GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU…
1 Peter 5:7
…When The Challenge Seems Impossible
purpose – To display the need for Christians to be sober, courageous, and bold enough to seek the Lord’s guidance, and information from Him in difficult situations and circumstances.
In this the second chapter of Daniel we find that Nebuchadnezzar is a man of troubled dreams. What we will find later, by the power of God, through the prophet Daniel is that this is a dream related to the history of the Gentile nations throughout human history from Nebuchadnezzar until the appearing of Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lord.
In this first message from chapter two we will see an enormous requirement put on the “wisemen” of Babylon. It is so impossible it leads the Chaldeans to respond that no one can give the dream, “…except the gods”. The enormous task was that, before they could interpret his dream they had to first, tell him his dream, and then he would know they were being truthful about its interpretation. Pretty smart of the king; at least I think so.
INTRODUCTION OUTLINE –
I. THE KING IS TROUBLED BY DREAMS (v. 1).
II. THE KING ASK FOR THE “WISEMEN” TO TELL HIM HIS DREAM THAT HE HAD DREAMED (vv. 2-9).
III. THE KING SENDS OUT A DECREE TO KILL ALL THE ‘WISEMEN’ (vv. 10-13).
IV. THE MAN OF GOD (DANIEL) SEEKS THE KINGS DELAY WHILE HE AND OTHERS PRAY (vv. 14-18).
V. GOD REVEALS THE DREAM AND ITS INTERPRETATION TO DANIEL (vv. 19-23).
I. TROUBLING DREAMS, FEARING WHAT MAY BE AHEAD (v. 1).
With a world in economic, political, and moral failure there are many who are having troubling dreams, even fearing what may lie ahead. Many of us may have dreams while sleeping that we don’t even remember, and some we do, however, Nebuchadnezzar was troubled by his dream. His dream was one that God had given him.
There should be no trouble in understanding the meaning of “the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign”, and the three years of training for the Hebrew children; as it is possible to have three years involved in two years of reign. In some reckonings of time a part of a year is counted as a year. In school years of out time we have one school year taking place in two parts of different years. You have a school year beginning in August 2009, ending in May 2010; another schoold year beginning in 2010 and ending in 2011; then, another school year beginning in 2011, and you have three years. I think that is enough to give some understanding in this matter.
In the commentary by his name Matthew Henry writes of Nebuchadnezzar, “Nebuchadnezzar was a troubler of God’s Israel, but God here troubled him; for He that made the soul can make His sword to approach to it” If there is ever a proof of the love of God it is or should be seen in the trials everyone endures; if indeed they endure them. Maybe it should be said every trial we go through. Can we not see the wondrous love of God?
In history we can learn from our mistakes; but looking ahead to trouble is only anguish. Learning from history is great; if indeed we learn, and then don’t repeat the past. Looking ahead in faith is not troubling, but peaceful. When you know who holds tomorrow, and leave the outcome to the One who is in charge you will have peace with the past and the future. No matter what dreams you dream.
“For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God.” Ecclesiastes 5:7 (KJV)
II. WHEN THE SEEMING IMPOSSIBLE REQUIRES TRUSTWORTHY PEOPLE (vv. 2-13).
The supposed wisemen of Babylon were wise in the ways of the worship of demons; yet not knowing they worshipped demons (1 Corinthians 10:19-21). Thus the wisdom of the world has no power but will be pulled down by the mighty power of Almighty God.
The challenge which went out to the magicians, sorcerers, Chaldeans; and whatever else they were called was one they nor any other Gentile sorcerer had been asked before. “Tell me my dream”. Who can tell another man what they dreamed? No man can. Only the God of all creation; the God of the universe; the God of all the things; who holds the worlds in His hands. Only He can tell a man what He has dreamed.
It is my belief that the king lies about not remembering the dream only to check out the response of the “wisemen”. It is a thing of God to elevate His man to the position to bring glory to Himself. The king is dependent still upon the old witchcraft, and demonism of the day; and God is preparing Him to hear from God, drawing the king to Himself.
Matthew Henry writes concerning the Chaldeans, The “…confession of the divine omniscience is here extorted from these idolaters, to the honour of God and their own condemnation, who though they knew there is a God in heaven, ‘to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secret is hid,’ yet offered up their prayers and praises to dumb idols, that ‘have eyes and see not, ears and hear not.”
The Chaldeans; which probably includes all these titles referred to in the text could not believe the king would ask such a thing and even confess “There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king’s matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean. And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.” vv.10-11 (KJV). The king is furious and he seeks to have all these people killed; and do away with any who are connected with this lying sect.
