September 15, 2020
Today the world bore witness to the signing of an historic treaty between the USA, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Israel.
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To discover how this agreement is going to play out, we must wait and watch as the future unfolds. The saying, “future proves past” will help us practice patience as we wait.
The God of heaven knew in advance that this event would come to pass. He knew the exact date and all the minute details that went into making it happen. By connecting the dots in the Old Testament scriptures — left behind by God’s ancient prophets — we can prove that our God knows history, forward and backwards.
I believe that right now would be a good time to take a look at a few of those many “dots” that we find in the Book of Daniel. So whether you are new to the Bible, or you’ve studied this topic many times, BUCKLE UP as we head back to the 6th century B.C….
Part 1: The head of gold
(Based on Daniel 1-2, New International Version and BibleGateway.com)
Daniel’s life experience as a captive in Babylon for 70 years, shows that Almighty God doesn’t leave us in the dark concerning His overall plans for the future. Let’s go back to “the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah” for insight from Daniel concerning a very tense situation:
(Daniel 2) Now in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; and his spirit was so troubled that his sleep left him. 2 Then the king gave the command to call the magicians, the astrologers, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. 3 And the king said to them, “I have had a dream, and my spirit is anxious to know the dream.
4 Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic, “O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will give the interpretation.”
5 The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, “My decision is firm: if you do not make known the dream to me, and its interpretation, you shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made an ash heap. 6 However, if you tell the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts, rewards, and great honor. Therefore tell me the dream and its interpretation.”
Daniel was able to describe the king’s dream and explain the meaning of the prophecy concerning the statue and its golden head …
16 So Daniel went in and asked the king to give him time, that he might tell the king the interpretation. … 19 Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. So Daniel blessed the God of heaven….
Daniel was allowed to go to King Nebuchadnezzar and describe the king’s dream. He told in great detail that the dream was about a HUGE STATUE, which was divided into four sections, each of a different metal, with the strongest metal at the top and the weakest (mixed with clay) on the bottom …
29“O king, thoughts came to your mind while on your bed, about what would come to pass after this; and He who reveals secrets has made known to you what will be. 30 But as for me, this secret has not been revealed to me because I have more wisdom than anyone living, but for our sakes who make known the interpretation to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your heart.
31 “You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. 32 This image’s head was of fine 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 clay.
34 “You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
37 “You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory; 38 and wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all—you are this head of gold.
39 “But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. 40 And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others.“
SOME HISTORICAL INSIGHT …
God used Daniel to fulfill the words of the prophet Jeremiah:
“The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place.
But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against his people and there was no remedy.
He brought up against them the king of the Babylonians, who killed their young men with the sword in the sanctuary, and did not spare young men or young women, the elderly or the infirm.
God gave them all into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. He carried to Babylon all the articles from the temple of God, both large and small, and the treasures of the Lord’s temple and the treasures of the king and his officials. They set fire to God’s temple [built by Solomon] and broke down the wall of Jerusalem; they burned all the palaces and destroyed everything of value there.
“He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his successors until the kingdom of Persia came to power. The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah.” (2 Chronicles 36:15-21)
Nebuchadnezzar was the son of a Chaldean chief who led a revolt against Assyrian rule in 626 B.C., proclaimed himself king of Babylon, and succeeded in overthrowing the Assyrian Empire. The northen kingdom of Israel — split in two at that time — in fulfillment of prophecy.
The northern kingdom of Israel, whose capitol was Samaria, was dispersed. That’s how the term, Lost Tribes of Israel, came to be.
Destruction of the first temple: https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/144569/jewish/The-First-Temple.htm#:~:text=Two%20Temples%20stood%20in%20succession%20on%20the%20Temple,son%20would%20be%20the%20one%20to%20do%20it.
Coming next: The Chest and Arms of Silver