What does the passage tell us about the kingdom of God?
Daniel 2:4-7:28 shows three pairs of theological themes in mirror
parallelism. God dominates over history (chaps. 2 and 7):
In Daniel 2, the great and awesome statute in Nebuchadnezzar’s
dream represents four Gentile superpowers in history (2:31-33, 36-43).
In the dream was a “stone”, which represents God’s everlasting
kingdom that “will crush and put an end to these kingdoms” (2:34-35,
44-45). In Daniel 7, the four monstrous beasts in Daniel’s vision
represent four Gentile superpowers in history (7:1-8). But the high
point in the vision is the “everlasting dominion” given to “a Son of Man”
whom all peoples and nations will “serve” (vv.13-14).
God delivers from harm (chaps. 3 and 6): The faithful people of
God refused to compromise their faith, even if it means to be burned
in a furnace (3:13-15, 19-23) or devoured by lions (6:6-10, 16-17). But
God delivered them miraculously (3:24-25; 6:21-22). God dethrones
the haughty (chaps. 4 and 5): Nebuchadnezzar arrogantly boasted:
“Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself built…by the might of
my power and for the glory of my majesty?” (4:30). But God who
“humbles those who walk in pride” (4:37) humbled Nebuchadnezzar
by dethroning him (4:31-33). Belshazzar “exalted yourself against the
Lord of heaven” by using the “gold vessels” taken from God’s temple
as drinking vessels in his “great feast” (5:1-14, 22-23). But God humbled
him by ending his empire (5:30-31).
The theological structure of Daniel 2:4-7:28 begins and ends with God
dominating over history. It means that overarching and undergirding
everything is God dominating over history from the beginning to the
end. What security we have!
What does it mean for me to live in the kingdom of God?
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What significant observations can you make about Daniel being called “man of high esteem” (vv.11, 19)?
What does being highly esteemed by God mean to me?
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