Introduction: Two of the most impressive prophecies in the Bible are
the linked prophecies found in Daniel 2 and Daniel 7. Since Daniel’s
life was jeopardized by the one prophecy, he might have preferred to
avoid it. However, the prophecy that Daniel revealed through
inspiration is one of the most prominent proofs that God is in charge
of the powerful nations on earth. Let’s jump in and see what we can

  1. Losing Your Head

    1. Read Daniel 2:1-3. Our lesson tells us that the book of
      Daniel, chapter 2 contains one of “the most incredible
      faith-building prophecies.” Why would God give a prophecy
      like that to a guy like Nebuchadnezzar? Why give it to a
      fellow who would immediately turn (v.2) to “magicians,
      enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers” for help?(Three
      reasons. First, by giving the prophecy to the most
      powerful ruler on earth, you raise the profile of the
      message. Second, this is the “opening shot” in the lesson
      that God is in control of the world. Third, you raise the
      profile of the followers of God over the followers
      (sorcerers, etc.) of Satan.)

    2. Read Daniel 2:4-6. How much do you think Nebuchadnezzar
      trusted his top magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and
      astrologers to give him honest answers? (He apparently had
      some doubts. He decided that if they really knew their
      stuff, they should be able to tell him what he dreamed. In
      that way the King could “test” their ability.)

    3. It turned out (naturally) that the wise men did not know
      “their stuff.” The King decided that he had been feeding
      them long enough. Read Daniel 2:11-13. How would you like
      to be Daniel and his friends at this moment?

      1. Would you feel like a new partner in Arthur Anderson
        or a new executive in Enron? Your life is coming
        apart for reasons that had nothing to do with you?

    4. Read Daniel 2:14-16. What kind of relationship do you
      think Daniel had with Arioch? What kind of relationship
      did Daniel have with the King?

      1. Why didn’t Daniel and his friends try to run away?

    5. Read Daniel 2:17-18. To whom did Daniel turn in times of
      emergency? (Our God!)

      1. Notice the timing of this. Daniel went to the King
        and asked for time before he summoned his “prayer
        group” to ask God for help. What lessons do we learn
        from this? (Daniel did not run away from the problem.
        He went to the king with confidence that God was with
        him. Either God was going to help Daniel in this
        emergency, or God was going to let them die. In any
        event, Daniel placed his trust in God. Daniel also
        showed by his example the power of group prayer.)

      2. When we are studying the Bible, and we do not
        understand God’s message, what does Daniel’s example
        teach us?

    6. Read Daniel 2:19-22. How about God’s timing? What do we
      learn about who controls the rulers of our country? Does
      this mean that Bill Clinton was God’s choice for
      president? Was George Bush God’s choice for president?

      1. What about Stalin, Hitler or Pol Pot: are they too,
        God’s choices? (This is sort of like saying, “Was
        Satan God’s choice?” God did choose to allow Satan to
        live and do evil? (See Job 2:3-6.) God allows evil
        “breathing room” so that the relative justice of
        God’s way and Satan’s way is clearly apparent.)

      2. What lesson do we learn about political activism from
        this text in Daniel? If you disliked Bill Clinton and
        thought his pro-abortion (particularly partial-birth
        abortion) policy was evil, what would be best to do:

        1. Contribute money, time and your vote to the
          Republican party?

        2. Pray? ( Daniel 2:21 tells us that God will give
          us wisdom to know how best to promote the gospel
          and combat evil, but the “bottom line” is that
          God, and God alone, holds the power to promote
          and depose rulers.)

    7. Read Daniel 2:26-28. Would you have answered the King in
      this way? (I think I would have said “Yes” first, and then
      explained later instead of saying “No” first.)

  2. The First Vision

    1. Read Daniel 2:31-35. What do you think about each of these
      different metals making up one (v.31) “awesome” statute?

      1. Why do the metals get worse as you work your way
        down? Wouldn’t you put the best metal in the bottom –
        the foundation?

      2. Was the King’s dream designed by God to benefit

    2. Read Daniel 2:36-39. Remember that I asked you about God
      modifying the dream for Daniel’s benefit? What if the head
      of the statue was made of clay? What if it were made of
      iron or rock? (God was looking out for Daniel because the
      interpretation stroked the ego of Nebuchadnezzar (“head of
      gold”), while at the same time making clear that God was
      above Nebuchadnezzar.)

