The founder of the Salvation Army said to his fellow “soldiers”: “Faith and works should travel side by side, step answering to step, like the legs of men walking. First faith, and then works; and then faith again, and then works again—until they can scarcely distinguish which is the one and which is the other.”
In today’s reading, we see faith and works going hand-in-hand. Daniel received the word of God, and went about putting that wisdom into action. Upon receiving the vision of Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams, Daniel went to the king and told his head guard to refrain from murdering all of the wise men of Babylon because he would interpret the king’s dream. When the king asked whether Daniel was able to interpret the dream, Daniel did not answer proudly. Of course Daniel could not interpret the dream! But there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries.
Daniel went on to tell Nebuchadnezzar his dream about a large statue made of different substances. Each of the different substances represented different kingdoms, with the last one symbolizing the kingdom that will not be destroyed.
Interpreters have disagreed about the exact meaning of the middle kingdoms, but it is clear that God Himself will set up a kingdom that will not be destroyed “nor will it be left to another people” (v. 44). God’s spiritual kingdom has been inaugurated through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and all who confess Christ as Lord are brought into this empire (Col. 1:13). It will be fulfilled when Jesus comes again (Rev. 5:10; 11:15; 20:4, 6; 22:5).
After hearing this dream interpreted, Nebuchadnezzar bowed before Daniel (v. 46). One day all will bow before the Lord, acknowledging His power over us.