Summary: We are living in a society that is increasingly becoming more hostile to the gospel of Jesus Christ in general and to Christians in particular.
1. A few years have passed between Chapters 2 & 3
a. Some estimate as much as 20 years have gone by.
b. And with the passing time, things have changed.
REMEMBER: It was back in CH2 that Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that troubled him greatly!
• He called all of his magicians & astrologers & soothsayers to him and demanded they tell him the dream!
• They couldn’t do it! But God could… and in comes Daniel.
AND WE LEARNED all that was going on in Daniel’s life was God’s DIVINE SET-UP for him to be at the right place at the right time.
• The GREAT IMAGE the King saw was actually a peek into future history as the coming world kingdoms would emerge & fall.
• All the way into the end times.
o Gold Head – Representing Babylon.
o Chest & Arms of Silver – Medes/Persians
o Belly & Thighs of Bronze – Grecian Empire
o Legs of Iron – Roman Empire
o Feet mixed with iron & clay – A revived Roman Empire
NOW AFTER Daniel revealed the dream and interpreted for King Nebuchadnezzar. He’s blown away by the God of Daniel!
• Look back with me at 2:46ff
• He Promotes Daniel, He Praises God…
• And then some time passes and his heart hardens.
Maybe he began to wonder: who says MY EMPIRE has to end?
• Why can’t that image be ALL GOLD?!
• I’m not sure I like that interpretation after all.
• And his heart is not so enamored with the God of Daniel.
• As a matter of fact, God is pushed right out of the picture.
APP: The same will happen with you and me if we’re not careful.
• Oh yes, we can have a great experience with the Lord.
• It could’ve been a deep emotional tugging, or a powerful song that grabbed our heart, or a meaningful time of repentance.
• Yet those won’t sustain us for the long haul!
• What happens when the emotional tank is on empty, and the songs sound hallow, the doubts begin to creep in?
• We need to daily seek the Lord, daily be in His Word.
Psalm 72.15 And He shall live; And the gold of Sheba will be given to Him; Prayer also will be made for Him continually, And daily He shall be praised.
Psalm 61.8 So I will sing praise to Your name forever, That I may daily perform my vows.
Psalm 88.9 My eye wastes away because of affliction. LORD, I have called daily upon You; I have stretched out my hands to You.
NOTE: We’re surrounded by men and women who once had a connection with God… Maybe they were raised in a church, perhaps they themselves prayed, and served, and even loved God.
• But now, the DAILY GRIND has got them off course.
• The DAILY DEMANDS have overwhelmed them.
• But to those who DAILY PRAISE & DAILY SERVE & DAILY CALL UPON the Lord, there is strength & perseverance.
Let’s see what 20 years have done to King Nebuchadnezzar.
I. (3.1-7) Demand To Worship
1. (1-6) He Made An Image
a. This was a huge image to match Nebuchadnezzar’s huge ego!
b. It was Golden and proud and standing tall.
c. It reflected the heart of Nebuchadnezzar wanting to draw the praise and attention from the people of his kingdom.
d. Forget the other metals… Gold it will be because my kingdom will stand forever! I’m stronger! I’m more powerful!
e. So come kingdom & worship my image!
Nebuchadnezzar is in trouble. He’s consumed with himself, he’s caught in the trap of inflated pride.
• And God has a way of dealing with people like this, deflating them and bringing them back down to earth.
1 Cor. 10.12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
2. (6-7) The Command.
a. Not only was the image there, but the command was to bow down and worship it when the music began.
b. This is a great example of ENFORCED WORSHIP.
c. Which really isn’t worship at all. That really never works.
NOTE: True worship has to be spontaneous, from the heart.
• You have to want to do it & engage in it personally.
• Everything we do here Sundays is an opportunity for worship.
• We have prayer… you can join in.
• We have music… you can join in.
• We have offering boxes… you can join in.
• We have opportunities to serve… you can join in.
• We have Bible Study… you can join in.
• We have calls for repentance, rededication, salvation… join in.
• But none of them mean much if they are forced.