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Because He’s the King

December 22, 2011

It’s sort of an uncomfortable thing to see a person who is an imposter come face to face with reality.  It’s like that guy who really thinks that’s he’s great at some sport (we all know that guy) who suddenly takes the field against someone who actually is great.  It’s both entertaining and a little bit sad.  Because it’s one thing to be a fraud…we all have our façade that we put up to protect us.  But it’s a whole different thing to be a fraud coming face to face with the authentic.

 Take a moment today and read through Daniel 2:31-49.

 Nebuchadnezzar fancies himself a god…or at the very least an incarnation of some divine spirit.  It’s not uncommon among the historical empires of this world to find leaders who have allowed their hearts to be consumed with pride to the point of believing they’re divine.  This king has made it known in the preceding verses that he is the source of both wrath and benevolence for his people.  But here…in this passage…he’s coming face to face with Ultimate Reality. 

 It’s a bit ironic how it all plays out.  This man who thinks of himself as supreme has had a dream…whether he remembers the details or not is unclear…but what is crystal clear is that he has absolutely no idea what the dream was about.  So this man…this king…this one who thinks himself a god is forced to ask of his people for the answer.  And this is where Daniel enters into the frame.  Daniel unpacks the dream for him.  There’s an image that has a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, middle and thighs of bronze, and legs of iron.  The feet…the foundation…are of iron mixed with clay.  These four sections are the great empires of the ancient world.  Historically, we look at them as Babylonia, the Persians, the Greeks, and finally the Romans.

 Our historical vantage point allows us to look back and see that this is exactly what happened.  The world, for the better part of the next 2000 years, was controlled by those four kingdoms.  But it’s during the dominion of the first kingdom that God…the true God…reveals what it coming.  And he does this through a dream that the king could not understand, being interpreted by a captive from a conquered people.  

 I love that scene in “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” when Aslan and the White Witch have just finished their conversation regarding the fate of Edward.  The Witch had cruised into the camp like she had just won the Super Bowl…being carried on the arms of her servants.  She exits the tent…turns condescendingly and asks, “How do I know you’ll keep your word?”  Aslan, the great lion, speaks…without saying a word.  He opens his mouth and roars with all his power…and the witch…the illegitimate ruler of the land…just sits down…humbled.

 That’s the interpretation of the dream.  This is God unpacking that while there will be great and powerful kingdoms in this world…they will never be the Kingdom.  And so we see the stone.  The stone, “cut out by no human hand.”  The stone strikes the image…the image shatters into dust…even the iron kingdom…and is blown away by the wind.  “The stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.”  The stone is the true King.  The stone is Christ.  Jesus is the apex King.  He is the One who will establish the everlasting Kingdom.  Revelation 11:15 says, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”  Nebuchadnezzar came face to face with the King…and on Christmas day…even in the body of an infant…that King roared.

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