Daniel chapter 2, message 3
God used this situation to bring glory to Himself and to place Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego into positions of leadership in the kingdom by which their testimonies for the Lord would be noticed by all. God used them to encourage Israel to trust in Him and to teach the unbelieving to recognize His power over all the world.
We begin this morning with –
I. The Demand Daniel 2:1-3
Nebuchadnezzar dreamed a dream and woke up in a panic, determined to know its meaning. What brought him to this emotional state?
A. He reviewed his empire and thought about how best to ensure its continued glory.
Daniel 2:29 As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass.
In the quiet moments before sleep, he did as many of us also do, think about what the future holds for us and those that come after us.
1. He was concerned about how he would be remembered.
2. He contemplated the future of the empire.
B. He received the answer, but could not remember what it was!
To seek answers, to receive the answer, then to forget! He became desperate to know both the dream and the interpretation. He was the conqueror of empires, proud of his accomplishments – what would become of them?
II. The Distress Daniel 2:4-7
Nebuchadnezzar called his wise men as he had many times in the past, but this occasion was different. He not only wanted them to tell him the meaning of the dream (which they could interpret according to what they knew he wanted to hear), he wanted them to tell him the dream itself! They again besought him to tell them what the dream was. They knew they were in trouble. They had gotten by for years being able to satisfy him, but not this time. “…be sure your sin will find you out.” Now they faced –
III. The Danger Daniel 2:8-13
A. The confession of the counsellors –
Daniel 2:10-11 The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king’s matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean. And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.
They realized that they had no more hope of knowing the truth through supernatural means than they did trying to work out the meaning through their own human logic. They could not depend on communicating with a spirit and if they were wrong, they would be killed.
B. The command to execute all of the wise men that stood before the King.
Again, Nebuchadnezzar revealed his character: he was an able leader and administrator, but extremely proud and immature. He would destroy anyone that kept him from having what he wanted!
IV. The Dependence on the Lord Daniel 2:14-13
Daniel had a precedent for his trust in God: Joseph and Pharaoh. We all should learn from history and especially from God’s Word, the Bible. –
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning…”
A. Daniel’s plea.
Daniel 2:14,16 Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom… Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation.
B. Daniel’s prayer.
Daniel 2:17-18 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret….
C. Daniel’s praise.
Daniel 2:19-23 Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: …..I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king’s matter.
Daniel 2:27-30 Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these; As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass. But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living…
The Lord through the inspiration of His Holy Word has brought us to this point that we might see His power working out His plan for the ages –
V. The Dream Daniel 2:31-45
A. Described the dream. Daniel 2:31-36
The image representing the four empires from Nebuchadnezzar through the ages until finally overthrown by the Kindom of God.
Daniel 2:31-35 Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
B. Disclosed the meaning. Daniel 2:37-45
1. The Gold Kingdom. Daniel 2:37-38
Daniel 2:37-38 Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory…..Thou art this head of gold.
2. The Silver Kingdom. Daniel 2:39 “…inferior to thee…”
3. The Brass Kingdom. Daniel 2:39 “…bear rule over all the earth.”
4. The Iron Kingdom. Daniel 2:40-43
This Iron Kingdom has overthrown the kingdoms before it and ruled with power and strength. Eventually this kingdom divided into two, known as East and West. It lost much of its power but not its influence and is still influencing the world today –
Daniel 2:43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.
5. The Final Kingdom – the Kingdom of God.
Daniel 2:44-45 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
God revealed to man His plan for the ages. Daniel did not understand the details of what God revealed to him and continued to keep these things on his heart and mind. We will learn more of this as the Lord used Daniel throughout the 70 years captivity of Israel. We do learn at this time that God used Nebuchadnezzar’s concern for the future to bring Daniel to the forefront in the kingdom and establish him in a position that he may never have thought possible –
VI. The Dignity. Daniel 2:46-49
We learn that in the plan of God, there is no unimportant moment. God knows everything and He takes note of all that goes on, even the thoughts hidden in our hearts and minds. God took notice of Nebuchadnezzar as he thought about the future in the moments before drifting off to sleep and he used this moment to bring glory to Himself, promoted Daniel to be ruler of Babylon, and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego over the administration of the affairs of the government.
Hebrews 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
What is in your heart today? God knows what you are thinking, all that you are considering. How will He use that which He knows? Will He bring blessing or judgment? Only you and God know – what will you do about it this morning?