Summary: God is always at work. He is never idle. The question is whether we are going to come alongside HIm and engage in what He is doing, or stand in the way or idly by.,
Passage: Daniel 2:1-21
Intro: God is the most active being in the universe.
1. there is never a moment when He is not engaged in meaningful activity
2. He never sleeps, He is never bored, He is always at work accomplishing His purposes.
3. even when He rested on the 7th day of creation He was revealing a purpose, setting an example.
4. He had ceased from creative activity, but not from revealing/instructing activity.
5. one of the best ways to read the Bible is to ask the question: “What is God doing here?”
6. the book of Daniel is filled with the activity of God and this passage is a classic.
7. so what does this have to do with me?
8. Henry Blackaby…in “Experiencing God”. ”Find out what God is doing, and join Him.”
I. God is Constantly Engaged in Truth Tests
1. we saw Nebuchadnezzar last week, ruler of the great Babylonian Empire.
2. He had taken Jerusalem, brought home exiles, including 4 young men whose exploits fill the pages of this book.
3. Nebuchadnezzar, as the king, was off-limits unless he wanted to see you.,
PP) imagine showing up to the front gate at the White House and asking to see President Obama.
4. but God can go where man cannot, and goes right into Nebs head and plants a dream!
5. this was a recurring dream, (“dreams”), and yet singular (“dream”
Il) do you have these? Mine is being in a different church, supposed to preach, but not dressed for it, don’t have anything prepared.
6. troubling enough that he brings in guys to interpret, but with a God- ordained twist.
7. because God is running this, the request is unusual.
8. both tell the dream and interpret it.
Il) like telling a math class to write out the problem I have in my head, and then solve it!
9. this group of people claimed to have access to spiritual information through their “sources”, Nebuchadnezzar asked for proof.
10. and he added some powerful motivation, negative and positive.
11. I love the final response of sorcerers in v11…”they are not accessible”, (even though we have been telling you differently for many years.)
12. so they are all going to die horribly, including Daniel and his friends.
13. we see what Nebuchadnezzar is doing, but what is God doing?
14. He is revealing the lies and the liars, and preparing to reveal the truth!
15. look around! God is constantly doing this.
Il) emptiness of answers that don’t include God, like “how did the universe begin”
Il) other night lying in backyard with grandsons, one asked, “how did we get here? Able to give the truth with confidence, “God put us here”
16. read the paper, check the web. God sets up these “truth tests” all the time. Watch for them. Our lives are the testing ground. Because…
II. God’s Purpose is to Reveal Who Has the Truth
1. when sorcerers admitted they were liars, Nebuchadnezzar got angry
2. and as dictators do, he identified a group that needed to die.
PP) Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Saddam Hussein
3. Daniel and his friends included, because they were “wise men in training”
4. essentially, Nebuchadnezzar had become an atheist; he was done with the unseen world and everyone connected to it.
5. v14, Daniel responded with wisdom and tact. Let’s all hear this!!
Il) so easy to be sarcastic, critical, hateful toward those who believe the lie. I confess!!
6. don’t respond in kind! Respond in the confidence that God gives us.
7. Daniel “went in to the king” and requested an opportunity to seek the answer to the puzzle.
8. Notice that God did not just “drop a truth bomb” on Nebuchadnezzar.
9. He involved one of the truth tellers, who He put there, who was also quite motivated!! V18
10. and Daniel and his friends prayed, because they knew that God was accessible, could be contacted, was more than willing to talk!
Il) Moses interceding for Israel in Numbers 14, Elijah asking God to send fire on Mt. Carmel, David praying in Psalms.
11. the sorcerers in v11 didn’t even bother praying, because they knew there was no one there to talk with
12. Daniel and his friends prayed, and God provided them an answer.
13. God wanted Nebuchadnezzar to identify these young people of the truth, people whose God was real,
PP John 1:14 Here is the principle! God uses real people to talk to people!!
14. Real truth tellers can also be trusted with another very important fact:
III. God Uses People Who Will Give Him the Glory
1. when God gave Daniel the information about Neb’s dreams, he was suddenly in a position of great power!
2. he could give info, be the hero, get all the presents!