Daniel 2:31 – You looked, O king, and there before you stood a large statue — an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. (NIV)
When I was in fifth grade, or Primary 7 as we called it back in Scotland, a Bible exhibition came to Glasgow. I think it was run by the Philadelphian Bible Society in Britain. It was fascinating because many of the exhibits were models of buildings and places in the Old Testament. Our teacher used to read to us every morning from the Bible before our other lessons began, so I guess he thought that by taking us to the Bible exhibition, our class would be able to visualize the events recorded in the Scriptures.
I can remember one large model of this statue from Nebuchadnezzar's dream. It was made up of all the different parts: gold, silver, bronze, iron, and clay. Beside the model was a hand-written interpretation of what it represented: the Persian Empire, the Greek Empire, the Roman Empire, and the British Empire — all of them indicated on the model. It meant that the feet of clay represented the modern age and that the rock, which was thrown at the statue, symbolized Christ's return. He is known as the Rock of Ages, so the person who interpreted the story historically at the Bible exhibition was expressing to everyone that the end of time would soon be fulfilled.
I couldn't get to sleep that night because I was afraid that Jesus would come back whilst I was sleeping and that I would be condemned for all of my sins. It preyed on my mind and affected my whole being. During the day, I kept looking up at the sky, and at night time, I shivered myself to sleep. It was hard to hold on to my faith in Jesus because I was afraid of Him. It was a very frightening time in my young life.
Almost forty years have passed since I was at that exhibition. Throughout that time, my faith has changed, so instead of fearing Christ's return, I look forward to that moment. I know that I have committed a great many sins since being a child, but I also know that I have a great Saviour Whose grace is amazing and Whose mercy is limitless. I may have feet of clay at times, but Christ is my solid Rock, my sole Redeemer. His forgiveness sustains my faith; His love gives meaning to my life.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, one glorious day, just like today, You will return to reclaim the earth as Your own and to restore God's ways in this world. Help us to prepare our hearts for that beautiful moment and to build up our faith, so that we may lovingly and effectively tell other people about Your gospel. As You give us opportunities to relate our beliefs, help us to do so in ways that are convincing and compassionate. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.