World History Foretold
Over 2,600 years ago, the most powerful king in the then known world awoke, startled by a disconcerting dream. He had dreamt about the future of the world, the future of empires.
But he didn’t know it at the time.
He needed Daniel, a prophet of God, who revealed the message and meaning to the king. We have that message preserved for us in the book of Daniel, chapter 2.
What this king Nebuchadnezzar had seen was an image. An image of a mighty man with a carefully crafted head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, legs of iron and, finally, oddly, feet of clay mixed with iron. But while the proud image still stood, a rough rock suddenly smashed the image on its feet – and the whole image collapsed and crumbled until nothing was left except dust blowing in the wind. The rock, however, grew into a mountain that filled the whole earth.
As if out of our modern history book, Daniel explains that the head of gold is Nebuchadnezzar himself, and his empire, Babylon, which would be succeeded by the silver arms and chest, which represented the Medes and Persians, who would be defeated by the brass belly and thighs of the Greeks, who in turn would be defeated by the iron legs, the Romans, who would eventually divide into the clay and iron feet of fragmented Europe.
This is humdrum history to us, but back then it was an amazing telescopic view into the future, even to our present day.
In our day, the days of a Europe united yet fragmented by a mixture of strong and weak nations, the rock will strike. That rock is Jesus Christ, returning to the earth. He is coming to set up his kingdom to fill the earth as the mountain of the dream did; all of world history from 600 BC to the present and beyond is included in this dream, but all that will be soon replaced: “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed … it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” (Daniel 2:44)