Summary: Do you have questions that earthly wisdom cannot answer? Do you have an ominous feeling that something is wrong but you don't know. Find out in Daniel 2 that mans wisdom is never enough to answer the questions of life. God will answer if you will ask.
Intro: Before we jump into Daniel we need to hear a passage in Hebrews. Hebrews 1:1-2 “Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways. 2 In these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son.”
Before God sent the Holy Spirit to live inside of believers he spoke to His people in different ways. A burning bush, angels, dreams while they were asleep and visions while they were awake. The main way God speaks to us today is through our personal relationship with Jesus. He speaks through His Holy Word and His Holy Spirit. We have chapter two a time when God spoke to a pagan king and one of His people Daniel.
In chapter two we see nightmares, numbskulls and near misses.
First the nightmare.
I. The irritation of Nebuchadnezzar
A) The horror the dream instilled (2:1)
Three years into the kings reign when all should be comfortable and cozy the king has a dream. The most powerful king in the world was troubled by a dream. If you look further in the language of the text you can find out he was having recurring nightmare. Have you ever had one of those? Like you are falling and can’t stop or you have been abducted by strangers or aliens. The word used for trouble in the Hebrew meant to beat regularly. This dream was beating up the king and he was tired and ready for relief. All his power and all his resources and he could barely remember his dream much less what it meant. The most powerful man in the world brought low by a dream!
B) The hunger the dream revealed
The king had an ominous sense that something was wrong but he couldn’t quite understand what. Daniel 2:29 the king was thinking of what would happen in the future. He was wondering and worrying about his kingdom. His hunger was to know what future and legacy his kingdom would have.
Dreams in the Babylonian culture were often ways the gods gave revelation. The king felt there was something terribly wrong and he didn’t know what to do about it.
So what does the king do? He calls in his team of stargazers, soothsayers and psychics.
II. The incompetence of the wise men
The Chaldeans or wise men show up and say king tell us your dream and we will explain.
The king says nope. My final answer is this. Tell me my dream and interpret it or I will have you torn limb from limb and your homes will become trash heaps and toilets. But if you tell me what it is and what it means you will get a big reward.
The wise me, come on king tell us the dream and we will tell you what it means.
2.8 You are just trying to buy time.
What the king needed was a word from God. Even though he didn’t know it.
He most likely knew how the Wise men got the answers to interpret dreams. They had huge books that had dreams and their interpretation. If someone needed a dream explained the wise men would go to their books and find a dream that was close and give its explanation.
A) Wise men’s excuses
1) No man on earth can do that 2.10
2) Only the god’s can do this and they don’t live among men 2.11
The wise men have hit on what Nebuchadnezzar needs. He didn’t need words from men. He didn’t need their rehearsed and useless words. He needed a word from God. There are folks around us all day long that don’t even know what it is that’s wrong but they know they need answers.
Have you ever got to the point where human answers were not enough?
The very careful records which Babylonian astronomers kept of the movements of planets, comets, and the phases of the moon were mainly for the purpose of determining the influence these "gods" might exert upon men and nations. Beginning about 747BC, very accurate records were handed down (and carefully recorded in Ptolemy's Almagest in the second century AD), so that the Babylonian astronomer Naburimannu (c. 500BC) was able to calculate the length of the year at 365 days, 6 hours, 15 minutes, 41 seconds—only 26 minutes and 55 seconds too long!...This is the caliber of men Nebuchadnezzar had in his court, which is God's way of showing us that the very best that men have to offer in the realm of worldly wisdom is utterly insufficient to solve even the most basic spiritual needs of the human heart.
B) The King’s explosion
God answered even a pagan king. The furious response of the king to the wise men shows the great emptiness of his heart.