In the words of Daniel, the dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure. (Daniel 2:45) There is coming a day when this stone cut without human hands will smite the statue at its feet, at the time of this coming confederacy of nations. This will cause it to come crumbling down, revealing the end of the world as we have known it. Then, this stone grows into a great mountain that fills the earth revealing to us the coming kingdom of God that stands forever! Once again we must ask ourselves some questions.
First, we come to the “who” question. Who is this stone that we read about in Daniel Daniel 2? Let’s let the Scripture tell us. The stone, which the builders rejected, has become the chief cornerstone. (Psalms 118:22) He will be as a sanctuary, but a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel. (Isaiah 8:14) To Israel the Lord Jesus Christ was a stone of stumbling because He came the first time in the form of a servant (Isaiah 53). He came on a donkey and not a stallion. As a stone he was rejected by the Jewish builders. The Lord says, The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. (Matthew 21:42) He went on to say, On whomever this stone falls it will ground him to powder. (Matthew 21:44) Thus we ask ourselves as we read Ezekiel 2:34, who is this stone? It is none other than our Lord Jesus Christ himself!
Daniel says that this stone was cut out without hands. (Daniel 2:34) That is, it was supernatural in origin. Neither human hands nor human means brought it into existence. The Lord Jesus Christ was there in the beginning. When he came to this earth he clothed himself in human flesh. No human made that happen. He was virgin born. He was the stone “cut without human hands.” The stone that strikes the great statue of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream is none other than our Lord Jesus himself. This stone is the hope of all of human history.
Next we come to the “what” question. What is this event that takes place in Daniel 2? This stone hitting the statue is the second coming of our Lord Jesus. Our Lord will return in great power and glory. Handel’s masterpiece only revealed what John the Revelator said on Patmos, 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) The great fact of Bible prophesy is that the Lord Jesus Christ is returning visibly, bodily, and personally to this earth. Palm Sunday was not the last journey our Lord will make down the Mount of Olives and across the Kidron Valley and through the Eastern Gate. He is coming back and will not be riding on a donkey but upon a white stallion. He will not come as a suffering servant but He will come as the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords. He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. (Revelation 19:11-21) All the Bible testifies of His glorious return. The angels foretold it when they said, Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven. (Acts 1:11) The apostles spoke of this tremendous event at the Lord’s supper when they said, For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. (1 Corinthians 11:26) Our Lord Himself said, In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (John 14:2-3) What is this falling stone upon the statue of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream? It is, without doubt, the second coming of Christ. Our Lord is coming back to rule over the earth as King of kings and Lord of lords. The knowledge of this fact gives us much hope and encouragement as we seek to address the culture of our day.
We now come to the “where” question. Where does the stone strike the statute? This is vitally important. It does not strike the statue in the head. Our Lord did not return to rule and reign during the days of the Babylonian Empire. One might think he would strike the head to bring the statue down but not true. The stone does not strike the statue in the chest. One might think the area of the heart would be most vulnerable but no, he did not return during the Medeo-Persian Empire. Someone else might think the stone would strike the statue in the abdomen. After all, that is where the vital organs exist. But he did not come to reign and rule during the days of the Greek Empire. Someone else might think the best place to bring down the statue would be in the legs. Anyone who has played football has known the fundamentals of tackling involve taking the legs out from under the runner. But our Lord did not establish His kingdom during the days of the Roman Empire. Note carefully that the stone strikes the statue in the feet (Daniel 2:34). The last form of Gentile world power will be in existence when the stone crushes human history. We seem to be living in these very prophetic days. Note that when the stone strikes the feet the whole structure comes tumbling down (Daniel 2:35). When our Lord Jesus Christ returns, human history and the governments of this world will come to an end. Daniel 2:35 reveals that nothing will remain but the dust and it will be blown away by the wind.
We come now to the “when” question. When will this all take place? It will take place when all the great world powers have passed away and the remnant of the last one emerges into a multi-nation confederacy. That may well be happening at this writing. The Eurodollar could be an expression of this confederacy. There will never be another world empire according to the Bible. Time and time again it appeared that this prophecy might fail. It looked as though Napoleon Bonaparte would conquer the world and Daniel’s prophesy would fail. But Napoleon met his own Waterloo and the emperor died alone as a refugee on the rocky isle of Helena. Why? Because God said 2,600 years ago that the last world empire would be the iron legs of Rome. Hitler made some incredible statements about world dominion but perished with them in the flames of Germany. When I was a school boy Nikita Khrushchev of Russia said that the Soviet Union would never have to defeat America because she would simply crumble in her own hands, and I have lived to see his own empire crumble. Why? Because God said over two and a half millennia ago that the last world empire would be the iron legs of Rome.
