Summary: Why is it that we so often choose to learn things the hard way? We often look back and see that it would have been much easier if we had followed what seems so clear to us now. What hinders us from learning and what can we do to learn the things God wan
Learning the Truth…His Way or the Hard Way
Why do we choose the Hard Way
How do we choose His Way
Obey the Word
What do we Need to Learn
God is God and You are Not
Do you remember when you were growing up? Some of you are experiencing this now. But we have all kinds of different people in our life giving us advice.
We have parents who think they know more than us, especially when we are younger.
Maybe we have older siblings or aunts and uncles who give us advice about how to deal with situations we may be going through or other transitions in life.
When we are going into high school our parents sometimes think we should be studying more, but they just don’t understand what it is like to be a high school student in the world today.
Or when we are going to college, we have parents giving us advice regarding watching out what kinds of people we are hanging out with or to be careful about drinking alcohol because it can affect our ability to think or drive, but it is college after all, and this is what everyone is doing. And after all, they don’t know what it is like to face the pressures that I face.
To kids, Sometimes it would seem that parents want them to have no life at all!
They don’t know what I am facing and what do they really know anyway?
We think that, often until we face some of the consequences of the decisions we made.
Oh, if only I would have spent a little more time my freshmen year studying and getting some better grades, I could have gotten into the college I was hoping to.
Oh, if I would have just gone home instead of having a couple more drinks and now I am waking up in some strange place with someone I don’t even know.
Why didn’t I listen!?
Everyone one of us, if you are older than 25, have probably had a moment of regret for not listening to the advice of someone else, thinking that they really did not know what they were talking about, but it turns out they did and it turns out they were really trying to help us, not hurt us.
It would have been so much better and easier for us if we would have just listened to them. But so often we choose to learn things that hard way. Why do we do that?
Well, this morning, as we continue our series in Daniel called, “When in Babylon…?” we are going to see Nebuchadnezzar again and take a look at what God wants him to learn and how he chooses the hard way and what he could have done and what we can do to better learn the truths of God His way.
Turn with me to chapter 4 of Daniel.
As you turn there, let me remind you of what we know about Nebuchadnezzar that we learned in the first 3 chapters.
Nebuchadnezzar was the powerful king of the Babylonian empire. He conquered Israel and brought some of the Jews to Babylon as captives and sought to indoctrinate them with the Babylonian way so they would forget their God.
We saw last week that Nebuchadnezzar created a false god made out of gold and required everyone to bow down to it, but Daniel’s friends would not and they were thrown into the fire, but they did not burn up because God saved them.
Nebuchadnezzar certainly recognized that the God of Daniel and the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego was a powerful and mighty God, but he had not believed in Him as the One and Only God of the universe. God had shown Nebuchadnezzar His power and His authority over all things, but Nebuchadnezzar was still not a believer.
God has tried to teach Nebuchadnezzar the truth about Himself His way, but Nebuchadnezzar was choosing the Hard way
Why would anyone choose the Hard way?
Why do we choose the Hard way
Let’s read the beginning of chapter 4 and see what had caused Nebuchadnezzar to choose the hard way and learn how we might choose to learn about God His Way.
4 King Nebuchadnezzar,
To the peoples, nations and men of every language, who live in all the world:
May you prosper greatly!
2 It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me.
3 How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation.
4 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, contented and prosperous. 5 I had a dream that made me afraid. As I was lying in my bed, the images and visions that passed through my mind terrified me. 6 So I commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be brought before me to interpret the dream for me. 7 When the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners came, I told them the dream, but they could not interpret it for me. 8 Finally, Daniel came into my presence and I told him the dream. (He is called Belteshazzar, after the name of my god, and the spirit of the holy gods is in him.) 9 I said, "Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you, and no mystery is too difficult for you. Here is my dream; interpret it for me. 10 These are the visions I saw while lying in my bed: I looked, and there before me stood a tree in the middle of the land. Its height was enormous. 11 The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky; it was visible to the ends of the earth. 12 Its leaves were beautiful, its fruit abundant, and on it was food for all. Under it the beasts of the field found shelter, and the birds of the air lived in its branches; from it every creature was fed. 13 "In the visions I saw while lying in my bed, I looked, and there before me was a messenger, a holy one, coming down from heaven. 14 He called in a loud voice: ’Cut down the tree and trim off its branches; strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the animals flee from under it and the birds from its branches. 15 But let the stump and its roots, bound with iron and bronze, remain in the ground, in the grass of the field."’Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him live with the animals among the plants of the earth. 16 Let his mind be changed from that of a man and let him be given the mind of an animal, till seven times pass by for him. 17 "’The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of men.’ 18 "This is the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, had. Now, Belteshazzar, tell me what it means, for none of the wise men in my kingdom can interpret it for me. But you can, because the spirit of the holy gods is in you."