Here we encounter the most incredible thing imaginable: the most powerful Person in the universe—none other than God—doesn’t want to dominate us by His power, but rather He desires to befriend us by means of communication. And this explains why God has given us a book composed of words:
“All _____________ is given by _____________ of God” (2 Timothy 3:16).
The Bible—here called “Scripture”—makes the bold claim that it is God’s communication device. But remember what Jesus said: friendship is the goal of His communication to us. The Bible is not intended to exert coercive authority over our rational process and demand blind compliance. The Bible claims, rather, to be the medium through which God discloses His love and opens the way for us to know Him. Regarding human words Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). Likewise, if the Bible is God’s word, then we can expect to find in it an unfolding of God’s heart. But how can we be confident that the Bible is what it claims to be?
A God Who Knows and Can Be Known
There once lived a king who was completely self-absorbed. Intoxicated with his power, all he could think about was how great he was. One day God tapped him on the shoulder by giving him a prophetic dream that revealed—get this—more than 2,500 years of world history in advance, and in the process the proud king was humbled and transformed. The story is recorded for us in Daniel 2-4.
In his dream, the king saw a metal-man image with a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, legs of iron, feet of iron and clay, and a stone that struck the image at the feet, ground it to powder and became a great mountain. The prophet Daniel, a captive in Babylon, interpreted the dream for the Babylonian king.
Read and discuss the interpretation of the dream in Daniel 2:36-45.
Written some 600 years before the time of Christ, the prophecy received by King Nebuchadnezzar foretold the rise and fall of four successive empires and the formation of modern Europe, providing convincing proof that the Bible is of supernatural origin—that it is, in fact, inspired by God. It is a matter of historical fact that exactly what the dream foretold came to pass: Babylon was succeeded by Media Persia, which was succeeded by Greece, which was succeeded by Rome, which divided into the ten main kingdoms of Western Europe. The accurate fulfillment of the first five parts of the vision gives us the assurance that the final prediction with come to pass as well: “the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed” (Verse 44).