Kingdoms of Statues or One Big Mountain

Dan Sullivan   -  

[31] “You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. [32] The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, [33] its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. [34] As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it 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, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
Daniel 2:31–35 ESV

This is a crazy dream by King Nebuchadnezzar that Daniel interpreted. Not only did Daniel interpret it, but he knew what the dream was without being told! The dream was about a few different kingdoms and how they would rise, rule, and fall. Just like any disturbing dream, this one had its weird parts.
There is a statue in the dream that is a timeline of kingdoms and their rulers. King Nebuchadnezzar is the golden head and then the upper body is silver (a slightly worse king). From there the body of bronze (not even a precious metal!) and iron and then iron mixed with clay aren’t looking so kingly. These kings and their kingdoms are just going to get worse and worse.
There is a stone cut out of a rock “by no human hand” that strikes the base of this statue. This isn’t a boulder or a random rock, or they would have used the word for boulder or random rock. This is a shaped and carved stone. It doesn’t make sense, but it’s a dream, so there it is, a stone that hasn’t been cut by human hands. This stone smashes the last kingdom and all of the other kingdoms of the world until they are gone without a trace. Then the stone grows to become a mountain that fills the whole earth.
Daniel says that the last kingdom, the cut stone that grows to be a giant earth-mountain, is the final kingdom – a kingdom never passed down or destroyed. You could destroy a statue, no matter how big, but a mountain as big as the world is indestructible.
Kings and their kingdoms are a big deal. Nebuchadnezzar would go on to have the power of life and death over tens of thousands of people – even over Daniel the prophet, but his kingdom would end just like a head ends at a neck. Daniel would serve in the silver kingdom. He would also see it fall just like he saw the golden head of Nebuchadnezzar fall.
The kingdoms of this world are as different as the Kingdom of God as a statue is different from a mountain. Kings rule and think they have power, but they are only statues. Some kingdoms aren’t even statues made of gold, but clay mixed with iron!
This is only chapter 2, and Daniel is going to go through a lot more difficulties, more than we could ever imagine. What confidence to face life, endure the nightly news, and struggle through the day when you know that the Kingdom of God is everlasting.
How would it change your day to think of this current kingdom as a statue compared to God’s Mountain Kingdom? What is left after all of the kingdoms of the world are blown away by the wind? How does it feel to know that, in Christ, your future-self is described as part of a giant mountain that fills the whole earth and will never pass away?