First Baptist Church Laredo
10-9-19 - Daniel 2
  • presents a brand new crisis for Daniel. The dominate feature of the story is a bizarre statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Remember that the book of Daniel is about God’s complete sovereignty over all of life’s affairs, even dreams!

    Main Point: Only God’s wisdom can reveal the mysteries of life.

    The meaning of the dream is not really the primary element. What is important is that God knows the future and is in control of it.

    1. The King and his advisors ()

    Daniel 2:1 CSB
    1 In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams that troubled him, and sleep deserted him.

    A. The setting is the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign. (2:1)

    B. Nebuchadnezzar was having troubling dreams and could not sleep. (2:1)

    Daniel 2:2–3 CSB
    2 So the king gave orders to summon the magicians, mediums, sorcerers, and Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. When they came and stood before the king, 3 he said to them, “I have had a dream and am anxious to understand it.”

    C. Nebuchadnezzar desired for his advisors to interpret his dream. (2:2-3)

    Daniel 2:4 CSB
    4 The Chaldeans spoke to the king (Aramaic begins here): “May the king live forever. Tell your servants the dream, and we will give the interpretation.”

    D. The advisors wanted to know the contents of the dream (2:4)

    Daniel 2:5–6 CSB
    5 The king replied to the Chaldeans, “My word is final: If you don’t tell me the dream and its interpretation, you will be torn limb from limb, and your houses will be made a garbage dump. 6 But if you make the dream and its interpretation known to me, you’ll receive gifts, a reward, and great honor from me. So make the dream and its interpretation known to me.”

    E. The Twist: Nebuchadnezzar refuses to tell them the contents of the dream. (2:5-6)

    Why? The Bible doesn’t really tell us. Perhaps, he knew he had a dream and it troubled him, but he couldn’t remember what it was. Perhaps he is testing their integrity. Do they really know what they say they know or are they just conmen?
    Daniel 2:7 CSB
    7 They answered a second time, “May the king tell the dream to his servants, and we will make known the interpretation.”

    F. The advisors plead with the king to know the contents of the dream. (2:7)

    Daniel 2:8–9 CSB
    8 The king replied, “I know for certain you are trying to gain some time, because you see that my word is final. 9 If you don’t tell me the dream, there is one decree for you. You have conspired to tell me something false or fraudulent until the situation changes. So tell me the dream and I will know you can give me its interpretation.”

    G. Nebuchadnezzar denies their request and indicates they may be frauds. (2:8-9)

    Daniel 2:10–11 CSB
    10 The Chaldeans answered the king, “No one on earth can make known what the king requests. Consequently, no king, however great and powerful, has ever asked anything like this of any magician, medium, or Chaldean. 11 What the king is asking is so difficult that no one can make it known to him except the gods, whose dwelling is not with mortals.”

    H. The advisors make a profound statement. (2:10-11)

    This is the main lesson of the chapter. It is too hard for man, but it is not outside of God’s ability to deal with.
    Daniel 2:12–13 CSB
    12 Because of this, the king became violently angry and gave orders to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. 13 The decree was issued that the wise men were to be executed, and they searched for Daniel and his friends, to execute them.

    I. Nebuchadnezzar orders all of the “wise men” to be put to death. (2:12-13)

    So, we are at the crisis point. Daniel and his three friends are once again at risk in the Babylonian Empire. It is going to take a miracle to get out of this one. How is God going to resolve this situation?

    2. God reveals the mystery to Daniel ()

    Daniel 2:14–15 CSB
    14 Then Daniel responded with tact and discretion to Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, who had gone out to execute the wise men of Babylon. 15 He asked Arioch, the king’s officer, “Why is the decree from the king so harsh?” Then Arioch explained the situation to Daniel.

    A. Daniel inquired from the guard as to the situation. (2:14-15)

    The order from Nebuchadnezzar has gone out. The guards have no choice, but to hunt down the “wise men” including Daniel and his friends.
    The order from Nebuchadnezzar has gone out. The guards have no choice, but to hunt down the “wise men” including Daniel and his friends.
    Daniel 2:16 CSB
    16 So Daniel went and asked the king to give him some time, so that he could give the king the interpretation.

    B. Daniel, boldly, goes to Nebuchadnezzar to ask for a little more time. (2:16)

    Daniel 2:17–18 CSB
    17 Then Daniel went to his house and told his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah about the matter, 18 urging them to ask the God of the heavens for mercy concerning this mystery, so Daniel and his friends would not be destroyed with the rest of Babylon’s wise men.

