READ: Daniel 2
THINK: There is a museum in Moscow called the New Treyakov Gallery, and it is full of relics from the old Soviet Union. All kinds of art and artifacts from the communist past can be found inside the halls. Outside the museum, along the banks of the Moscow River, there are statues of the once-great communist leaders, Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin among them. But these statues aren’t like most. Instead of representing the grandeur of the leaders in a way that celebrates them, the statues have been knocked down. Many lie on the ground with heads separated from the bodies and noses smashed off their faces. This too is artwork, but it is artwork that symbolizes liberation from the horrific communist past represented inside.
The imagery of this park reminds me of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. The giant, glorious statue – with it’s head of gold, chest of silver, torso of bronze, legs or iron, and feet of iron and clay – representing the great kings and rulers of the world. Each of the kingdoms represented was vast empire that seemed like it was the greatest the world had ever seen and seemed like it would never lose power. All hegemons seem that way, and they always have.
But this passage makes it clear that no nation and no king, no empire and no dictator is truly in control of its own destiny. No matter how things may appear and how much power a person or a nation of people may have, God is in control. He gives power and he takes it away. He builds up and he tears down. He allows nations and kings – like Nebuchadnezzar – to be used for his purposes, but he does not permit wickedness and rebellion to last forever.
One day, just as this passage promises, God will judge all of the nations of the world. All of the monuments that have been built to honor ourselves and our leaders will lie in ruins. Every nation and every human power will crumble under the strength of the Almighty God, and the King of kings and Lord of lords will rule forever in righteousness, justice, and peace. Nations rise and nations fall, but the Kingdom of God endures forever.
ASK: Where is my ultimate hope? Am I placing my hope in an earthly kingdom? Am I holding on to the belief that some government or some leader – or even democracy itself – can give me what I really need? Where is my ultimate allegiance, my citizenship, and my hope?
PRAY: Worship God today for his sovereignty. Thank him for who he is and how graciously he has redeemed you and invited you in to the one Kingdom that will never fail.