Sunday Night Bible Study
:1-9 Nebuchadnezzar's decree
:4 to the king in Syriack
It is at this point that the story being told switches from Hebrew to Aramaic.
Hebrew was the language of the Israelites.
Aramaic was the language of the majority of the world.
:5 the thing is gone from me
Or, "it is certain with me"
The idea is that Nebuchadnezzar has spoken, the words have gone out from him, and that's that.
»Daniel 2:5-NIV The king replied to the astrologers, "This is what I have firmly decided: If you do not tell me what my dream was and interpret it, I will have you cut into pieces and your houses turned into piles of rubble.
:5 the dream, with the interpretation
He's asking them not only to tell him what his dream was about, but what the dream itself was.
:6 therefore shew me the dream
Nebuchadnezzar lays down the ultimatum.
If they don't do it, they will die.
If they do it, they will receive honor, etc.
I don't think I'd enjoy being one of the astrologers, magicians, etc.
:10-13 The Chaldean response
commanded to destroy all the wise men of
And he had a reputation that he might do just that!
Nebuchadnezzar is a guy with a temper.
:13 they sought Daniel and his fellows
Here's where our Daniel comes into the picture.
:14-18 Daniel gets involved
:14 Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom
When you encounter a difficult situation, make sure that you learn to answer correctly.
We can speak quickly and make fools of ourselves.
»Proverbs 18:13-AV He that answereth a matter before he heareth [it], it [is] folly and shame unto him.
:16 give him time
Daniel comes before the king and asks for time to study the situation.
»Proverbs 15:28-AV The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.
You don't always have to give people answers immediately.
You can always ask for time to think about it.
That's real wisdom.
:18 would desire mercies of the God of heaven
1. Face your problems with prayer
»John 15:7-AV If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Some fifty years ago,
one bitter January night, the inhabitants of the old town of
In one large, spacious cottage dwelt an aged grandmother with her widowed daughter and her grandson. While all hearts quaked with fear, this aged woman passed her time in crying out to God that he would "build a wall of defense round about" them, quoting the words of an ancient hymn.
Her grandson asked why she prayed for a thing so entirely impossible as that God should build a wall about their house, that should hide it; but she explained that her meaning only was that God should protect them.
At the dreaded tramp was heard, an enemy came pouring in at every avenue, filling the houses to overflowing. But, while most fearful sounds were heard on every side, not even a knock came to their door; at which they were greatly surprised. The morning light made the matter clear; for, just beyond the house, the drifted snow had reared such a massive wall that it was impossible to get over it to them.
"There!" said the good woman triumphantly: "do you not see, my son, that God could raise up a wall around us?"
2. When you don't know the answer, learn to ask the Lord
»James 1:5-8 AV If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man [is] unstable in all his ways.
»Jeremiah 33:3-AV Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
Jeremiah wrote this somewhere in the vicinity of Daniel's time.
3. Then wait for God's answer
»Jeremiah 42:7-AV And it came to pass after ten days, that the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah.
God's answers don't always come overnight.
We need patience.
It may be that God is making you wait while the other answers to your prayer are being worked out.
:18 that Daniel and his fellows should not perish ...
Doesn't that sound kind of selfish?
Isn't that selfish motives behind their request?
They prayed anyways.
Ask for your needs
One of the first things Jesus said to pray for in "the Lord's Prayer" is:
»Matthew 6:11-AV Give us this day our daily bread.
:19-23 Daniel gets the answer
:19 in a night vision
There are dreams, visions, and night visions.
Nebuchadnezzar had had a dream. He was asleep when it happened.
Daniel would have been in awake, in kind of a meditative, ecstatic state.
He was probably in prayer when it came to him.
Another example of a night vision.
»Zechariah 1:8-AV I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that [were] in the bottom; and behind him [were there] red horses, speckled, and white.
:19 Daniel blessed the God of heaven
There is no doubt in Daniel's mind what has happened.
He is completely certain that he's been given the answer.
And he knows where it's come from.
He is sure to give God the glory.
Remember to say thanks
»Luke 17:12-17 AV And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: 13 And they lifted up [their] voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. 14 And when he saw [them], he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. 15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 And fell down on [his] face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. 17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where [are] the nine?
Daniel doesn't just say a quick "Praise the Lord", but launches off into a pretty neat prayer of thanks and honor to the Lord.
There was an inveterate grumbler who couldn't find anything about which to give thanks or praise. Although financially he was a very successful farmer, because of a very sour attitude, no one enjoyed his company. Nothing seemed to please him. His pastor tried to help brighten the outlook, all to no avail.
At the time of the potato harvest, the disgruntled farmer enjoyed a bumper crop. Wanting to strike a more cheerful note, the minister suggested, "Brother I understand you've had a tremendous season with potatoes this year. That certainly must be cause for rejoicing!"
The chronic complainer never even smiled, but sourly responded, "Yes, it's true. The harvest was good enough. But my problem is, I don't have any bad potatoes to feed my pigs."
Sometimes we could learn to be thankful, even for things we don't understand
Corrie Ten Boom in The Hiding Place relates an incident which taught her this principle. She and her sister, Betsy, had just been transferred to the worst German prison camp they had seen yet, Ravensbruck. Upon entering the barracks, they found them extremely overcrowded and flea-infested. Their Scripture reading that morning in 1 Thessalonians had reminded them to rejoice always, pray constantly, and give thanks in all circumstances. Betsy told Corrie to stop and thank the Lord for every detail of their new living quarters. Corrie at first flatly refused to give thanks for the fleas, but Betsy persisted. She finally succumbed. During the months spent at that camp, they were surprised to find how openly they could hold Bible study and prayer meetings without guard interference. It was several months later when they learned that the guards would not enter the barracks because of the fleas.
:24-30 Daniel comes before Nebuchadnezzar
:24 I will shew unto the king the interpretation
There's an air of confidence in Daniel.
We can sure grow in our understanding of prophecy and knowledge.
When we receive things, we're often pretty uncertain and shakey.
But I believe that with these like the other gifts, the more we exercise them, the stronger we'll become in them.
:28 there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets
Note that Daniel doesn't take any credit for what he's about to say.
He's not afraid to answer the king face to face with the truth about God.
:28 what shall be in the latter days
We now know the time frame of the prophetic content of Nebuchadnezzar's dream.
:30 this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have
Here's one of the secret's of Daniel's great ministry.
He could have taken a little of the credit, or even remained silent about his "sources".
But he made sure that Nebuchadnezzar understood that it was God who was at work, and not Daniel.
A key to effective and lasting ministry is humility
We can only do all things through Him, and without Him we can do nothing.
»Philippians 4:13-AV I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
»John 15:5-AV I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
God alone deserves glory, honor, and adoration
»Revelation 4:11-AV Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
We must learn to stay humble and recognize where it's all coming from.
»1Peter 5:5-6 AV Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all [of you] be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
When we start exalting ourselves, we'd better watch out, because we're going to find ourselves fighting and resisting against God.
I think one of the best examples of humility is a guy who pastors a church in Costa Mesa.
He's got one of the largest churches in the country.
His church has spawned one of the largest movements in history.
His name is known around the world.
He spent last summer working at the youth camp, besides teaching, doing things like working in the kitchen, waiting on tables.
I shared with a person once that I was having a hard time keeping the pride down.
Their advice: Wash somebody's feet.