Summary: When facing impossible situations that seem to have no answer, we need the "ultimate outsource" of prayer.
Defeating Unreasonable Demands
(Third in the series Dare to be a Daniel)
Introduction: Have you ever faced an impossible situation for which there seemed to be no answer? How we deal with unreasonable demands depends on the source of our strength.
Proposition: Daniel’s predicament reminds us that circumstances of life cannot be conquered by our own abilities. We need the ultimate “out-source” of prayer.
1. Unreasonable Demands are made, verses 1-13
As king of the greatest world power in its day, Nebuchadnezzar could demand—and get—whatever he wanted.
Some things will evade even kings, things like peace of mind & heart
It’s bad enough to have a nightmare
It’s worse when we wake up frightened & do not know why.
It is possible that the king could not honestly remember the dream, but sensed its consequences.
Or, Nebuchadnezzar may have known the dream & wanted to test his advisors
These were “yes men” who would pacify the king by telling him what he wanted to hear.
Either way, he had them over a barrel.
W/O knowing the dream, they were afraid to say anything.
If what they said did not match what the king remembered, their fakery would be exposed
Their protests were immediate
“Impossible! Unreasonable! No one can do this!” (refer to verse 10)
Nebuchadnezzar’s response was harsh: execution of his advisors, from the top down
2. Wise Inquiries are voiced, verses 14-18
1) When Daniel heard the edict, he spoke to the Commander of the guard
He investigated the problem with “wisdom & tact.”
He asked why the punishment was so hard (vs. 14-15)
He was so sure of his relationship with God that he committed himself to find the answer
Here’s the difference between Daniel & the king’s magicians:
They followed the gods that live among men, and Daniel followed the one true God who created all men.
How many people today turn to leaders, teachers, & role models who only know the gods of this world: what they can taste, touch, & see?
A crisis is often just God’s opportunity!
If we walk in obedience & fellowship with Him, God will demonstrate His power & love.
2) He spoke to his friends
He did not waste time on a pity party.
He did not get involved in a protest march.
Daniel sought out those who he knew loved him; those he could confide in; those he trusted.
Daniel & his friends prepared themselves for battle on their knees.
Although Daniel had enough faith in God to tell the commander he would have an interpretation of the dream in the morning, he & his friends did not rest on their faith.
3) They fervently pursued God!
This prayer meeting was fervent, intense, and urgent.
The stakes were high; this was a matter of life or death!
They sought God, & he answered.
During the night, the dream & interpretation came to Daniel in a vision.
3. Godly Success is given, verses19-28
Daniel’s immediate response: Thanksgiving!
Only God allows kings & kingdoms to stand (verse 21)
As Daniel’s report went through the customary channels, each one claimed some of the credit!
Daniel took no credit; instead he gave it all to God.
Man cannot do this; God, however, can!
Another way to look at Daniel 2: “Pass the P’s, please!”
There was a problem (1-13)
There was prayer (17-18)
There was praise (19-23)
There was proclamation (24-45)
There was promotion (46-49)
(from Virginia Smith, "Working With an Attitude" Standard Publishing, c. 2000)
Conclusion: Since God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20), we cannot be shocked when prayer is answered! Rather, we need to willingly lean upon the strength of Jesus Christ to fulfill the opportunities answered prayer affords.
Invitation: Learning to Lean