Summary: A look at the life of Daniel; being used by God.
Series: When Cultures Collide
Topic: Letting God Use Who You Are
June 9, 2002
In the second year of his reign, King Nebuchadnezzar started having dreams that disturbed him deeply. He couldn’t sleep. He called in all the Babylonian magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and fortunetellers to interpret his dreams for him. When they came and lined up before the king, he said to them, "I had a dream that I can’t get out of my mind. I can’t sleep until I know what it means." Daniel 2:1-3 (TM)
Introduction: We’re challenged in life to want to get the upper hand. To be in control; whether real or illusory.
We are tempted to hide truths, lie, and even resist dissemination of information; like current FBI/ CIA probe, in order to look good and be in control.
Who wants a manager who doesn’t have an answer to the current marketing dilemma? Or, a financial advisor who fails to "guarantee" the future of a stock/ mutual fund? Or, an advisor who fails to perceive the future of present scenarios?
[Time June 10, 2002 p.45. Behavior: Pumping Up Your Past, by Jeffrey Kluger]
We want control, but God also wants control. This morning we look at a situation that arose with the king and how the advisors attempted to manipulate and misrepresent the facts in order to come out ahead. A misrepresentation that nearly ended in disaster had it not been for Daniel’s integrity in living a life of faith and being used by God.
Like Daniel, we can learn to let God use who we are
The fortunetellers, speaking in the Aramaic language, said, "Long live the king! Tell us the dream and we will interpret it."
The king answered the fortunetellers, "This is my decree: If you can’t tell me both the dream itself and its interpretation, I’ll have you ripped to pieces, limb from limb, and your homes torn down. But if you tell me both the dream and its interpretation, I’ll lavish you with gifts and honors. So go to it: Tell me the dream and its interpretation."
They answered, "If it please your majesty, tell us the dream. We’ll give the interpretation."
But the king said, "I know what you’re up to– you’re just playing for time. You know you’re up a tree. You know that if you can’t tell me my dream, you’re doomed. I see right through you– you’re going to cook up some fancy stories and confuse the issue until I change my mind. Nothing doing! First tell me the dream, then I’ll know that you’re on the up and up with the interpretation and not just blowing smoke in my eyes."
The fortunetellers said, "Nobody anywhere can do what you ask. And no king, great or small, has ever demanded anything like this from any magician, enchanter, or fortuneteller. What you’re asking is impossible unless some god or goddess should reveal it– and they don’t hang around with people like us."
That set the king off. He lost his temper and ordered the whole company of Babylonian wise men killed. Daniel 2:4-13 (TM)
1. Be Honest About Your Limitations
To yourself and others. Recognize your limitations up front.
The wise men tried to lie. When their backs were up against the wall they finally told the truth, but it was too late and it cost them.
2. Exercise Faith
When the death warrant was issued, Daniel and his companions were included. They also were marked for execution.
When Arioch, chief of the royal guards, was making arrangements for the execution, Daniel wisely took him aside and quietly asked what was going on: "Why this all of a sudden?"
After Arioch filled in the background, Daniel went to the king and asked for a little time so that he could interpret the dream.
Daniel then went home and told his companions Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah what was going on. He asked them to pray to the God of heaven for mercy in solving this mystery so that the four of them wouldn’t be killed along with the whole company of Babylonian wise men. Daniel 2:14-18 (TM)
Believe God will work
Move beyond your limitations
Daniel had confidence that God would answer even before asking.
Matthew 7:7 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. "For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." (NKJV)
James 4:2-3 "You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures." (NKJV)