We all have dreams at some time or other. On waking we may recall them or we may not. Some involve past events and some seem quite bizarre with nothing we can recognise at all.
There is a particular historical dream that fascinates me. It has three important subjects, all well documented in history. They are the city of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar (a king of Babylon) and an Israelite boy named Daniel. This dream was told to Nebuchadnezzar over 2,500 years ago and yet it foretold the coming events for a number of countries, eventually including the whole earth. You can read the story in the Bible book of Daniel chapter 2.
This dream was from God and had a definite message for the king, but was incomprehensible to him, as well as to his wise men. God not only gave the king this dream but He also had a particular person in mind to explain the message. That person was Daniel the Israelite. Daniel was one of a group of young men taken captive into King Nebuchadnezzar’s court to be trained in the ways of the Babylonians.
The dream can be summarised as follows: the king was shown an amazing statue, with a head of fine gold, breast and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze with legs of iron and feet of iron mixed with clay. Then a stone was formed which smashed into the feet, breaking them into pieces. This caused the rest of the image to collapse and be broken into small pieces, with the wind carrying them away, leaving no trace. The stone then grew bigger and bigger until it filled the whole earth.
This was the explanation Daniel was given by God: King Nebuchadnezzar had been given a great kingdom to rule over. He was the head of gold. After him came other inferior kingdoms (these were the silver and bronze). Then there was a kingdom as strong as iron, which crushed and broke all the other kingdoms. This resulted in a divided kingdom. This is the feet and toes of clay mixed with iron, partly strong and partly weak, not united. The stone (cut out without hands) will come and break into pieces and consume all of these other kingdoms, and it will stand forever.
The earlier events in the dream symbolised by the gold, silver, bronze and iron have already been played out in history. According to the prophecy, we are currently living in the age of the feet – mixed iron and clay. All nations are divided against each other, and overall the world is not as stable as in the earlier eras symbolised by gold, silver, bronze and iron. The stone is symbolic of Jesus’ return to earth to set up his Kingdom, which is one of our key beliefs about the Bible’s message. This Kingdom will cover the whole earth and will be ruled with peace and justice, which is something I am sure we can all look forward to.