Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Friday, July 14, 2006

Lesson on Daniel 2...some questions you may want to ask

And now some thoughts, which may stimulate your Sabbath School Discussion:

  1. In the memory text it says in the days of these kings. Who are these kings?

Dan 2:40 (All texts NASB) "Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces. 41 "In that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have in it the toughness of iron, inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with common clay. 42 "As the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery, so some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle. 43 "And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery. 44 "In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. 45 "Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy." 46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face and did homage to Daniel, and gave orders to present to him an offering and fragrant incense.

  1. We tend to think linearly which is fine with simple concepts but rarely works with complex issues. The 4 kingdoms are listed linearly however when the stone comes it destroys all, Thinking linearly there is only the toes because everything else has come and gone. The answer to the question 1. above will in most classes be the days of the kings of the toes. Yet the verse about the toes does not indicate that it is different kingdoms but a kingdom poorly held together because of the clay (pottery elements that are not strong like the other parts of the kingdom. The stone is representing the God of heavens kingdom and it crushes all other kingdoms. So it is not dealing with linear thinking here. The reference is to all the kingdoms (“it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold,”) in the statue.

This should tell us something when we consider the apocalyptic nature of sections, actually most of Daniel. That is, though things look bad for God’s people (which is why apocalyptic writing is used, when life is going easily people don’t write with hidden meanings) God is still in control and His kingdom will be the eternal kingdom. This is a very comforting view when you are being held under a foreign land and your entire religious system has been destroyed.

  1. In Daniel 2 there is mention of the latter days as in: verse 28 "However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days”. Does the latter days of Daniel indicate the time of the end as we consider it, i.e. the short time before the second coming? Again thinking linearly the latter days of Babylon or Persia etc have little to do with the time of the end of all things on earth. Yet if Daniel is not limited to linear thinking the latter days can encompass the time from Babylon till the completion and reality of the establishment of the kingdom of God. However to do that we have to leave behind our linear thinking and see that the emphasis is not upon this or that country but upon God constant involvement with His people. That God has been establishing His kingdom for thousands of years even before the kingdom of God came with power with Jesus Christ.
  1. Is the following statement true or is it a generality used to exalt God?

Dan 2:19 Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven; 20 Daniel said, "Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him. 21 "It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding.

What would be an example of God changes the times and epochs?

Was Pol Pot, Stalin and Hitler established as rulers by God and taken down by God?

Is it more likely that there are exceptions and sometimes God establishes a ruler such as Cyrus? Or takes down a leader like Pharaoh?

No comments: