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Sunday, December 13 2015
Daniel 2: Nebuchadnezzar's Dream Of The World To Come
"The stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole Earth ... In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a Kingdom, which shall never be destroyed"
Nebuchadnezzar was a Chealean (see also The Medes And Chaldees Prophecies) who ruled the Babylonian Empire at the time that the LORD (see The Identity Of The LORD God and The LORD God Our Saviour) sent it to take down the corrupt Kingdom of Judah (see Why Did Judah Fall To Babylon?).
One night, the LORD gave Nebuchadnezzar a powerful, vivid dream. Nebuchadnezzar did not understand the meaning of the revelation, so he called his "magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers" to advise him. Nebuchadnezzar was apparently already suspicious that they were frauds, so this time he demanded that they first do something that they hadn't been required to do before - to not only reveal what the dream meant, but to first tell the king what the dream was. Their response was in itself a confession that they were indeed powerless frauds: "There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king's matter."
"2:1 And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him. 2:2 Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. 2:3 And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.
Nebuchadnezzar then ordered all of the "wise men" of his kingdom to be summarily executed. It was an arbitrary and spiteful command that unjustly included those who were not frauds - including Daniel. Just before he was to be executed, "Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation." Daniel then went home and prayed to the LORD for the answer. "Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision."
"2:14 Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king's guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon: 2:15 He answered and said to Arioch the king's captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel. 2:16 Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation.
First, Daniel stated exactly what the dream was - the part of the task that Nebuchadnezzar already knew, but had told no one. It was in itself definite proof that, unlike all of the others, Daniel was a genuine wise man (see Daniel's Knowledge Of Wisdom And Science).
"2:24 Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him; Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will shew unto the king the interpretation.
Daniel then delivered the LORD's Word of the meaning of dream - the flow of human history, in relation to the Messiah's "Israel" (see the Fact Finder question below), from Nebuchadnezzar's own time, right to the time of the yet-future return of the Messiah to establish His Kingdom of God on Earth (see also What Gospel Did Jesus Preach?).
"2:36 This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.
The rise of Daniel as a recognized true prophet of the LORD had begun. Daniel was made the "ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon" - in effect, the political and military Prime Minister and the Minister of genuine Science (i.e. see Einstein's Holy Spirit Formula and Rescuing Charles Darwin From The Atheists) for the Babylonian Empire.
"2:46 Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him. 2:47 The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.
Fact Finder: What Empires have existed in relation to Israel from the most ancient time to the present?
This Day In History, December 13
558: King Chlothar I reunited the Frankish Kingdom after his brother Childebert I died. Chlothar thereby became sole ruler of the Franks.
1204: Medieval Jewish (see also Jews - Three Tribes and Three Meanings) scholar Maimonides (Moses ben Maimon) died at age 69.
1250: Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Germany and Sicily (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation), died and was succeeded by Conrad IV.
1545: The Council of Trent, summoned by Pope Paul III in 1542, opened to discuss doctrinal matters, especially the rise of Protestantism.
1577: British explorer Sir Francis Drake left England with 5 ships, including the Golden Hind, on his voyage around the world - a journey that took almost 3 years.
1636: English colonists at the Massachusetts Bay Colony organized three militia regiments to defend themselves against the "Americans" - a term originated by the English in referring to the native people (later called "Indians"). It was only much later that the children of the colonists began calling themselves "Americans," but even then referring to where they were, not who they were.
1642: New Zealand was discovered by Dutch explorer Abel Tasman.
1643: During the English Civil War, the Battle of Alton was fought in Hampshire.
1862: During the U.S. Civil War, General Robert E. Lee with 80,000 Confederates repulsed General Burnside with his 150,000 Federals at the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia. After hard fighting, Burnside lost almost 14,000 troops.
1916: During the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), an avalanche killed 10,000 Austrian and Italian troops in Tyrol.
1937: Japanese forces took the Chinese city of Nanking. Over the next 6 weeks, in one of the worse atrocities of the Second World War, they killed an estimated 200,000 Chinese in what became known as the "Rape of Nanking."
1939: During the Second World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), the captain of the German battleship Graf Spee ordered his vessel scuttled after being encircled by 3 British cruisers (Exeter, Ajax and Achilles) off the coast of Uruguay.
1941: During the Second World War, British forces withdrew to Hong Kong island as the invading Japanese army took Kowloon and the New Territories.
1945: France and Britain announced that were leaving Syria and Lebanon.
1949: In defiant response to United Nations and Papal demands to make Jerusalem an "international" city, the Israeli Knesset unanimously approved David Ben-Gurion's proposal that the sovereign legislature of the state of "Israel" (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah and A History Of Jerusalem: The Capital Of Judah) be moved to Jerusalem, from Tel Aviv, which it was the next January 1.
1967: King Constantine of Greece and his family fled the country after a counter-coup failed to topple the military-backed government.
1981: In response to the success of the Solidarity Union, Polish communist leader General Wojciech Jeruzelski proclaimed a national emergency and martial law. His action in all probability prevented a Soviet invasion which would have made Solidarity's later victory less likely.
1993: The European Union ratified a treaty creating the world's largest trade bloc, the European Economic Area (EEA).
2000: Al Gore conceded the U.S. Presidential election to George W. Bush, 5 weeks after the very close election was held.
2003: Following the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein (a former U.S. "ally" during the Iraq-Iran war of the 1980s) was captured near his home town of Tikrit. He was later hung for his war crimes.