God Controls the Nations

Geoffrey Cox

READ : Daniel 2:31-45

You, O king . . . to whom God . . . has given the kingdom. (v. 37)

The writer of Hebrews tells us that “God spoke in many ways by many means,” and Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was one of those. Nebuchadnezzar must have been someone very dear to God, someone God wanted to use. God not only sent his servants to work for him, but even spoke directly to him, and more than once.

Nebuchadnezzar has not yet acknowledged God as his sovereign so Daniel explains what is happening in the king’s dream. It included a vision of a great statue—very flattering to the king—a great stone, and a great mountain. Obviously something great is at work. So we learn in the dream’s interpretation of a succession of human kingdoms, each less glorious than the previous one, culminating in the establishment of God’s eternal kingdom. These are awe-inspiring words, for awe is the natural response when we see God at work. But more awe-inspiring is verse 45: “The great God has informed the king.”

God sets up, and God casts down. God establishes forever, and God tells us what he is doing. In a very unsettled world, politically, economically, ecologically, it is Daniel’s God—and our God—who actively controls. We know this because the Bible tells us so. So trust where you do not understand.


Lord, in an unsettled world, I trust you as its active King.