Summary: The Prophet Daniel walked in the Spirit. Interpreting King Nebuchadnezzar's dream Daniel tells him to humble himself and recognize there is a God and it isn't him.
• We are in the 4th part of series on the life of Daniel.
• Daniel chapter 4.
• Move away for a week from the cultural issues and into the prophetic part of Daniel’s journey.
I. DANIEL THE PROPHET
• Daniel was first and foremost a prophet according to Jesus.
• Most of us hear that and we wonder
• How could this matter to me?
• It does, because Jesus still speaks to His people today.
• Here is what he said about Daniel.
Matthew 24:15-21, 15“The day is coming when you will see what Daniel the prophet spoke about—the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing in the holy place.” (Reader, pay attention!) 16“Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. 17A person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. 18A person out in the field must not return even to get a coat. 19How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days. 20And pray that your flight will not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again. 22In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones.”
• Those words will get our attention won’t they?
• Daniel spoke them 500 years before Jesus was born.
• Because Daniel was a prophet.
• No spiritual leader or Christian ever made a huge difference in the Kingdom of God and the lives of people unless they were empowered by the Holy Spirit.
• Daniel included.
• You cannot be spiritual without the Holy Spirit.
• Daniel like all of us had to grow in his ministry with the Spirit. When we first see him as a youth he got a gift from God.
• The gift of interpreting dreams. We see this often in the Old Testament.
• Joseph in Genesis 41:16 interprets Pharaoh’s dream, but “it is not in me” is his first statement.
• Joseph like Daniel figured out, if you are going to move in the Spirit, do it with great humility and thoughtfulness.
• Don’t move hard on people, but thoughtfully.
• Always prepared to be ok with being wrong or misreading a situation.
II. THE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHET
• Beginning in the Old Testament, prophecy and “prophets” held a valuable and esteemed place in all the work God did.
• In fact a major portion of the Old Testament includes books entitled by the names of prophets.
• We divide these books into two groups, the Major and the Minor Prophets.
• The Major Prophets include Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Lamentations and Daniel.
• The Minor Prophets make up the last twelve books of the Old Testament including Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah And Malachi.
• The significance of these prophetic books is clear in the New Testament, as Luke 24:44 states Jesus’ words:
“These are my words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about me in the Law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled.”
The Old Testament prophets did two things that make them important to us today. First, they foretold the future, some of which has come to pass and some of which has yet to unfold, but may in fact be taking place in our lifetime.
• Most of us, if challenged, would agree that prophecy is just that, foretelling of the future. This is part of prophecy, but only a portion.
• Much of the ministry of both Old and New Testament prophecy and prophetic ministry has less to do with the future and more to do with the present. It is forth-telling, not foretelling.
• This second aspect of prophecy, forth-telling, may impact each of us more than the more widely understood aspect of foretelling. It is declaring the present, clarifying the present, helping us to get a grasp on what God is up to in the here and now. We find both of these throughout prophetic ministry in the Bible.
• It is what people often tell me I do during a service. Speak about a situation and it is exactly theirs. Use a phrase or word that is exactly the word they told the Lord they needed.
III. THE DREAM
• King Nebuchadnezzar has just come off of seeing Daniel’s friends thrown into a fiery furnace and surviving it.
• So he is humbled and listening.
• Vss. 1-3 Read
• He has a dream that troubles him and he calls Daniel to interpret the dream which he had done in chapter 2.