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Summary: We are a chosen people, living stones formed around the cornerstone of Christ Himself.

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Early Signs of the Kingdom

Dan 2 Feb 12, 2012

Intro:

The king sat bolt upright in bed, heart pounding, panicked eyes darting back and forth, sweat-soaked sheet falling off his shoulders, his scream of terror still echoing in his ears. It had happened again. The servants came running as always, just behind the guards with spears and swords at the ready. But the enemy was in his mind – in his dreams; there was nothing they could do.

Nebuchadnezzar laid his head back on the pillow, knowing it was futile. He still felt the fear, his soul so deeply disturbed that he knew there would be no more sleep tonight. Just like last night, and the night before that as well. He did make one decision: this dream was not going away; he had to get to the bottom of it. First thing tomorrow, he would summon all his magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers. They had books and books of dream interpretations; they had supposed skill in delving deep into the meanings and the symbolism; perhaps they could unmask this fear, and thus rob the dream of its hold on him.

But how could he know they were telling the truth? Having decided to demand an answer of them, Nebuchadnezzar lay in bed staring at the ceiling. How could he know they spoke truth, and not just some made up lies? Then it came to him: he wouldn’t tell them the dream. He would make them reveal both the dream and the interpretation…

Dan 2:1-12

2 He called in his magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers, and he demanded that they tell him what he had dreamed. As they stood before the king, 3 he said,

King Nebuchadnezzar: I have had a dream that deeply troubles me, and I must know what it means.

4 Then the astrologers answered the king in Aramaic,

Crowd of Advisors: Long live the king! Tell us the dream, and we will tell you what it means.

5 But the king said to the astrologers,

King Nebuchadnezzar: I am serious about this. If you don’t tell me what my dream was and what it means, you will be torn limb from limb, and your houses will be turned into heaps of rubble! 6 But if you tell me what I dreamed and what the dream means, I will give you many wonderful gifts and honors. Just tell me the dream and what it means!

7 They said again,

Crowd of Advisors: Please, Your Majesty. Tell us the dream, and we will tell you what it means.

8 The king replied,

King Nebuchadnezzar: I know what you are doing! You’re stalling for time because you know I am serious when I say, 9 If you don’t tell me the dream, you are doomed. So you have conspired to tell me lies, hoping I will change my mind. But tell me the dream, and then I’ll know that you can tell me what it means.

10 The astrologers replied to the king,

Crowd of Advisors: No one on earth can tell the king his dream! And no king, however great and powerful, has ever asked such a thing of any magician, enchanter, or astrologer! 11 The king’s demand is impossible. No one except the gods can tell you your dream, and they do not live here among people.

12 The king was furious when he heard this, and he ordered that all the wise men of Babylon be executed.

King Nebuchadnezzar: All the wise men of Babylon must be executed!

Remember Daniel and friends?

Now wait a moment. Last Sunday we met three young Israelite men, children of the nobility who had been carried back to Babylon as slaves to King Nebuchadnezzar. And we read that 18 When the training period ordered by the king was completed, the chief of staff brought all the young men to King Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and no one impressed him as much as Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. So they entered the royal service. 20 Whenever the king consulted them in any matter requiring wisdom and balanced judgment, he found them ten times more capable than any of the magicians and enchanters in his entire kingdom.

So these four are among the wise men; and their necks are now on the chopping block.

Dan 2:12-18

12 The king was furious when he heard this, and he ordered that all the wise men of Babylon be executed. 13 And because of the king’s decree, men were sent to find and kill Daniel and his friends.

14 When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, came to kill them, Daniel handled the situation with wisdom and discretion. 15 He asked Arioch, Why has the king issued such a harsh decree? So Arioch told him all that had happened. 16 Daniel went at once to see the king and requested more time to tell the king what the dream meant.

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