Power behind the Throne

August 24th, 2007 • Category: Book of Daniel
by Tyler Connoley

Today’s scripture: Daniel 2:31-45 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider these questions: What might God be saying to me in this passage? What jumps out at me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two before reading on.

My thoughts on this passage (Tyler Connoley):

When reading a passage like this, it’s tempting to get caught up in the details. We want to know what kingdoms are represented by each of the parts of the statue. If the head is Babylon, then what kingdom is the chest and arms that came after Babylon? Who rules the kingdom of bronze? And what about the divided feet of iron and clay? However, the real message of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream is not found in the statue, but in the stone “cut not by hands.”

Whatever interpretation you give to the various parts of the statue, the stone represents God’s power in the world. The message to Nebuchadnezzar was clear: You, oh king of kings, are not the ruler of the universe.

The second chapter of Daniel echoes the second Psalm. In that song, the poet begins by asking, “Why do the nations rage? Why do they plot and scheme?” Then he goes on to say, “God who sits in the heavens laughs. The Lord holds them in derision.”

It may seem like the kings and presidents of this world are in charge. Powerful men and women in board rooms may plot and scheme to gain more power and wealth. Rulers and despots may rage against their perceived enemies. But, ultimately, God is in charge.

“And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall this kingdom be left to another people. It shall crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever.” (Daniel 2:44)

Thought for the day: When it feels like the rulers around you are plotting and scheming, or raging for no good reason, remember that God is still in charge. God’s kingdom is in you, and it is forever.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to start, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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