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Finally, this is an empowering doctrine. Since God is in charge, no mere human can intimidate you. You can live your life with boldness and confidence, without fearing anyone or anything. Since God is sovereign, we can trust Him with our lives.
A Press Release
I want to read part of a press release to you this morning. Please turn in your Bible to Daniel 4, where we find one of the few chapters in Scripture written by someone considered to be on the outside he was neither a Christian nor a Jew.
If you recall from a couple weeks ago, Nebuchadnezzar was the guy who led the Babylonian army to Jerusalem and conquered it. This all took place during the time of Jeremiah the prophet. Once Jerusalem was destroyed, and many people were deported to Babylon, Jeremiah sat down with tears in his eyes and wrote the book of Lamentations. Now, we come to the Book of Daniel. The events of this book take place in Babylon and describe how God’s people fared in this foreign country.
In Chapter 4 the King decides to clear up some vicious rumors that have been circulating in his kingdom about some events surrounding a very tough time in his life.
The King with the impossible name learned the truth about God’s sovereignty the hard way. He wanted the whole world to know what God had done for him. Specifically, he wanted to explain why the mightiest man in the world was now worshipping the God of a small, conquered nation. Look at verses 2-3: “It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me. How great are His signs, how mighty His wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; His dominion endures from generation to generation.”
He then describes how his life was going in verse 4 he was “contented and prosperous.” He had the four things that everyone in the world desires:
Outwardly, everything was going great. And then, like what happened in chapter 2, Nebuchadnezzar had another dream. Another nightmare pounced on him. Verse 5 says that he was afraid and terrified. Even though he has everything, he is fearful and can’t sleep. He first calls in his wise guys who can’t figure out the meaning of the dream and then, he remembers the “dream-buster,” Daniel.
A Weird Dream
His dream was of a vast tree that stretched to the sky and was visible to the ends of the earth. The birds rested on the branches and animals found shade on the ground. In the barren desert-like landscape of Babylon, which today is Iraq, a tree like this would have been a magnificent sight. It was the grandest tree the world had ever seen Nebuchadnezzar was probably thinking, “That’s just like me.”
The dream turns to a nightmare just then as he sees a messenger from heaven come down and give orders to have the tree chopped down in verse 14. Interestingly, the stump is to remain and be allowed to live. Then, the fatal words: “Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him live with the animals…let him be changed from that of a man and let him be given the mind of an animal,
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