Sun, Oct 08, 2017

Back to the Future

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Daniel 2:1-28     Back To The Future

A pertinent question is, Had Daniel completed the three-year training program spoken of in 1:5?
Wood thinks that Daniel and his friends had not and argues that this is the reason they were not called before the king with the other wise men.   [1]

  • Daniel must have been finished with the training to achieve this:

Daniel 2:48  Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and the chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon.

 

This man of prayer will bring providence to the Chaldeans, the Medes and the Persians – everyone he touches.

  • Joseph brought great providence to the Egyptians
    • Why not Israel?
      • They killed all the prophets
      • They refused the Lord’s instructions.

Ezekiel 2:3–7

3 And he said to me, “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to nations who are rebelling, who rebelled against me, they and their ancestors, they transgressed against me until this very day.

4 And the children are impudent and stubborn, and so I am sending you to them, and you must say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord Yahweh!’

5 And they, whether they listen or whether they fail to listen, for they are a rebellious house, they will know that a prophet was in their midst.

6 And you, son of man, you must not be afraid of them, and you must not be afraid of their words, because briers and thorns are with you, and you are sitting among scorpions. You must not be afraid of their words, and you must not be dismayed because of their looks, for they are a rebellious house.

7 And you must speak my words to them whether they listen or whether they fail to listen, for they are rebellious.

 

Acts 7:51–53

51 “You stiff-necked people and uncircumcised in hearts and in your ears! You constantly resist the Holy Spirit! As your fathers did, so also do you!

52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand about the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become,

53 you who received the law by directions of angels and have not observed it!”

 

2 Corinthians 4:3–4

3 But if indeed our gospel is veiled, it is veiled among those who are perishing,

4 among whom the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that they would not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

 

1 Now in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams; and his spirit was troubled and his sleep left him.

  • The King is thought to be about 30 years old at this point.
    • Jeremiah described Nebuchadnezzar this way:

Jeremiah 4:7    A lion has gone up from his thicket, and a destroyer of nations has set out. He has gone out from his place to make your land as a horror, your cities will go to ruin without inhabitant.

  • King of the world’s largest and most powerful Empire
    • Assyrian Empire fell before his Father’s feet 8 years earlier.
      • Nineveh – once saved through God’s servant Jonah – now lays in complete ruin!
    • Thousands at his command
      • Hundreds of wives and concubines
    • Wealth beyond accounting.
      • In all that Nebuchadnezzar commanded – he could not command himself to sleep.
        • Violent men often dream violent dreams.

 

  • Waking in a cold sweat he had no idea what the dream meant.
    • He was “beaten up” by the thrust of this dream!
    • 6470 פָּעַם [paʿam /paw·am/] v. A primitive root; TWOT 1793; GK 7192; Five occurrences; AV translates as “troubled” four times, and “move” once. 1 to thrust, impel, push, beat persistently. 1a (Qal) to impel. 1b (Niphal) to be beaten, be disturbed. 1c (Hithpael) to be disturbed. [2]

 

The impossible task:

2 So the king said to call the magicians and the conjurers and the sorcerers and the astrologers to tell to the king his dreams. And they came in and they stood before the king.

3 And the king said to them, “I have had a dream and my spirit is anxious to know the dream.”

  • Daniel was among the Sorcerers and Astrologers
  • Visions and Dreams:
    • This may happen to many of us – some dreams are not intended to be interpreted as a message from the Lord.
    • In Daniel’s day dreams were considered messages from a god – one to be headed, one to be understood.

 

We know that the Lord is pouring into us His perfect Will:

  • Scriptures: above all things, regardless of how compelling something else may be.
  • Holy Spirit:
    • Spiritual Gifting (Rom 12;  Eph 4;  1 Cor 12-14)
      • Prophecies (Rom 12:6; 1 Cor 12:10; 1 Cor 13:2; 1 Cor 14:1-6; 1 Cor 14:14; 1 Tim 4:14; 1 Thess 5:20)
      • Words of knowledge (1 Cor 12:8; 1 Cor 134:8; 1 Cor 14:6)
    • Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation (Eph 1:17-19)
    • Visions (Joel 2:28-29;  Acts 2:17-21; 2 Cor 12:1)
    • Dreams (Joel 2:28-29;  Acts 2:17-21)

 

4 And the astrologers said to the king in Aramaic, “O king, live forever! Tell the dream to your servants and we will reveal the explanation.”

  • Interesting side point here:
  • From 2:4b to 8:1 the Book of Daniel is written in Aramaic
    • Started in Hebrew and will end in Hebrew
    • No one really knows why.

 

5 The king answered and said to the astrologers, “The command from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its explanation, then you will be broken into pieces and your houses will be laid in ruins.

6 But if you tell me the dream and its explanation, you will receive gifts and rewards and great honor from me. Therefore, tell me the dream and its explanation.”

 

7 They answered once more and said, “Let the king tell the dream to his servants and we will make the explanation known.”

