Focus: Daniel 2:44-45, “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will raise up an everlasting kingdom that will not be destroyed and a kingdom that will not be left to another people. It will break in pieces and bring about the demise of all these kingdoms. But it will stand forever. You saw that a stone was cut from a mountain, but not by human hands; it smashed the iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold into pieces. The great God has made known to the king what will occur in the future. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is reliable.”
Recently, my wife and I started going to Celebrate Recovery, a Christian 12-step reconciliation program for those who want to work through their hurts, habits, and hang-ups that have come as coping mechanisms to life’s pains. The problem of evil and the problem of pain are unfortunate realities in our broken world, but it has been encouraging to watch others find recovery and healing.
Daniel was a prophet who certainly had to deal with hurts and hang-ups. He was taken into captivity into Babylon. His family may have been killed or taken as slaves. He was displaced from his home. In Babylon, he was assigned to the royal service where he would enjoy the best foods and the luxury of palace living. That part sounds nice, but the trade-off to living in the palace meant becoming a eunuch in an era where there was no anesthesia. (They did this to protect the women living in the palace from foreigners.)
God used Daniel, a man who had been through a lot of pain- spiritually, emotionally, and physically- to foretell of one of life’s greatest events. Dreams carried huge weight in the day of Daniel, and it just so happens that King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream and needed someone to interpret. God chose Daniel to be the man. Daniel 2:44-45 is the interpretation that God gave to Daniel and it tells of a kingdom that will overcome every earthly power. It is a kingdom not ruled by the broken leadership of people and one that will last forever. It was the prophecy of the Kingdom of Christ.
God is in the process of building His Kingdom. It is one that will last forever, a Kingdom where the pain of sin and death will not be. In this Kingdom, all of Christ’s faithful followers will find complete reconciliation and healing from their hurts, habits and hang-ups. This is the Christian hope. This is what our faith in Christ is about. While we may claim to have the faith to trust that He died on the Cross and rose again to save us from our sins, will we have the faith to trust His promises that He is preparing a place for those who follow Him? The faith rooted in the events at the Cross is foundational, but faith that trusts Christ’s promise of the everlasting Kingdom is functional. It is what moves us from this life to the next and is what proves our very faith in Christ on the Cross. Do we really trust that God will bring complete healing and restoration?