The king was angry with a “trusted” group of men who were being tested for their honesty, and not proving worthy of trust. He understood that if anyone could tell him what he had dreamed they would actually be able to give him its true interpretation. However, he was hasty in ordering the destruction of this sect of people. He had either forgotten about Daniel and his friends or it didn’t really matter to him.
By this hasty decree the lives of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were threatened as well; but by the sovereign hand of God He worked and got the attention of the king; and the king gave Daniel time to consult with the King of kings.
“For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name.” Amos 4:13 (KJV)
“Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.” Psalms 139:2 (KJV)
III. THE TRUSTWORTHY ARE PEOPLE OF GOD AND ARE PRAYING PEOPLE, AND DEPEND ON ONE ANOTHERS BACKING (VV. 14-18).
It is certain that the Chaldeans were “praying” and “praising” in the wrong heart, the wrong way, and wrong place. There is one correct way of worship; true worship; and that is through the Son of God, God become flesh, whose precious blood was shed for our salvation. Daniel asked the king’s captain who was sent to kill them, “Why is the decree from the king so urgent?” (v. 15) This is one example of “haste making waste”; because it would have been waste to kill Daniel and his friends; and it was a waste of the time already put into the effort.
Daniel shows character and goes directly before the king. He asks the king for time to pray and seek the face and will of God concerning the king’s dream; and the king gives it. Would to God that God’s people; Christians; of the day were so bold as to approach the king concerning the matters of life and death. Concerning the matters of morality. We must, however, have the integrity and character of Daniel, and his prayer life.
Just as Daniel did not approach this matter alone, but went to his friends; Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; and asked them to pray with him; so to must we realize that we must pray together. Daniel asks, “…that they might seek the mercies from the God of heaven concerning this secret”, knowing the message would be coming from Him.
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (KJV)
One of the things we must learn from Daniel is the power of prayer. Do you have something that may seem like a trite matter, a small matter in your heart yet it troubles you? Then go to God in prayer, seeking His face and His will in the matter. Another thing; get others to join you in praying about the matter. Of course this was a life and death situation for Daniel, his friends and many others too.
In the time which we live with the rapture of the church, and the second coming of Christ drawing nearer with every minute we must be walking with God, praying, praying, and praying even more. We must be praying for our walk with God to be ever closer; for the witness of Christians; for the life changing power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be proclaimed with the power and authority of God and His Word; and the drawing power of His Spirit to work gloriously. We don’t need mushy stories, with heart breaking effort; we need Holy Spirit conviction convicting men and women and boys and girls of their sins to the point of repentance and belief in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross proven by the resurrection from the dead.
If we want to see the power of God to affect change in our life, church, community, State, and federal governments; then, we must pray, work and witness in the power of the Spirit depending on the Spirit to convict of sin and convince of the power of God to save.
IV. GOD OF THE IMPOSSIBLE REVEALS HIS SECRETS TO THOSE WHO LOVE HIM (vv. 19-23)
“Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7 (KJV)
The prophets of God knew that they knew nothing but what God revealed it to them. There was and still is no message from God if He does not reveal it. When God is silent His prophets are silent as well. God was not silent in the days of Daniel. He spoke through Daniel and His friends and He still speaks through them. Do you hear Him?
The LORD asked Jeremiah the prophet, “Is there anything too hard for Me?” Jeremiah 32:27 (KJV) What seems impossible to the human eye is possible with God. When the situation seems hopeless and all seems lost; God, the LORD, who holds the universe in His hands can do what we cannot do; “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20), and He will do it for His own glory; not any glory of any human or humanity.
God revealed the secret to Daniel. It is not of man’s invention or intervention to tell other men their dreams. In a world filled with those who want to tell you your future there is only One who can. His name is Jehovah -YHWH. He reveals Himself to us through His Word, the Bible, and through His Son Jesus Christ and His death, burial and resurrection.
“But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens. He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.” Jeremiah 10:10-12 (KJV)
Do you know the God of the impossible? The One who knows your thoughts and dreams? He does know you. Four times in the gospels Jesus used the phrase, “all things are possible” twice “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27); and He uses it two other times, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” Mark 9:23 (KJV); and “Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.” Mark 14:36 (KJV)
Magnify the LORD. Lift up the name of the LORD.
i. Know that the LORD is Lord of all dreams and knows your heart and your fears and dreads.
ii. Believe the LORD when it seems as though the task, or challenge ahead of you seems impossible, and know that God takes care of you.
iii. When you are having trouble pray and ask others to join you in prayer; know also that when your community or nation is in dire straits that prayer is a cry to God for His action.
iv. Know that what lies ahead is revealed to us by God in His written Word through faith in His Living Word, and Holy Son Jesus Christ.
-Tim A. Blankenship