Tuesday: Daniel 2 and the Providence of God in History

In the 1700s, a Frenchman, an atheist, speculated that because all of the universe, including human actions, were predetermined by natural laws—then, ideally, if someone could know all of those laws and all the positions of all the particles in the universe at a given time, then that person could know everything that would happen.1

Of course, humans do have free will, free choice. God made us that way. As beings who can love, we had to be given free choice, because love that is forced cannot be love. To make us capable of love, God had to make us free. And yet, God’s power is so great that, even with human free will, He knows the future perfectly, regardless of the free choices that we make.

Review the prophecy of Daniel 2. In what ways is this one chapter powerful evidence, “proof” even, that God knows the future, and far in advance too?  

This chapter was written more than twenty-six hundred years ago. Look at how history has unfolded exactly as God predicted. In one sense, this prophecy should be more meaningful for us today than for those who lived millennia ago. And that’s because we, today, looking back at history, can see exactly how these empires came and went, just as predicted. If you had read this prophecy during the time of Media-Persia, you wouldn’t have seen the rise and fall of the empires that came after. Today, looking back, we can see much more than someone from long ago could see. Thus, the prophecy holds a power for us that those in the past couldn’t appreciate.

And the amazing thing is that despite these millions of people, all with free will, who lived during the long epochs depicted in Daniel 2, the Lord knew exactly what was going to happen, what kingdoms would rise and fall. And He knew it way in advance too.

The prophet Daniel was right about the rise and fall of all those kingdoms: Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece, and Rome, including the breakup of Rome into smaller powers that still exist today. From where we stand in history, the only kingdom left is the last one, God’s eternal kingdom (Dan. 2:44). If he was right on all the ones so far, how foolish would it be to not trust him on the last one?



Tuesday: Daniel 2 and the Providence of God in History — 2 Comments

  1. The first three kingdoms of Daniel 2 are identified in Daniel (once you accept that the prophecies are repeats of the same outline). The fourth kingdom can be confirmed by the New Testament. But when we come to the break up of Rome, we have no biblical guidance. It seems strange to me, that our interpretation only focuses on 1/3 of the Roman empire. It is always described as the nations of Europe (although the lesson author avoided that language today). What about Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, and all the nations of north Africa? These were all a part of the Roman empire. Are we simply guilty of ethnocentrism or am I missing something?

  2. Great lesson, what especially hit me is God's alll knowing power, and that power translates to us in a huge way , now that we can see the prophecy almost fulfilled. What an encouragement to me; i can trust Him with my all. I also love the statement "love that is forced cannot be love. " Would that this would be tattooed on every Christian's heart, it would stop so much suffering, war, and misunderstanding in all His children. Some i witness to bear scars of misguided souls who tried to force their way of life on them in the name of God. Two especially i can think of who are native american and were abused (and a generation or two before them) by being humiliated and degraded to the point one gets physically sick thinking about Christianity. The abusers weren't Adventists, but claimed to serve God as Catholics. I know a lot of damage has been done in the name of Christ, and they were actually counterfeits. Please pray for Angela and Sand that they have an encounter with the true God who loves them. These are older women, Angela is suffering with multiple cancers, i don't know how much time she has left. Thank you for your time, God bless you all.


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