Summary: Zechariah prophesied that Jerusalem would be on the auction block and today it is. Why don’t we listen to accurate warnings?
LUKE 21:24 reads,
“Jerusalem will be trampled under the feet of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”
1. THE JEWISH NATION WAITED AND DANIEL INTERPRETED DREAMS
ISAIAH 41:10-12 tells of the promises God wanted to bestow upon the Jewish people:
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. All who rage against you will be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will perish. Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. And those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all.”
God also wanted the Jewish nation to give His blessings to the world, and He was going to protect Israel while they did it..
"The LORD said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people, and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."
For centuries, they waited to see God in person; to see the supreme warrior-king they thought He would be; the worldly protector they wanted. But when He came, He introduced Himself through Jesus Christ. And through the chosen disciples, He introduced Himself to the world.
And God wanted the Jewish people to introduce His plan of salvation to the world, but the nation of Israel summarily rejected Him, so He turned around and offered that plan to the Gentiles, or the rest of the world. And the first thing God did was to bring judgment upon His chosen people, Israel, for their rebelliousness against Him. He took His divine protection off of them and let them be overrun and captured, taken as slaves to Babylon.
It was during this time, 605BC - 536 BC (or 69 years) that God showed the prophet Daniel about His future plan to use Gentiles for His glory. God raised up Daniel, a young Jewish boy to have influence over the king of Babylon by letting Daniel be able to correctly interpret dreams, which greatly influenced King Nebuchadnezzar. And it was the interpretation of one of the king’s dreams that changed the course of history forever for the Jewish nation.
The king had a dream where there was a big statue of a man. the statue was made of metal mixed with clay. And then a big rock came and smashed the statue. The rock then expanded and became a huge mountain that covered the entire world.
DANIEL 2:31-34 tells us about it.
"You looked, O king, and there before you stood a large statue—an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth."
Daniel told the king that the statue was about the future. He told the king what each part of the statue meant, how it described kingdoms that would rise and then fall. But for now, I want to pay close attention to one part in particular; the feet. They were made from a mixture of iron and clay. God later revealed to Daniel that the feet represented ten nations that were unified. This union would rise up out of the Roman Empire. And it would serve as the base for the eventual rule of the Antichrist.
That 10-nation union would expand its control until it controlled the entire world, but only for a short period of time. Eventually, that union of nations would be crushed by a super-natural force. We know that force to be Jesus Christ.
Forty-eight years after this dream, God gave Daniel another vision. This one had no statue in it, but there were wild beasts that fought with one another and ate each other. The first beast was Babylon. It was a lion, but it had wings like an eagle. The second beast was a bear and it was raised up on one side, as if trying to hit something with an extended paw. Then, the third beast was a leopard that also had wings, and then there was a fourth beast. The fourth beast was terrifying and had big iron teeth.