      1. What about the symbolism makes the other kingdoms
        “inferior” to Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon? (Each of
        the other kingdoms is represented by less valuable
        metal and a lower part of the body. The fact that
        they are one co-ordinated body shows God’s order and

      2. What are these other three world-ruling kingdoms?
        (The head of gold is Babylon, the silver chest and
        arms are Medo-Persia, and the bronze mid-section is

    3. Read Daniel 2:40-43. What kingdom is represented by the
      legs of iron? (Roman Empire)

      1. What do we learn about God’s control over the nations
        in this dream and its interpretation?

      2. What do we learn about God’s understanding of the
      3. Why did God reveal this to Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar?
        Why reveal it to us? (Daniel saw the change in the
        kingdom from Babylon to Persia. He lived through
        those times of change. However, I think we are the
        primary people for whom this prophecy is intended.
        This prophecy gives us confidence in times of

      4. What is this “toe” kingdom? Does it exist today? (The
        world is not united in a single kingdom today. Our
        world today is composed of various nations of various

        1. Will any nation ever dominate the world
          according to this prophecy?

          1. If you said, “No,” is that consistent with
            Revelation 13:11-12. Doesn’t this “beast”
            have authority over the entire world? If
            so, isn’t that inconsistent with the “toe
            picture” of Daniel 2? (The two pictures
            can be reconciled. Without having military
            authority, a nation might have “moral”
            authority. This could be applied to the
            world today. The United States does not
            have actual control over other nations as,
            for example, the Roman Empire had over
            other nations. However, the cultural
            influence (music, movies, etc.) of the
            United States extends even to such
            unlikely places as China.)

    4. Read Daniel 2:44-45. What is this “rock” that breaks up
      the statue? (Jesus’ Second Coming.)

      1. When does Jesus come? (During the “toe time.”)
      1. How does that make you feel? (The good news is that
        Jesus is coming during “our time!”)

      2. How can we be sure about the rock coming? (Just as
        the nations arose as predicted, so Jesus will come
        again as predicted.)

    1. What significance do you see in the image being made
      mainly of metals and the symbol of Jesus being made out of

      1. Why does verse 45 stress that the rock was not cut
        out of the mountain “by human hands?” (Gold, silver,
        bronze, iron are all natural materials that were
        ultimately “man made” in their final form in the
        statue. God’s point is that humans create these
        nations within the “permission” of God. God’s power,
        however, is not man-made in any way. The natural rock
        destroys what man has made.)

    2. Read Daniel 2:46-47. This is unusual behavior for a king.
      What should be our reaction to God’s revelation of the
      future? (The same as Neb’s reaction. Our God is the true
      God – Lord of Lords and King of Kings – because He can
      tell the future and control the events of man.)

    3. Read Daniel 2:48-49. Is there a lesson in this for us?
      What is it? (Out of the most terrible test of faith comes

  1. The Second Vision

    1. Read Daniel 7:1-7. Who is given the vision this time?

      1. When was this vision given? (The date is clearly
        towards the end of the Babylonian empire because
        Belshazzar was king. According to F.F. Bruce, this
        makes it about 553 B.C.)

        1. Why is the date important? (This gets back to
          the old question of the God of the Bible being
          the true God because He can accurately predict
          the future.)

      2. Why did Daniel write down the vision? (Doesn’t it
        make you feel good to know that even Daniel was
        concerned about being forgetful? Daniel wrote this
        down because he thought it was important and he
        wanted to be accurate.)

      3. How many beasts do we have in all? (Four.)

    2. Read Daniel 7:15-19. How does this vision parallel the
      dream given to Nebuchadnezzar? (It seems to portray the
      same four kingdoms. The identification of these four
      kingdoms as I have described them above, and our
      conclusion that the second vision is a repetition of those
      same kingdoms, has been “mainstream” Christian teaching
      and understanding for hundreds of years.)

      1. Why would God repeat the same dream message, but with
        different symbols? (Did you ever repeat your
        instructions to your children? You do that if you
        want them to “get it.”)

      2. Why was Daniel troubled by this vision? (Daniel
        realized that this was a very important vision and he
        wanted to be sure he properly understood it.)

    3. Can you think of any reason why God gave these prophecies
      in the time of Daniel?

      1. Why did God give those prophecies then? Why not to
        Adam and Eve? Why not to Moses? (Daniel and the Jews
        were in captivity in Babylon. Their nation had been
        destroyed. At this discouraging time in their
        history, God wanted to reassure them, and His
        followers for generations to come, that He was in
        charge of kings and kingdoms.)

    4. Friend, if God is in charge of kings and kingdoms, are you
      willing to trust Him with your life? Are you willing to
      turn the problems in your life over to Him?

  2. Next Week: The Son of Man and the Final Judgment.