- In our last message we were introduced to Daniel and his friends. We noted these teens refused to give in to the ways of the ungodly world in which they lived.This morning we enter a time between 1.5 and 3 years later. The teens are trained and taught in the ways of the Chaldeans.BTW - Chaldean comes from a district in Babylon. The words Chaldean, Babylonian, and astrologer all come from the same word and are sometimes used differently among the translations.INTRO - I once had a dream that I was sitting on the back of a flying purple and dark spotted flying dinosaur. The dinosaur and I were good friends, like a boy and his dog. The dinosaur and I could even speak and understand one another. We’d fly all over the place on great adventures.Now, that was just a dream on an evening I probably ate pizza and had too much caffeine. It was the produce of influences and didn’t have any real meaning. There was no prediction of the future or revelation in that dream.However, there are times that God does come to people who need understanding and wisdom. In those times God provides that only which He can.In our passage today, God comes to a weak and powerless king that who lacked wisdom and understanding.The world considers king Nebuchadnezzar wise and powerful, but as Paul reminds his readers God is stronger:because God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.God shows his power stronger than the king who considered himself almighty.God is our source of power and wisdom.Today we discuss the Powerful’s Problem, People’s Prayers, and Provider’s Praise.Powerful’s Problem vv.1-16Nebuchadnezzar thought he was powerful until he came face to face with his weakness. “troubled him, and sleep deserted him.” (v.1)He calls for the wisest in his kingdom. Using their dark magic and incantations, looking at stars, the men trained to interpret dreams could not help.Neb was “anxious to understand.” (v.3)Neb then doubts the wise ones vv. 5-6 who tell the king “No one on earth can make [this] known.” v.10They were right on that as Paul makes clear:For who knows a person’s thoughts except his spirit within him? In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.Their problem was they didn’t know God’s Spirit does live among humankind. Look at Paul’s next verse in 1 Cor:Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who comes from God, so that we may understand what has been freely given to us by God.The powerful were too weak to do what only God can accomplish.The king got so made he ordered all the “wise” killed.The kings guard commander, Arioch, told Daniel.Daniel handled the situation well proving even enemies can be at peace with us.ILL - John Rozak, a pastor friend, shares how JW people were set up near the courthouse. John thought he’d set up there too, but with Jesus tracks and explain how JW people were wrong.The police showed up only asking John for ID. The JW people pulled a fast one, they thought.John’s response noted how glad he was all of them could communicate their religious position and asked if the officer was going to look at their ID’s too?Like John, Daniel didn’t get angry or make a fuss, he simply asked, “Why so harsh a treatment?” and the commander responded with the answer.TRANS - Knowing how to interact is a sign of wisdom, especially when we feel like snapping on someone.Talking with the worldly and the powerful is something every Christian can do. But, talking with God is something reserved especially for Children of God.People’s Prayers vv.17-19aDaniel knew what he needed to do. He goes to the other teens and told them what was happening.“Unless God tells us what to do, we’re gonna die tomorrow!” I guess that got them praying.Urgent need to pray got them talking to God all night.They fellows knew only God could save them from coming fate.
A prominent American who was visiting Argentina was asked by the president of the republic, “Why has South America gotten on so poorly and North America so well? What do you think is the reason?” The visitor replied, “I think the reason is the fact that the Spaniards came to South America seeking gold, while the Pilgrim Fathers came to North America seeking God.”Daniel and the others sought God and during the night “The mystery was then revealed.”TRANS - The powerful had a problem, but the people had prayer and God listened to the humble teenagers.Do you suppose Paul knew this OT story when he noted this in the NT:Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death, so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a terrible death, and he will deliver us. We have put our hope in him that he will deliver us again while you join in helping us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gift that came to us through the prayers of many.God answers prayers, and when He does the people have reason to praise the Provider.Provider’s Praise vv.19b-23Daniel praised God.Rulers, those in power, leaders, have power but lack wisdom. Those who govern without God in their lives are dangerous to everyone.Then there are wise people who are not in positions of power but are wise with understanding. What they have is useless unless they bring it to those in power.God is powerful and wise. God looks after the world with wisdom so we don’t have to live in fear of what He will do.Daniel discovered God wants to share wisdom and power with the helpless in order to bring Himself glory. v.23God is powerful v.21God told Daniel about the dream. Kings overthrown; only God can raise up and take them down.Christians need to remember God has power over rulers:Let everyone submit to the governing authorities, since there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are instituted by God.Don’t go on about those in or not in elected office. Get you prayer on and ask God like the Bible instructs:First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.God is wise v.22Daniel praises God for His knowing everything.God knows the “hidden” dreams of the king.Nebuchadnezzar kept his dream from the wise, but not secret from God:Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I stand up; you understand my thoughts from far away.Knowing God knows your thoughts is a wonderful thing; no need to hide from Him!Still, its not always easy to “take every thought” to God. Especially when we sin.But, even then God still loves us; even when we treat Him so wrongly.God knows our thoughts, the future, and all things hidden from humankind.That is why He can say:For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.God is revealing v.23Revelation, the verb, is God telling humankind something.Only the Spirit of God know God’s thoughts and the HS helps humankind know what God is thinking:For who knows a person’s thoughts except his spirit within him? In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.While OT prophets wrote what God said, Jesus gives additional understanding:He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything the Father has is mine. This is why I told you that he takes from what is mine and will declare it to you. “In a little while, you will no longer see me; again in a little while, you will see me.”The apostles wrote what Jesus, God, said down for us in the NT.That means the Bible is infallible; what God thinks.Because of the Bible, we know about God, sin, salvation, and what is to come.Do you know that the Hebrew people when Jesus was born were not the powerful ones visiting Him and brining gifts?The Bible says:After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of King Herod, wise men from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star at its rising and have come to worship him.”The “wise men” were the “magicians” who were descendants from the people of Daniel’s day.The “wise men” studied the OT text and quoted this:Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are small among the clans of Judah; one will come from you to be ruler over Israel for me. His origin is from antiquity, from ancient times.Herod asked them where the Messiah was to be born.What is interesting about this is the Hebrew word for Christ, or Messiah, the Anointed One is found only twice in the OT. Once in Daniel 9 and once in Psalm 2.These “wise men” were looking for Daniel’s Messiah.ConclusionAre you like the “wise men” or like the Hebrews when it comes to God’s revelation?Do you read it, study it, believe it?Do you read it, study it, ignore it?The wise who know the Bible put it to practice:“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. It collapsed with a great crash.”You may not be powerful, but you can seek to be wise.Put to practice what God gives you and praise Him that you might bring Him glory.(end)
1 Corinthians 1:25CSB
1 Corinthians 2:11CSB
1 Corinthians 2:12CSB
2 Corinthians 1:9–11CSB
1 Timothy 2:1–2CSB
1 Corinthians 2:11CSB
- What a Friend We Have in Jesus
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