We find in Scripture that God deigned frequently to reach the attention of people by means of dreams. Many instances could be adduced. Now, however, we have in the Scriptures the full unfolding of His mind, so that dreams, having that for their object, are unnecessary. There is enough in the Book of God to give complete intelligence to every willing heart as to all that is connected with our spiritual well-being for time and eternity, as well, surely, as to very much more than our personal well-being.
If people only knew the value of the Bible, they would prize it much more.
A mighty king of Chaldea, Nebuchadnezzar by name, had a wonderful dream. He saw, in vision, an image—great, excellent, terrible! It stood before him. Its head was fine gold; its breast and arms were of silver; its belly and thighs of brass; its legs of iron, and its feet part of iron and part of clay!
There it stood—silent, mysterious, significant!
Such a statue, composed of material so heterogeneous, had never been unveiled to mortal vision before.
No ordinary dream this, and none of the wise men of Babylon could relieve the affrighted monarch of the terror of that dream.
God had sent it, and God alone could explain it to him.
He who sent the dream fitted and sent the man to give the explanation.
Daniel, the devoted, godly captive, was entrusted with the dream and the key. Giving all credit to God, he told the king the wonderful secret—a secret of the ages!
Would that the politicians, and the statesmen, and the rulers of today would attend to the disclosure of this ancient dream!
An image of gold, silver, brass, iron and clay: these are four kingdoms, coming in succession—from the gold of that day to the incoherent iron and clay of our own. It is easy to see them—Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome—the last being protracted, and its influence being felt universally today.
There stood that image, whose form was terrible, containing such elements of wealth and power, such stores of gold and of iron! How puissant, how resistless! No wonder the king was troubled, or that “his sleep brake from him” (Dan. 2:1).
Such a problem must be worked out. But, notice most carefully, we read: “Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet. . . and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone which smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth” (Dan. 2:34-35).
That was the greatest wonder of all! What could this mysterious stone, cut out without hands, be?
The image was smitten, ground to powder, and displaced by the stone. Marvellous stone! It becomes a mountain and fills the whole earth! The chaff of the threshing-floor is replaced by the stone which smote the image.
Yes, ye politicians, and statesmen, and empire-makers, who are engaged in tasks so enormous and so complex, and for which ye are sacrificing time, talent, brain, muscle, fame, and fortune, see ye not that ye are but building together that which shall become the chaff of the summer threshing-floors, while there is suspended overhead the Stone which is bound to pulverize your gigantic labours and bring them all to dust?
Mark:“In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Dan. 2:44).
When the kingdom in mystery, as known today, shall give place to the kingdom in might—then!
Today the kingdom of God is in moral and spiritual power; soon it will be in visible actuality.
Today the church awaits her Lord for the meeting in the air at His coming. Thereafter the Stone shall fall, and grind, and crush to powder, as, like a mountain, it fills the whole earth, and “the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ” (Rev. 11:15).
He is wise who devotes his attention, not to “the chaff of the threshing-floor,” but to the Stone, and the kingdom, and the King. For, as surely as “the gold” of Babylon has passed away and its place can hardly be discovered, so shall “the iron and the clay” of the present moment be dissolved as well. These kingdoms are evanescent, God’s kingdom shall stand for ever.
The King, hidden today in heaven because of His rejection and death here, is made known now in richest grace as Son of God and Saviour, Advocate and Great High Priest, Head too of His body the church, but soon to appear with her in glory; and then, as the Stone cut out without hands, but introduced and established by the power of God, to reign in absolute monarchy and in perfect wisdom, power, and righteousness.
Such a King and such a kingdom have never yet been known; but, as certainly as “the chaff of the threshing floors” shall be swept away, so shall this mighty Stone fill the whole earth and “stand for ever.”