The Old Testament Book of Daniel is a real "lightning rod". The reason is simple- unbelieving critics say that it is too accurate! Written by the prophet Daniel sometime during the sixth century BC, it relates events hundreds of years into the future! So accurate are these predictions that liberal seminary proffessors (the unbelieving guys and gals that train many pulpit preachers) say they are an obvious "pious fraud" written after the events described. To admit anything else would be to affirm that there is a God in heaven who intervenes in human events and sovereignly works to accomplish His will.
But facts are difficult things. Historical wittness uniformly testifies that Daniel is the author. Forensic linguistic analysis of the Hebrew style of the book places it at the appropriate time period. In short- the internal and external evidence point to the veracity of the Book of Daniel!
In chapter 2, we are presented with Nebuchadnezzar's dream and Daniel's divine interpretation of it. When the wise-men of the King's court are unable to both describe the dream as well as interpret it, Nebuchadnezzar decries that they should all be executed! Presented with this threat, Daniel seeks the intervention of God and is granted the needed insight to know and interpret the dream. Not only does this spare the life of Daniel, but of all the wise-men of the kingdom! (If you have ever wondered what prompted the "wise men from the East" to seek out the newborn "King of the Jews"- it is my considered opinion that they were the ancestors of these gratefully spared contemporaries of Daniel who passed down the account of the Jewish prophet who saved their lives.)
What's interestng about Daniel's interpretation is not only was he able to know the King's dream, but that they dream itself was a prophecy of events to be fullfilled over a period of 600 years into the future!
Daniel 2:31 “Your Majesty looked, and there before you stood a large statue—an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. 32 The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. 34 While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them.35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were all broken to pieces and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.
36 “This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king. 37 Your Majesty, you are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; 38 in your hands he has placed all mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds in the sky. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold.
39 “After you, another kingdom will arise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth. 40 Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron—for iron breaks and smashes everything—and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others. 41 Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. 42 As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. 43 And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.
44 “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. 45 This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.
So, here's the bottom line- all of what you just read was completely fulfilled! Here's the timeline:
605 BC - Judah falls, Daniel and his companions are deported to Babylon
539 BC - Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon (the first kingdom of the "gold head") falls
539-331 BC - Medo-Persia Empire (the second kingdom of silver) rises and falls
331-168 BC - Greco-Macedonian Empire (the third kingdom of silver) rises and falls
168 BC - The Roman Empire (fourth kingdom of clay and iron) rises to world dominance and is ultimately subjegated by Christianity
So there you have it- more proof of the reasonableness of trusting God's Word and having faith in Christ! To the believing, this will be an encouragement of their faith. To the unbelieving, it will be like everything else- "not enough".
Everybody gets to make their own choice as to what they believe. I am personally grateful to the LORD for having provided so much evidence for faith, that I can share the intellectual "proof" of what I believe.
Pass it on...