    C. Daniel and his three friends prayed. (2:17-18)

    Daniel’s response to the crisis is the response we should have in our crises. Daniel and his three friends beseeched God in prayer.
    Daniel 2:19–23 CSB
    19 The mystery was then revealed to Daniel in a vision at night, and Daniel praised the God of the heavens 20 and declared: May the name of God be praised forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to him. 21 He changes the times and seasons; he removes kings and establishes kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. 22 He reveals the deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with him. 23 I offer thanks and praise to you, God of my fathers, because you have given me wisdom and power. And now you have let me know what we asked of you, for you have let us know the king’s mystery.
    A. Daniel and his three friends prayed. (2:1
    Daniel 2:

    D. God revealed to Daniel the contents and interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (2:19-23)

    Daniel responded to God’s revelation with praise. His song of praise highlight two aspects of God’s character:

    i. God is powerful.

    Nebuchadnezzar seems to have all the power. He even has the power over life and death, who lives and who dies; however Nebuchadnezzar is under God’s control, ultimately. Can I say this? We don’t have to worry about politics. Yes, we should get out there and vote for Christian morality and values, but ultimately, we don’t have to worry because it is all under God’s control. Don’t use this as an excuse to not vote, but what I am saying is don’t worry and fret about the political chaos. God is in control. Trump is not in control. Nancy Palosi is not in control. Adam Schiff is not in control. God is in control.

    ii. God is wise.

    Daniel recognized that the wisdom he had flowed from God. It is God who can make mysteries known.

    3. The dream and its interpretation ()

    Daniel 2:24 CSB
    24 Therefore Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had assigned to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He came and said to him, “Don’t destroy the wise men of Babylon! Bring me before the king, and I will give him the interpretation.”

    A. Daniel approached the guard to inform him of the development. (2:24)

    Daniel 2:25–26 CSB
    25 Then Arioch quickly brought Daniel before the king and said to him, “I have found a man among the Judean exiles who can let the king know the interpretation.” 26 The king said in reply to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to tell me the dream I had and its interpretation?”

    B. The guard informed the king and Nebuchadnezzar inquired of Daniel. (2:25-26)

    Daniel 2:25–26 CSB
    25 Then Arioch quickly brought Daniel before the king and said to him, “I have found a man among the Judean exiles who can let the king know the interpretation.” 26 The king said in reply to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to tell me the dream I had and its interpretation?”
    Daniel 2:27–30 CSB
    27 Daniel answered the king: “No wise man, medium, magician, or diviner is able to make known to the king the mystery he asked about. 28 But there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has let King Nebuchadnezzar know what will happen in the last days. Your dream and the visions that came into your mind as you lay in bed were these: 29 Your Majesty, while you were in your bed, thoughts came to your mind about what will happen in the future. The revealer of mysteries has let you know what will happen. 30 As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have more wisdom than anyone living, but in order that the interpretation might be made known to the king, and that you may understand the thoughts of your mind.

    C. Daniel answered the king. (2:27-30)

    Daniel’s response to the king put the focus on God and not on himself. Daniel took no credit for himself and gave all glory to God for the revelation.

    D. The dream (2:31-35)

    Daniel 2:31–33 CSB
    31 “Your Majesty, as you were watching, suddenly a colossal statue appeared. That statue, tall and dazzling, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was terrifying. 32 The head of the statue was pure gold, its chest and arms were silver, its stomach and thighs were bronze, 33 its legs were iron, and its feet were partly iron and partly fired clay.

    i. The statue (2:31-33)

    Head of gold
    Chest and arms of silver
    Belly and thighs of bronze
    Legs of iron
    Feet of iron and clay mixture
    Daniel 2:34 CSB
    34 As you were watching, a stone broke off without a hand touching it, struck the statue on its feet of iron and fired clay, and crushed them.

    ii. The stone not touched by human hands strikes the feet of the statue and crushes them (2:34)

    The feet are obviously the weakest link.
    Daniel 2:35 CSB
    35 Then the iron, the fired clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were shattered and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors. The wind carried them away, and not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

    iii. The entire statue comes crashing down and nothing is left (2:35)

    iv. The stone becomes a mountain that fills the earth (2:35)

    E. The Interpretation (2:36-45)

    Daniel 2:36–38 CSB
    36 “This was the dream; now we will tell the king its interpretation. 37 Your Majesty, you are king of kings. The God of the heavens has given you sovereignty, power, strength, and glory. 38 Wherever people live—or wild animals, or birds of the sky—he has handed them over to you and made you ruler over them all. You are the head of gold.

