The dream of Nebuchadnezzar was the image of a whose brightness was excellent…and the form thereof was terrible (2:31).
The image was constructed in the following fashion:
- The head was of gold- this was the Babylon of Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar, says Daniel, art a king of kings; for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power and strength, and glory.
- The breast and arms were silver- the two arms constituted the enjoining of two powers, the Medes and the Persians.
- The belly and the thighs were of brass- the Grecian empire, under the rule of Alexander the Great.
- The legs of iron and part of clay- the longest portion of the image spoke of the long continuing of the Roman empire
- The feet were of iron and clay- the ten toes constituting the ten kings, or the revived Roman empire, the empire out of which the antichrist is still to come.
Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
Who is this stone? What does it represent?
Consider the following verses:
- Moses said in Deuteronomy 32:31, For their rock is not as our Rock.
- David said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God (2 Sam 23:3).
- Isaiah encouraged the Jewish captives of Babylon to, Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged (51:1).
Augustus Toplady in seeking refuge from a violent storm, found a cleft in a rock as a place of safety. As he thought upon this rock of safety, his mind wandered to Isaiah 26:2-3 which says, Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength. Out of this experience, Toplady wrote…
Rock of ages, cleft for me | Let me hide myself in thee | Let the water and the blood | from Thy wounded side which flowed, | Be of sin the double cure, | save from wrath and make me pure.
As expressed in the sentiments of David, Moses and Isaiah, the Lord is a rock. But not to these, only, our Lord called Himself a rock: Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? (Matthew 21:42).
The Stone was rejected by the Jews and crucified, but Peter adds to this narrative by saying in I Peter 2:4-7, To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
We see, therefore, in the writings of Peter that this Stone has two abilities:
- He can give life and become precious
- He can condemn and become a stone of stumbling
Daniel, therefore, presents the Great God of Heaven, the stone cut without hands, as the giver of life and the giver of death. It is what each man and woman does with the Stone that determines what the Stone will do to them. Isaiah 8:13-15 says, Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
The interpretation of the texts is simple: The very stone, Immanuel, which would have been a sanctuary on belief, becomes a fatal stumblingblock through unbelief. In ancient times it was customary to consecrate great stones as altars of sacrifice. Sometimes they connected with the stone altars the privilege of “sanctuary,” so that, if a man were pursued by an avenger, he might take his stand beside some sacred stone and claim it as refuge, and in most cases the pursuer would forego to injure him. On the other hand, if one were running in the dark or too heedless in the light, he might stumble on the stone and be overtaken, and. thereby be “broken.”
Our Lord Jesus said in Matthew 21:44 to summarize, And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. I encourage you today to run to the Rock of Ages, the living stone, and claim forgiveness, healing and pardon. Run to Him and He will save you. He will have mercy, but if you forego to run to Him and claim refuge, the stone which you have rejected will grind you to powder.
The story proves that in the end, Jesus Christ shall reign triumphantly and destroy Gentile power and sit for 1,000 years on the throne of His father, David.
Run to Him today and find out He is precious!