Jump Start # 2641
Daniel 2:31 “You, O king, were looking and behold, there was a single great statue; that statue, which was large and of extraordinary splendor, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was awesome.”
Our passage comes from what Daniel says about Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. There was a statue of many different materials representing the coming kingdoms. A rock came and destroyed that statue. That rock grew into a mighty mountain. Large, powerful, incredible—that’s the divine kingdom of God that this dream was all about.
Quoting Daniel, this statue was awesome. Awesome—I like that word. I use that word often. Someone once told me that I shouldn’t use that word so much. They said that God is awesome and that word ought to only be used of God. I didn’t know. I felt like I must have been out of place for saying things were awesome when they shouldn’t be. But then I see this passage. In a divine dream there was an awesome statue. The passage didn’t say the dream was awesome. It didn’t say the rock that smashed the statue was awesome. No, it was the statue itself that was awesome. That statue that represented four pagan nations. That was considered awesome.
I learned some things from this:
First, even when some folks are certain, they may not be right. I never went back and checked how accurate his assumptions were. He said that only God is awesome. I guess he didn’t know about Nebuchadnezzar’s dreamy statue. Daniel called it awesome. Confidence and volume are not the same thing as accuracy. Volume can silence someone because of intimidation. But the louder one speaks does not mean the more accurate he is. Arguments need to be won by evidence and proof, not by who has the loudest mouth.
Second, we can easily miss the big point of things. Is God awesome? Absolutely. Was the statue that Daniel interpreted awesome? He said it was. Were they the same and on the same level because they were both awesome? No. Never. Nothing equals God, especially a dream about a statue of multiple materials. God does not compare with kingdoms of the earth. That’s what the dream showed. The rock not made from hands, divine, crushed that statue. The kingdoms of earth were no match for God’s kingdom. Because God is awesome does not mean other things cannot be awesome. But by calling other things awesome, like this statue, it does not mean that they were on the same level. The big picture of things ought to remind us of this.
Third, we must be careful that learning things doesn’t go to our head. When this passage first sunk in, I thought about the guy who corrected me. The next time I run into him, I’ll tell him to read Daniel 2:31. Statues can be awesome. I was right and he was wrong, and that’s all it takes to swell the head and go to places that you don’t belong. Knowledge can lead to arrogance. Knowing what others do not does not make one a better person. While a person may be right about the word “awesome,” his pride and what that does to him is certainly wrong. We ought to share what we have learned and try to help others. Don’t use your knowledge as a tool that only makes you feel like you are superior. That pride will trip you and cause you to be wrong in other areas.
Fourth, in trying to find things in the Bible it is easy to miss the obvious message. The point of the dream in Daniel is not to supply us with another example of the word “awesome.” If that’s all we find here, we have really shot ourselves in the foot. The most powerful king in the world is being shown a divine dream to teach him about the sovereignty and power of God. A stone, a rock, not a giant meteor, not a planet, not a huge landslide, not a mountain, not even a dump truck load of rocks, but a rock. Singular. A stone. Small as it was, it grew and crushed that statue. It became a mighty mountain. God’s kingdom started with a handful of followers. But it grew. Jerusalem. Judea. Samaria. Uttermost parts of the world. Since that time, there has been many world powers come and go, yet the kingdom of God flourishes. It remains. It endures. The everlasting, powerful, growing Kingdom of God is what this passage is pointing to. It points to a starting period, during the fourth kingdom. It illustrates this kingdom as alive, active and moving. The statue never moved. It seems lifeless. It was unable to defend itself. The rock appeared and the statue came crashing down. Don’t miss what this dream is about. It’s the divine nature of God’s kingdom.
Finally, one cannot allow others to set the path for what they believe and how they are to walk. Some may not agree with you. Some may even consider what you do as wrong. It’s up to you to know and to shape your own faith. You cannot allow others to think for you or live for you. Our faith must come from our belief in the word of God. If that is not the case, then we are allowing others to drive our faith and shape our lives. Our faith isn’t really ours, it is someone else’s that we borrowed. This will lead to doing things out of habit or tradition rather than by faith. And, when calamities come, and they always do, our faith will not support us or sustain us because we do not really have a faith. We’ve just been doing what others told us to do.
Life in Heaven will be awesome! Can’t wait…how about you?