Introduction: Last week we discussed the final judgment and how we
need to take it seriously. One reason we don’t take it seriously is
that “judgment” gets lost in reality. What is happening all around
us every day is real. We have no doubt about it. The “pleasures of
sin” ( Hebrews 11:25) are real, if short-lived. How can we know the
final judgment is real? What reason do we have to trust that God has
set a time for my judgment and yours? Let’s dive into a central
prophetic chapter of the Bible to prove to ourselves that God’s word
about judgment is as real as what happened to you this week!

  1. The Dream

    1. Read Daniel 2:1-4. How important is this dream to King

      1. Notice that verse 4 says that they answered “in
        Aramaic.” Were the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers
        and astrologers using a “sophisticated language” to
        make themselves sound more intelligent? Wiser? (It
        does not appear to be anything like that. At this
        point in the book of Daniel, the original language
        changes from Hebrew to Aramaic. Daniel is just
        signaling us that he is now going to tell the story
        in the language of the royal court.)

    2. Read Daniel 2:5-7. Now we know why they paid the
      astrologers the “big bucks” – it is a high risk job! In
      your opinion, is the King being fair?

      1. What logic is there behind the King’s requirement to
        first tell him the dream? (If you can tell the
        future, you should be able to tell the past.)

      2. What logic is there to the astrologer’s position?
        (This is beyond our area of expertise – we are
        interpreters, not dream re-creators. Much different
        job descriptions.)

  2. The Interpretation Problem

    1. Read Daniel 2:8-9. Does the King sound flexible?

      1. What reason does he give for his requirement? (He
        thinks they have been making up stuff in the past,
        and this will reveal who truly can tell the future.)

    2. Read Daniel 2:10-11. What arguments do the astrologers
      make? (This is an unprecedented, if not illegal
      requirement (no king has ever asked such a thing), and it
      is impossible (no human can do this).

      1. If the astrologers are right about this being
        impossible, what will killing them do for the King?
        (I think this is part of the point. No human can do
        this. Kill us, and where are you in learning about
        your dream?)

    3. Read Daniel 2:12-13. Does this seem fair to you? How would
      you like to be Daniel and his buddies? How does this
      compare to the problems in your life?

    4. Read Daniel 2:17-18. What does Daniel do first when he
      faces a serious problem? (Turns to God.)

      1. How about you?

    5. Read Daniel 2:19-28. Was Daniel tempted to be the only
      man alive who could tell the King his dream and interpret
      it? (I’ll bet it crossed his mind, but Daniel not only
      turns to God in time of trouble, he gives God the praise
      and the credit.)

  3. The Image

    1. Read Daniel 2:31-33. If you were the architect of this
      image, would you make it this way? What is wrong about the
      image from an engineering point of view? (The heaviest
      metals are at the top, not the bottom.)

      1. Last week we discussed having a rock solid
        foundation. How does this image fare in that regard?
        (It fails. The “foundation” is a mixture of iron and
        clay. It is the weakest part of the entire

    2. Read Daniel 2:34-35. What are the differences between the
      image and the rock? The image is logically man-made, the
      rock is not. Humans created the features of the image.
      Except for the clay in the feet, the image is made of
      metal – a material assembled by humans. Rocks do not need
      to be “assembled” and this specific rock was not cut by
      human hands.)

    3. What do you think all of this means?

      1. What does the rock hitting the feet of the image
        mean? (This is obviously another judgment story. The
        design and inventions of humans are destroyed by God
        who ( Daniel 2:35) becomes a huge mountain and fills
        the entire earth.)

      2. Why does the rock hit the feet of the image? (Like
        the house built on the sand, the weak foundation of
        the image is the target of the rock. It also gives us
        a sense of the timing of the judgment.)

        1. What significance do you see in the wind (Daniel
          2:35) sweeping away the dust of the image
          “without leaving a trace?” (Everything humans
          have created on earth will be dust. When you
          think about the direction and purpose of your
          life, consider that.)

    4. Let’s explore what God says about the dream. Read Daniel
      2:36-38. What does the head of gold represent?
      (Nebuchadnezzar, the King of the Babylonian empire.)

      1. We decided earlier that the image was a human
        creation. Who does this text say created the power of
        the King? (God.)

    5. Read Daniel 2:39-40. What does the rest of the image
      represent? (Succeeding world kingdoms.)

      1. Does this square with our understanding of history?
        (Yes. After Babylon lost its world dominion, it was
        followed by the Medo-Persian empire, the Grecian
        empire and the Roman empire. These essentially
        dominated the known world during their time.)

    6. Read Daniel 2:41-43. After the Roman empire, has any
      empire arisen which dominated the world? (Even the
      extraordinary power of the United States today does not
      dominate the nations of the world. In major part this is
      because none of the powerful nations of the world have
      “empire” ambitions.)

    7. Read Daniel 2:44-45. Do you agree with the conclusion
      reached by Daniel in the last part of verse 45? (We are
      obviously living in the “feet and toes” part of the image.
      We can confirm that God’s dream to Nebuchadnezzar
      accurately forecast world history from Daniel’s day (sixth
      century, B.C.) to our day.)

      1. If we can confirm that all but the very end of the
        dream has come true, why should we doubt the future
        “rock and mountain” part of the dream?

    8. A popular view among “Bible scholars” today is that the
      book of Daniel was written during the days of Antiochus
      Epiphanes (the 160s B.C.). These scholars, according to
      the New Bible Commentary, have adopted a view which was
      first argued by Porphyry, a third century opponent of the
      Christian faith.)

      1. Arguing that Daniel was written “after the fact” for
        a great deal (but no all) of the history it predicts
        (and we can now confirm was correct)is widespread
        among “Bible scholars.” Why is it appropriate for me
        to challenge the term by putting quotation marks
        around “Bible scholars?” (Read Matthew 24:15. These
        so-called “Bible scholars” obviously do not believe
        Jesus. Jesus attributes the prophecies of the book of
        Daniel to Daniel, not some pretender who lived 400
        years later. Either you believe the Bible or you do
        not. If you do not believe the Bible then you suffer
        from “Eve complex” – you have decided that you will
        be equal to God and you will determine which of God’s
        statements are true for your life.)

    9. If Daniel was correct in his prediction of history up to
      the present time, what does that logically tell us about
      the reliability of his prediction of the judgment?

    10. Friend, can you trust the Bible? Are you ready for a
      coming judgment?

  4. Next week: Daniel 7