What do we see here? The empire does not strike back, the empire strikes out! All world empires are temporary. One comes after another and they do not strike back, they all strike out. As we confront our culture with Daniel we’re reminded of the futility of putting faith in human governments. We see our only hope in a stone that is not cut with human hands. The Lord Jesus Christ is coming to fill the earth with a kingdom of peace and glory. When will these things come to pass? They come to pass when the toes of Daniel emerge in human history.
Next we come to the “how” question. How will this statue fall? The stone strikes it with destructive force. It shatters. It breaks. It crushes (Daniel 2:34-35). This is not the meek and mild and lowly Jesus on the back of a donkey. This is King Jesus coming to reign and rule. In his own apocalyptic discourse on the Mount of Olives Jesus says, At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. (Matthew 24:30) The kingdoms of this world will be crushed by sudden events. The world may be saying “peace, peace,” when all of a sudden destruction smites the whole system. The action of this stone is nothing short of the judgment of God upon this world system.
Finally, we come to the “why” question. God has a purpose. He is destroying the old. Why? To bring in the new. John on Patmos said, Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. (Revelation 21:1-2) God is going to cleanse and purge this planet before this event. He is going to set up His kingdom and then usher in eternity. This is a picture of the stone growing throughout the whole world. Our Lord Jesus is coming into our war-weary and terrorist-tormented world during the time of the ten toes of Daniel 2 to right our world and end the times of the Gentiles.
Daniel tells us that the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain. (Daniel 2:35) Here is the kingdom of God filling the earth. Here is the great millennial reign of Christ. In that day, men shall beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. (Joel 3:10) John reminds us 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) This is also the time described by King David in Psalms 72:11 when he says, Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him; All nations shall serve Him. This is the event Paul spoke of in the Philippian letter when he said that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:10-11) This is what we are praying when we pray the model prayer and request, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Luke 11:2) Do you see it? No wonder John closed the Apocalypse with a prayer — “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”
Can you see it? The Gentile rule of the earth is destroying itself and disintegrating. The Jews have gathered back in the land. The props are in place. It was this second coming of Christ that Isaac Watts had in mind rather than the first coming of Christ when he wrote, “Joy to the world! the Lord is come; Let earth receive her King.” He went on to say, “He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove the glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love.”
The end is approaching. The next great event in human history is the coming of our Lord. This stone, the Lord Jesus Christ, is returning to smite the nations and set up His kingdom. In the words of Daniel, It shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms and it shall stand forever. (Daniel 2:44) He also reminds us that this dream is certain and this interpretation is sure.
Note the outcome. Daniel 2:46-49 unfolds with Daniel becoming the virtual prime minister of Babylon through the interpretation of this dream. He brought his three friends into places of leadership. He did not forget his prayer partners and friends. Note the reaction of Nebuchadnezzar. Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings and a revealer of secrets. (Daniel 2:47) How sad it is that Nebuchadnezzar did not confess, “Your God is my God.” David did not say, “The Lord is a shepherd.” He said, The Lord is MY shepherd. Thomas did not say, “a Lord and a God.” Thomas exclaimed, My Lord and my God. But Nebuchadnezzar could only say, Your God is a god. Things are not a whole lot different today. To many people he is just another god. He is some unknown force in everything and everyone. Even among some churches our Lord has lost His exclusivity. Can you say, “Your God is my God?”
This truth should be a great encouragement to us as we seek to live in the midst of the pagan culture that is all around us. God reveals to us the scope of human history with a statue. We don’t have to wonder. We can be sure. He also reveals the hope of human history with a stone. Are you putting your hope in a losing cause by committing yourself to this present world and its own systems? The kingdoms of this world are only temporary. Babylon was a city of gold but it never rose again. Our faith should be placed in the coming Lord Jesus and His kingdom. Unlike the Babylonian Empire, He does not strike out. He is coming to strike back. The Babylonian Empire died. Our Lord died but He rose again and is coming back to rule and reign.
We have the video of the final Super Bowl of human history and the game has not even been played on the field as of yet. It takes the fear and the suspense out of life. While others around us are wringing their hands, stomping their feet, and not knowing what to do we have already seen how it is all going to end. This should give us tremendous confidence as we seek to engage our culture today.
Yes, there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets. (Daniel 2:28) If we truly believe this, what are we going to do about it? God has given us the video. Look at it. Watch it. Study it. We’re going to win. He is coming for us! Knowing how it is all going to end tomorrow should give us great confidence to keep going today in engaging our culture. Daniel is reminding us that God has not abdicated His throne. He is still in charge of human history and that means mine and yours! He is our only hope.