“You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together… And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.”-Dan. 2:34, 35.
Ponder well, my soul, this wonderful vision of the heathen king, and mark its several features. If the Lord is about to bless and comfort his people, how often is it done by ways most opposite and unlikely, according to our perception of things! It shall be accomplished, even by their enemies, and they who wish most to afflict them, shall not infrequently be made the unconscious instruments of doing the very reverse of what they intend; as in the instance before us, to which these words in the writings of the prophet Daniel refer.
The church was now in captivity; oppressed, and brought very low. The king, in whose dominions they were but vassals, was a despotic tyrant whose word became the chief law. The Lord visits this monarch’s mind with a vision of the night: he is troubled with what he had seen in his vision; but when he awakes, the remembrance of what he had seen vanished. Daniel is blessed of the Lord, both to bring to his recollection his thoughts in the night, and to give the interpretation of them. The king’s heart is for the time subdued, and Daniel honoured with favour. But the most eminent point of this vision was for the church’s comfort, and the Lord caused his people to rejoice in the revealing of it.
The image to be destroyed represented the several kingdoms of the world, before the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the order in which they should succeed each other. The Babylonians took the lead, and the Persians followed. After them came the Greeks; and during the fourth, which was the Roman power, the Lord Jesus Christ, “the stone cut out without hands,” was to arise, which should destroy the image and become “a mountain, and fill the earth.”
What a wonderful harmony of circumstances must it have been, that made every minute point in this representation to correspond so exactly to Jesus, and to him only! The birth of Christ, produced without the intervention of a human father; nothing could more strikingly set forth, than the figure of “a stone cut out without hands.” And the triumph of his spiritual kingdom was equally beautiful, in the image of breaking in pieces “the image which stood on his feet.” And when what is said of Christ is considered, which must finally be fulfilled in him, that “the kingdoms of the world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever;” who does not, or will not, see the striking representation of a mountain springing up from slender beginnings, “and filling the whole earth?”
My soul! will you not learn, this evening, from this very precious scripture, to appreciate your Jesus, and to see how sweetly scripture testimony confirms everything concerning him? Teach me, dear Lord, to see you under those delightful images; and while I trace back the history of your incarnation, low, humble, and despised, as “a stone cut without hands;” Oh! allow me to contemplate your glory in what most assuredly shall be accomplished, when “like a mountain established on the tops of a mountain, all nations shall flow to you, and you will fill the earth.” Divine Master! fill my whole soul with yourself; and let this our land, and our people, be filled with the knowledge of Jesus and his great salvation, “as the waters cover the sea!”