Summary: God has a huge plan for the world, and He makes it very clear. Nebuchadnezzars terrifying dream is interpreted by Daniel for Nebuchadnezzar as well as the rest of us to see. God's gracious revelation is all around us!
Passage: Daniel 2:24-49
Intro: Up to this point, we have seen God working thru Daniel and his friends in the life of Nebuchadnezzar.
1. king of Babylon, hugely powerful
2. and last week we saw how God had given him a dream that upset him.
3. how that dream had been used to reveal the liars in his court, and revealed as well the possibility of a truth teller.
4. God is not finished with this powerful tyrant, but neither is God’s concern only with Nebuchadnezzar.
5. fascinating look into the way God works, multi-tasking over thousands of years to achieve His ultimate purposes.
6. and those purposes are both personal and global.
7. we serve an amazing God. Let’s watch Him at work so we can recognize what He is doing, reap the benefits, and join Him.
I. God at Work in Nebuchadnezzar.
1. if there was anyone who did not deserve the kindness and grace of God it was Nebuchadnezzar.
2. a tyrant, bad-tempered, would kill at a whim. Great builder, but no doubt with slave labor.
3. and yet here God is sending him special revelation.
4. last week we saw that the magicians could not tell him about the dream, admitted they had no communication with spiritual world.
5. just before every wise man was killed, Daniel asked for time to find info, received it from God.
6. so in v24 he comes to Arioch and asks for an audience with Neb.
7. vv28-29, no credit for self, all for God
8. don’t miss these amazing statements in vv28 and 45
9. “God has shown King Nebuchadnezzar…”
10. Neb didn’t get it, but it is a statement of great love to do this.
Il) God did the same thing to David, talking about the future of his kingdom. And David realized it was unique.
11. now I would love to tell you that Nebuchadnezzar responded same way.
12. but we will see next week that he did not understand yet
13. but that does not stop God from working in his life, in patiently working to transform him, to rescue him, to reveal himself to him.
14. and to reveal Himself as a patient, tender, gracious God who wields tremendous power with a velvet glove.
15. we cannot read these chapters without a sense of awe at the gracious heart of God, tenderly breaking this powerful man of his belief in liars, his terrible arrogance, his idolatry, his lostness.
16. why does God even bother? Love
II. God at Work in the World
1. Neb’s dream was huge!
PP the Statue in his dream and the interpretation.
2. lots of discussion, the only real controversy is the feet, which we will talk about
3. why did God reveal anything to Nebuchadnezzar after the head of gold?
4. (he probably stopped listening after v38)
5. but here is this list of kingdoms that would exist after he was dead. Why?
6. for him, to show him that things would get weaker instead of stronger
7. for the rest of us, to show that God is sovereign, omniscient, trustworthy, beyond limits of time and space.
8. and he we are 2615 years later, able to see what God made known,
-and which we can see as being completely accurate.
9. but more importantly, the introduction of a kingdom unique from the others, vastly superior.
10. rock that grows to the size of a mountain, filling the whole earth, not made by human hands. Vv34-35
11. this is one of the first mentions of the world-wide sweep of the kingdom of God. Isaiah also (Gentiles)
12. to this point, Jews focused on their nation, and so, it seemed, did God.
13. So what is the purpose of God in giving Nebuchadnezzar, and us, this revelation?
14. to limit our faith in earthly kingdoms, to show us that ultimately a supernatural kingdom will reign and rule, and overwhelm every attempt by man to rule the world.
15. Nebuchadnezzar may be the best of the world’s kingdoms, but in comparison to God’s kingdom; puny, reduced to the most worthless of substances…chaff
III. Nebuchadnezzar’s Choice is Ours Too
1. the most puzzling of these kingdoms in the statue is the last one. The iron and clay
2. no surprise, a few options, including USA
3. so what are the clues in the text?
4. v33-34, “smashed by the rock”, after which the rest of the statue was destroyed
5. v41, “iron and clay= partly strong and partly brittle=how so?
6. v43…people a mixture and not united.
7. so they come together perhaps, but cannot stay together because they do not share that much in common.
8. when push comes to shove, perhaps, they fall apart.
-also, built on deception.