DARE TO BE A DANIEL

A God Who Reveals Mysteries

Daniel 2

Jerry A Collins

8/29/04

SCC

 

*               What is Gods timetable for the end?

*               Why is God a God who reveals mysteries?

*               What is Gods relationship to world governments & nations?

 

Often we discover and learn things progressively and not all at once. When we were in elementary school we had no comprehension of the rigors of college. When first married we gradually discovered that marriage was an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person. Our parents remind us of the new understanding they receive with older age. We will understand when we get there. Parenting is much the same. Discovering the challenge of parenting toddlers gives way to new awareness of parenting teenagers. Growth and knowledge is like that. Often gradualprogressive. So, too, is Gods revelation to us in the Bible. God did not reveal everything at once. He revealed His plan gradually and progressively throughout history. He used spirit inspired men to record that revelation for us over time until after nearly 1600 yrs and 40 different authors it was finally complete. God led us on this discovery of truththe disclosure of Himself and His view of the worldconsistent with the way it is we often learn and grow. In Daniel 2 we receive another piece of Gods revelation about His future plans. A piece not previously revealed at the time but one that has impact not only for Daniels day or ours but also for the future yet to come. That plan unfolds in the form of a dream given to king Neb of Babylon.

1. LETS SET THE STAGE FOR THIS REVELATION 1-18

1-3 Nebs dreams trouble him. From context he had same dream over and over again. So troubled he often was awakened and could not sleep again. So he calls the experts.

4-13 Nebs experts trouble him.

4 They request for Neb to reveal the dream to them.

5-6 Neb a realist. He wants them to tell him dream and its interpretation. Anyone could come up with an interpretation. But can you tell him the dream?

7-9 Accused of conspiring together for an interpretation he tells them to tell him the dream now or else face the consequences.

10-11 They complain: (1) Not a man on earth can tell king the dream. (2) No king ever asked this of experts. (3) Only gods can do this. Everything is being set up for Daniels entrance and Gods revelation. Only God will be able to get the credit even though Neb later gives Daniel credit.

12-13 So in kings fury he orders destruction of all his experts. Experts he had trained and placed in power to serve him.

14-18 Daniels dependence on God.

14-15 In contrast to magicians, he replied wisely and in good taste. He was dependent on God not involved with magicians. Remarkable considering his life too on the line at that moment.

16-18 He asks for two things. Whenever we have a difficult decision give it these two things. (1) Time to consider decision. (2) Prayer to God about the decision. He shared the problem and prayed for mercy not information. A specific request. Ours should be too. Notice the address to the God of heaven. 5 times God addressed this way here. During exilic period God addressed like this. Before He was addressed as God of Israel. It is when we are desperate that we need to know that He is the God of heaven! He is anyway. Difficulties bring that truth into clear focus because we have to believe He is that kind of God or all is lost!

2. GOD REVEALS HIS PLANS THROUGH THE DREAM 19-49

19-23 God answers prayer. What does Daniel say about God here?

(1) Let Gods name be blessed forever. Gods reputation on line.

(2) God is source of wisdom & power not Daniel.

(3) God changes the times including kingdoms.

(4) God gives wisdom, knowledge understanding and insight to men. No matter how wise & knowledgeable you are be humble because it did not come from you.

(5) It is God who reveals hidden things. He is source of revelation. There are no secrets with God. He brings lite to darkness for us.

(6) He give thanks for what is made known to Him by God.

24-30 Daniel speaks to Neb

24ff His request to be taken to king swiftly honored. Everyone wants somehow please the king.

27 asked if he knows dream and interp he says no. If said yes guilty of pride, taking credit.

28 Yet there is God of revelation who can help and He has.

29-30 All training, wisdom etc.,.king has done will get him nowhere with knowledge for this dream. There are certain things we cannot know no matter how much wisdom we have. General revelation comes thru nature & conscience. Can know about God but not lead to special revelation. 31-35 Kings dreamed revealed Your looking at a statue and a stone. A great colossus tottering on feet of clay. Then little stone not shaped by hands hurtles out from nowhere striking statue at weakest point, the feet of stone & clay pulverizing them. Simultaneous the whole image disintegrates (like raiders of lost ark). The dream ends with wind blowing away chaff and debris. In contrast, the little stone begins to grow into a mountain filling earth. So what does all of this have to do with Neb and with us today?

36-45 Kings dream interpreted.

36-37 Neb is head of gold. Four medals are one kingdom after another following hard on each others heels.

38-40 Babylon (gold) 88 yrs is followed by Med-Persia (silver) 208 yrs, then Greece (bronze) 300 yrs, then Rome (iron). Each decreasing in value while simultaneously increasing in strength. His dream stands for all empires built thru the lust of conquest and like a falling house of cardsRome a conglomerate of conquered nations, trying to hold it together, like feet of clay. These kingdoms, each of them, appear immovable but all have feet of clay. Why these kingdoms emphasized? All are tied into the history of Israel which is to produce the ultimate conquerer the Messiah.

41-43 Another kingdom will arrive of feet and 10 toes. This is emphasized later in the book and will be a divided kingdom. These kingdoms seem connected with the legs yet separated from them. The 10 toes represent 10 nations under antichrist. So his kingdom will come from same place as roman empire. Out of mixture comes weakness and confusion possibly at approaching day of doom vs 43.

44-45 A sixth kingdom of God revealed (1) It will never be destroyed. Never be succeeded by another kingdom. (2) It will not be left for another people. (3) It will crush and put to end all other kingdoms. (4) It will endure forever. So each of these disappear with onset of little stone, the kingdom of God. Are you part of it? It will go on forever. Whenever prophesied in OT it is characterized by peace, righteousness, universality and permanence (Isa 9). The image is great but the stone is even greater! What is this? It is the rule of God thru His appointed KingJCworldwide and then eternal. Rom 14:17 only time kingdom mentioned we came into this when we believed. Same way Jesus said in Matt 13:31this kingdom of God like a mustard seed and grows into a great tree. Rev 11:15 all kingdoms become this kingdom.

When was this blow to statue definitively struck? During existence of 4th kingdom when Jesus born, lived, died & resurrected. Christ is like that stone reducing every rival to dust. We still wait to see the full impact of that little stone. It has grown over the generations spreading to every nation in the teeth of opposition for centuries. But it still grows. (China, India, Balkans).

46-49 Neb is impressed indeed. Neb still sees ability in Daniel and promotes him. They will be okay. Daniels hope tho is not in this. All Neb has done is tip his hat toward God but still more needs to be done with him.

1. God not man is sovereign in world affairs.

2. Our sovereign God has a plan for the world. 3. God is ordering history according to His plan.