It is important to understand that there is a dramatic shift in Daniel’s life between chs. 1-4 under the leadership of Nebuchadnezzar and ch. 5 under the leadership of Belshazzar. Under Neb’s rule Daniel was exalted to a high position in the Babylonian government and he saw Neb himself come to a place of honoring God. During this “golden age” of Daniel’s life, he must have had a pretty positive outlook on the role of politics in the scheme of God’s plan. Notice how the vision that Neb had of the kingdoms portrays them as a stately statue that is beautiful to look at. In that vision the fourth kingdom was corrupt, but its corruption was described in fairly innane terms as clay and iron mixed. It was an easy target for the rock to destroy. However, after the evil king Belshazzar came to power, stripping Daniel of his position, and defiling the holy things of God, Daniel’s perspective changed. Now, in ch. 7, we see the fourth kingdom being portrayed as a horrible creature, hell-bent on total destruction. The fourth beast was overcome, not by a simple rock-slinging, but by a violent conflict. Is it possible that Daniel had become cynical of the role of political powers?
How do you view politics and the role of the christian in politics? Do you have a “golden statue” view of government, or do you have a “ferocious beast” view of government?
What we must remember is that, in either case, the end result of the vision is the same. Ultimately God will defeat all forms of human government and establish His Kingdom forever. Praise God that Jesus, the King of Kings, has already established His Kingdom and we have the privilege of living in and serving His Kingdom today.
Don’t forget that all human forms of government will eventually crumble. Only God’s Kingdom will last forever. Where are you spending the majority of your time and energy this week?