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Summary: Daniel Bible Study - How many times does God have to speak to us before He gets our attention?

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A. Chapter 4 Outline

I. The Dream (4:1-18)

a. The King’s Introduction (4:1-5)

b. The Councillors Ignorance (4:6-7)

c. The Prophet’s Insight (4:8-9)

d. The Dream Illustrated (4:10-18)

II. The Interpretation (4:19-27)

a. Daniel’s Thoughts (4:19)

b. Nebuchadnezzar’s Tree (4:20-26)

c. Possible Tranquillity (4:27)

III. The Fulfilment (4:28-36)

a. The Pride (4:28-30)

b. The Proclamation (4:31-32)

c. The Punishment (4:33)

d. The Praise (4:34-37)

Message

This is a unique chapter in the Bible because it is an official state document, prepared by the king of Babylon himself. This document was autobiographical and it was to be distributed throughout his vast kingdom. In this document the king admits his pride and his temporary insanity, and then gives the glory to the God of Israel for his recovery.

It is quite sad to see what the king had to go through before he was willing to submit to God.

Job 33:14-17 For God speaketh once, Yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. [15] In a dream in a vision of the night, When deep sleep falleth upon men, In slumberings upon the bed; [16] Then he openeth the ears of men, And sealeth their instruction. [17] That he may withdraw man from his purpose, And hide pride from man.

God often spoke to people using dreams. Elihu went on to tell Job that when dreams and visions to not get peoples attention that God sometimes allows disease to grip the body until the poor sinner is broken in spirit and crushed in heart. Then…

Job 33:27-28 He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, And it profited me not; [28] He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, And his life shall see the light.

Daniel Chapter 4 is a remarkable example of God’s amazing, matchless, perfect grace.

The first time God spoke to Nebuchadnezzar He gave him the dream of the metallic image which showed the time of the Gentiles. However, the king’s heart was wilful and he continued to go on with his own purpose in his pride.

The second time God spoke to him was through the wonderful experience of seeing the Son of God in the midst of the fiery furnace keeping His faithful witnesses safe from all danger and harm. But again the kings pride would not allow him to fully trust God.

Now God speaks a third time in a most humiliating manner to this great world ruler.

I. The Dream (4:1-18)

a. The King’s Introduction (4:1-5)

Verses 1-3

This is the preamble to this Babylonian state document, signed by the king himself and sent to everyone in his empire, to his loyal subjects, to his captives, to every town and village, to ambassadors and kings in different lands. Why? Because he wanted people to know that he had had an encounter with the true God.

He had been a pagan all of his life, he had acknowledged the God of Daniel (2:46-48), the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (3:28-39), but this time it seems that a genuine work of grace has been done in his soul. He sounds like Paul starting one of his epistles “Peace be multiplied to you” what on earth did this man know about peace.


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