into the furnace being untouched by the flames. But even these are questioned as being true events by the majority. In view of knowing only the “best stories” of Daniel when most of us were children, it begs the question how many could actually recount what the second chapter of Daniel is all about?

The significance of the beginning of the times of the Gentiles is also lost on many who have not taken the time to study Daniel. We spoke in our previous blog that the Jews had insisted on having a human king to judge them, “just like the other nations”. What the Israelites failed to realize in making this decision was the implications of making that decision and what it, in effect, meant. The fact that Babylon had now taken the Israelites captive (which occurred not once but three times ultimately ending in the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem) meant, in the eyes of everyone, all hopes and aspirations for the future ended. What also ended in the Jewish mind was any hope of the expectation of a Messiah. If that was the case then it also meant the potential end of their faith in God. In His divine providence, He had already decided what would happen, not just to Babylon but all other subsequent Gentile powers up to when the Messiah would appear and usher in His Messianic kingdom. Those living in the time of Daniel had no concept of what the plans and purposes of God were nor any knowledge that He had set the plans in motion for the eventual arrival of Christ’s kingdom rule. This, in and of itself, shows the power of God and that what He wills He will accomplish. It also shows His Grace and mercy in preserving a nation who turned their backs on Him more than once. It confirmed His promise to Abraham was, and is, trustworthy and cannot be broken. It is remarkable that Daniel is not studied more extensively because the entire chronological prophecy of Israel’s history is laid out. This stretches from the rebuilding of Jerusalem to the second coming of Jesus Christ. But the prophecies and the chronological history is not just for Israel. We know this because the return of Christ is marked by the ushering in of His Messianic kingdom for the purpose of the redemption of mankind. In other words, what the book of Daniel reveals is the plan of God for the nations. This would be the Gentiles. But it is also the plan for Israel.

These times of the Gentiles were revealed in the dreams that Nebuchadnezzar had. Notice it is “dreams” (not just one dream). One can easily assume why a dream was employed? Nebuchadnezzar would hardly have listened to a prophet conveying God’s decree, dispatching the messenger post-haste to their death. So why give the dreams to a pagan king? There is a significant reason that you will see in a moment but, first, a little history. Prior to Nebuchadnezzar becoming king his father, Nabopolasser, ruled. He became the first person who assembled an army capable of conquering what was considered as the known world. Nabopolasser had trained his son well. Nebuchadnezzar was considered a genius. His interests and expertise encompassed education, academics, architecture, as well as being an excellent military strategist. But we are forced to ask when God would decide to reveal (via dreams) the full prophetic chronology of history from 605 BC to the establishment of the Messianic kingdom of Christ? Here is the answer and you may be surprised. Israel, at the time of being conquered by Babylon, was just as bad as Babylon themselves!! If anything, Israel was even worse than the Babylonians because they had become apostate. They knew the truth of God. To know the truth of God and then to abandon it was a far worse position to be in. The Israelites had no idea it would be temporary but God was done with them, at least for that moment in time. It is hard reading to see how the Jews rejected God time after time again falling into gross idolatry. They had been warned, several times, and it was now no fault but their own in receiving God’s judgment. The rebuke God chose wasn’t just that it was dreams but that those dreams were given to their conqueror himself. And that the dreams were to usher in the full history of the times of the Gentiles is both apt and ironic in that the prophecy is given through a Gentile, pagan, king.