    A. The head of gold is Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian Empire. (2:36-38)

    After this initial revelation, Daniel moves into more general descriptions of the nations, but history tells us who these nations were who would come after Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian Empire. As with all of these things, there is debate, but the debate doesn’t negate the important point of the revelation which will talk about in just a moment.
    Daniel 2:39 CSB
    39 “After you, there will arise another kingdom, inferior to yours, and then another, a third kingdom, of bronze, which will rule the whole earth.

    B. The chest and arms of silver is likely the Medo-Persian Empire. (2:39)

    C. The belly and thighs of bronze is likely the Greek Empire. (2:39)

    Daniel 2:40 CSB
    40 A fourth kingdom will be as strong as iron; for iron crushes and shatters everything, and like iron that smashes, it will crush and smash all the others.

    D. The legs of iron is likely the Roman Empire. (2:40)

    Daniel 2:41–43 CSB
    41 You saw the feet and toes, partly of a potter’s fired clay and partly of iron—it will be a divided kingdom, though some of the strength of iron will be in it. You saw the iron mixed with clay, 42 and that the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly fired clay—part of the kingdom will be strong, and part will be brittle. 43 You saw the iron mixed with clay—the peoples will mix with one another but will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with fired clay.

    E. The feet and toes of the mixture of clay and iron may refer to a kingdom yet to come. (2:41-43)

    Can I give you something I think? I am not dogmatic about this and I wouldn’t preach it on a Sunday morning, but I do entertain the thought. I don’t put much stock in the number of toes. 10 doesn’t seem to have much biblical significance, but look at the description of the composition of the toes.

    i. It will be a divided kingdom

    ii. It will have some of the strength of the Roman Empire.

    iii. Part of the kingdom will be strong and part will be brittle.

    iv. People will be mixed together, but yet it won’t hold together.

    Iron doesn’t mix with clay. Anybody got any idea who we might be talking about when we refer to these toes? I think it is talking about the United States. We are a divided kingdom. Our two party system is fracturing us as a people. We have some of the strength of the Roman Empire, but we are brittle. We can easily fracture and fall apart. We have all kinds of cultures and people mixing together, but it is not holding together. We are about ready to come apart at the seams. Just my thinking. Also, look at what happens in the days of this last kingdom.
    Daniel 2:44–45 CSB
    44 “In the days of those kings, the God of the heavens will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, and this kingdom will not be left to another people. It will crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, but will itself endure forever. 45 You saw a stone break off from the mountain without a hand touching it, and it crushed the iron, bronze, fired clay, silver, and gold. The great God has told the king what will happen in the future. The dream is certain, and its interpretation reliable.”

    F. The stone is the kingdom of God. (2:44-45)

    The stone is not a result of anything humanity has done or will do. The rock obliterates the human kingdoms. It expands and takes over the world. It become the eternal kingdom of God.

    4. Nebuchadnezzar’s response ()

    Daniel 2:46–47 CSB
    46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell facedown, worshiped Daniel, and gave orders to present an offering and incense to him. 47 The king said to Daniel, “Your God is indeed God of gods, Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, since you were able to reveal this mystery.”

    A. Nebuchadnezzar is overwhelmed by the interpretation of his dream (2:46-47)

    Nebuchadnezzar worships Daniel in the sense the power behind Daniel’s interpretation. Perhaps he figured if he worshipped the messenger from God, God would receive praise and glory. Notice in verse 47, Nebuchadnezzar is attributing the interpretation to God, and not Daniel. The worship then is likely directed at God through Daniel.
    Daniel 2:48 CSB
    48 Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many generous gifts. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and chief governor over all the wise men of Babylon.

    B. Daniel is promoted and rewarded (2:48)

    Daniel 2:49 CSB
    49 At Daniel’s request, the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to manage the province of Babylon. But Daniel remained at the king’s court.

    C. Daniel leverages his new position to have his friends promoted (2:49)

      • Daniel 2:1CSB

      • Daniel 2:2–3CSB

      • Daniel 2:4CSB

      • Daniel 2:5–6CSB

      • Daniel 2:7CSB

      • Daniel 2:8–9CSB

      • Daniel 2:10–11CSB

      • Daniel 2:12–13CSB

      • Daniel 2:14–15CSB

      • Daniel 2:16CSB

      • Daniel 2:17–18CSB

      • Daniel 2:19–23CSB

      • Daniel 2:24CSB

      • Daniel 2:27–30CSB

      • Daniel 2:31–33CSB

      • Daniel 2:34CSB

      • Daniel 2:35CSB

      • Daniel 2:36–38CSB

      • Daniel 2:39CSB

      • Daniel 2:40CSB

      • Daniel 2:41–43CSB

      • Daniel 2:44–45CSB

      • Daniel 2:48CSB

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