8 The king answered and said, “Certainly I know that you are trying to gain time because you have seen that this matter is firmly decreed by me,

9 for if you do not make the dream known to me, your verdict is fixed, and you have conspired to say a lying and deceitful word to me until the circumstances will change.
Therefore, tell me the dream, and I will know that you can tell me its explanation.”

  • YIPES – let’s buy some time before he kills our whole family!

 

10 The astrologers answered the king and said, “There is not a man on earth that is able to reveal the word of the king; in fact, no great and powerful king has ever asked a thing like this of any magician or conjurer or astrologer.

11 And the thing that the king is asking is too difficult and there is no one who can reveal it to the king except the gods whose dwelling is not with mortals.”

12 Because of this the king became angry, and he became very much enraged, and he said that all the wise men of Babylon are to be destroyed.

13 And the decree was issued, and the wise men were on the verge of being executed, and they searched for Daniel and his companions to be executed.

  • I can’t imagine that they needed to start the killing with Daniel!
    • Perhaps many have been killed already!
    • Hey, let’s kill the Judeans first!

14 Then Daniel responded prudently and discretely to Arioch, the commander of the imperial guard of the king, who had gone out to execute the wise men of Babylon.

15 He asked and said to Arioch, the royal official of the king, “Why is the decree from the king so severe?”

Then Arioch explained the matter to Daniel.

  • The King is so upset, and perhaps he has not written down the dream.
  • All of the King’s employees – trained in all the mystical arts – have no answer!

 

16 And Daniel went in and requested from the king that he would give him time, and he would tell the king the explanation.

  • Sealing Daniel’s fate with the guarantee of the interpretation.
    • Presumptuous before the Lord?
      • Consider my wife, please:
        • She would do anything to help me – particularly if my life weighed in the balance
        • I know she loves me above all else
        • If she knows what I need, if she has the understanding, she will reveal that to me.
      • How is it any different with the Lord Jesus, who loves me beyond ALL measure?

 

17 Then Daniel went to his home, and he made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, his companions,

  • Sharing his need for wisdom and understanding with those that really cared for him, and were not defiled.
    • They also had a stake in Daniel’s success!

 

18 and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions, along with the remainder of the wise men of Babylon, would not be killed.

19 Then in a vision of the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel;

then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

  • Daniel lived through the same dream Nebuchadnezzar did.
    • The Lord gave Daniel the perfect interpretation.

 

  • This has happened to me MANY times – the Lord giving me specific wisdom, or a specific vision while I slept.
    • Visions in the night.
      • Grossman’s building
      • Our current home
      • VW engines!

 

20 Daniel said: “Let his name, the name of God, be blessed throughout the ages, for the wisdom and the power are his.

21 And he changes the times and the seasons, and he deposes kings and he sets up kings; he gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men who know understanding.

  • Take time to soak this up:
    • God gives wisdom to wise men!
    • God gives knowledge to men who know understanding!
  • Are you pursuing God’s Word?
  • Are you pursuing the understanding of God’s Word?

 

22 He reveals the deep and the hidden things;

he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.

23 To you, O God of my ancestors, I give thanks and I give praises, for the wisdom and the power you gave to me, and now you have made known to me what we have asked from you, for you have made known to us the matter of the king.”

  • To answer your question about God “understanding” your situation?
    • I’ve been told SO MANY TIMES – you wouldn’t understand – you’ve never been ___________ or _____________ .

 “we”

“us”

  • Daniel appreciated the prayers and encouragement of his godly friends.
    • They pointed Daniel to the Lord, and HIM only.

 

24 Therefore Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon; he went and thus he said to him: “You must not destroy the wise men of Babylon; take me in before the king and I will give the explanation to the king.”

25 Then Arioch quickly brought Daniel in before the king and thus he said to him: “I have found a man among the exiles of Judah who can relate the explanation to the king.”

26 The king then asked and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream that I have seen and its explanation?”

27 Daniel answered the king and said, “The mystery that the king asks, no wise men, conjurers, magicians, or diviners are able to make known to the king.

28 But there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what it is that will be at the end of days. This is your dream and the visions of your head on your bed.

  • As opposed to gods on this earth
    • Man-made gods – who can neither hear or speak.
    • Deaf and Dumb gods!

 

  • BUT – there is a GOD in heaven.

 

Psalm 115:3–8

3 But our God is in the heavens; all that he desires, he does.

4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands.

5 They have mouths, but cannot speak; they have eyes, but cannot see;

6 they have ears, but cannot hear; they have noses, but cannot smell;

7 they have their hands, but they cannot feel, their feet, but they cannot walk; they cannot utter a sound in their throats.

8 Those who make them become like them, as does everyone who trusts in them.

 

 

[1] L. Wood, A Commentary on Daniel (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1973), 49–50.[1]

[2] James Strong, Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon (Woodside Bible Fellowship, 1995).