The Big Dream
In the second year of his reign Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that really perplexed him and he saw a great opportunity to put his advisers to the test. Remember, he had inherited most of them from his father and didn’t trust them one whit. When he assembled them to interpret the dream, they of course asked him to describe it first. But to prove they hadn’t been giving him made-up or false information he demanded, on pain of death, that they tell him both the dream and its meaning. They said they had never heard of such a thing. No King had ever required both a description and an interpretation, and when they told him this was humanly impossible, he became very angry and sentenced all of them to death.
Since my friends and I were now part of this group, we were scheduled for execution as well, even though we hadn’t been there at the meeting. I went to the King and asked for a little time so that I could give him what he wanted and when he agreed I ran as fast as I could back to the house so my friends and I could pray for a way out of this. During the night, the LORD gave me both the dream and its interpretation in a vision. The four of us thanked God and praised Him all night long.
You might think it a bit presumptuous of me to promise the King I would explain his dream before even asking the LORD for direction. But I reasoned that He hadn’t gone to all the trouble to put us in the position of influence we were in just to have our heads cut off before we had hardly gotten started. I knew He had given me the ability to interpret dreams, so I just naturally figured He would help us especially since all of our lives were at stake. It’s called faith. (Believe me when I say I was still pretty relieved when He came through for us.)
The next morning I went to Arioch, the guard the King had ordered to execute all of us, and got him to spare our lives and take me to the King. When the King asked if I could tell him the dream AND its meaning, I was careful to give credit where credit was due and tell him that no one on Earth could do what the King demanded. But there was a God in Heaven Who could, and He had sent the dream to show the King what would happen in the future, and given me the interpretation. Then I told him the dream.
The LORD had shown the King that his was the first in a series of four Gentile Kingdoms that would rule the world during a time that would later come to be known as Gentile Dominion. He did this by depicting a giant statue built of various precious metals. The statue’s head of gold stood for Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon. After him would come another kingdom represented by the statue’s chest and arms of silver. Its belly and thighs of bronze meant another kingdom would come after that one and finally the legs of iron with feet and toes of iron mixed with clay made it four all together.
Each metal was inferior in value but greater in strength to the one before it. That meant that each kingdom would be weaker in terms of its authority in the world than the one preceding it and would have to rely more on its military might to stay in power. Looking back from your vantage- point, you can identify these four powers that have ruled the world from my day until yours. Babylon was conquered by Media-Persia, which was conquered by Greece, which was conquered by Rome. Rome was never really conquered but disintegrated gradually through corruption and was transformed from a political kingdom into a religious power. As the Roman Empire fell apart several of its remnants had their turn at ruling the world but none with the authority given to Babylon. First came Spain and England and now the US, but as the end of the age approaches this ancient Roman Empire will try to re-form and re-assert itself, as shown by the feet and toes of iron mixed with clay.
As it does, a fifth Kingdom, one not of this Earth, will suddenly come on the scene and so thoroughly subdue the others that it will seem as if they never existed. This Kingdom will be worldwide and will never be displaced by another. In the dream this Kingdom was depicted by the rock cut out, not by human hands, that became a mountain that filled the whole Earth. It is the Kingdom of our Lord and it will end the period of Gentile Dominion over Earth forever.
Needless to say the King was impressed. Even he never believed anyone could both tell him the dream and interpret it. He gave me a big bonus, appointed me Mayor of the capital city and placed me in charge of all his advisers. But most importantly, he gave honor and glory to the LORD, correctly proclaiming Him superior to all gods. Seizing the opportunity of the moment, I got him to promote my three friends as well and they were named administrators over all the province of Babylon. All in all it was quite a day for four Jewish teenagers, hostages in a foreign land.