The Bible is full of much grand and glorious imagery. On page after page of the Holy Writ we see the truth of GOD unfolded before us not just in the plain words which are spoken but also in the types and foreshadows, which colorfully illustrate the revealed truth of the LORD of glory. We must guard our selves against building doctrines from these images which are sometimes obscure to say the least, but we can be and are blessed by them as they undergird sound doctrine. We keep in mind as well that the LORD taught much in parables which were designed to convey truth to those whose understanding HE intended, and to cause confusion among those who would not and could not see. (see Matt.13:13-17; Luke 8:10; John 12:40; Rom.11:8-10; II Cor.3:14)
No true imagery or type revealed in the Scripture will ever contradict sound doctrine nor will they magnify any one but the LORD JESUS CHRIST. These illustrations are given for the express purpose of exalting HIS name and portraying the work of redemption which HE has accomplished.
Quite often, truth is hidden in these types and foreshadows from the eyes of those who think that they can grasp the truth of GOD through human understanding. The Bible is always literally true in the message GOD intends to portray through it but everything in the Bible is not to be taken literally. Rolfe Barnard said it like this, “The Bible doesn’t always mean what it says, but it always means what it means”. For instance, much of the book of the Revelation is not intended to be taken at face value but requires an understanding which only GOD can give in order to plumb its depths and grasp its message. It is somewhat disconcerting to hear those, who demand a strict literal translation of all of the scripture, depart from their own mantra when they begin to explain the images contained in this particular book or even the book of Daniel which is before us. We are not interested in taking flights of fancy with the scripture but pray that we may be given eyes to see and behold the truth that is hidden in every line and page of the blessed Holy Book.
King Nebuchadnezzar dreamed a troubling dream which none of his astrologers nor magicians would attempt to interpret unless he told them what the dream was. He refused saying that if they could interpret the dream they should also be able to tell him what the dream was. They were astounded and dismayed as they realized their lack of power to do as the king demanded. He commanded that all of the “wise men” be put to death. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were all a part of this group. When Daniel heard why they were condemned he came before the king and said he would attempt to tell the king his dream and the interpretation of it. As Daniel is a teller of dreams we seem him as a type of “gospel preacher”. (see Dan.chap 2)
- Necessity was laid upon him to tell the king a message, it was a matter of life and death. So is everyone who proclaims the good news of the gospel. (see I Cor.9:16)
- The message that he delivered was one he received directly from the LORD by revelation and not instruction. (see v.19) Paul relates the same in Gal.1:16 and II Tim.1:9.
- The message was intended for a specific audience. (see v.24) The gospel message is for sinners; CHRIST said HE was not sent for the righteous but to call sinners to repentance.
- The message that HE delivered was also the means by which he was delivered from the executioner. (see v.24) Daniel told Arioch (the executioner) that he knew the dream. A true preacher of the gospel has a personal interest in the message he preaches.
- The message was one of power and in direct contrast to the impotence of religion. (see v.27,28) The gospel is the “power of GOD unto salvation” (Rom.1:16)not a religion to follow or a code of conduct to conform to.
- The message answered the needful questions. (see v.29) The Phillipian jailer cried out in despair to know how he might be delivered, Paul and Silas replied,“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31)
- The message uncovered secrets and revealed things to come. (see v.29,30) Through the gospel the LORD reveals to us our past and comforts us with our future.
- He sought neither glory nor reward in the telling of this message. (see v.30)“For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” (1 Cor 4:7)
The message was about a STONE not made with hands that became the HEADSTONE of the corner. (see v.34,45) Daniel delivered the same message to Nebuchadnezzar that is the message of the gospel from the beginning. (see Isa.28:16) CHRIST is the sure foundation for HIS people, a place of refuge, a covert from the tempest, the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. HE is the KING of kings and the LORD of lords. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty GOD, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)mam