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Summary: This sermon seeks to illustrate why it is so important to heed the warning signs that God gives us to stop sinning.

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Sanity

Daniel 4

October 27, 2002

Intro:

A. [Joke] Insanity is heredity. You can get it from your children.

B. That may be true, but there is another way to go insane and we learn about it in the fourth chapter of Daniel.

I. Salutation

Daniel 4:1-3 (NIV), 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.

A. Daniel has recorded an official proclamation by King Nebuchadnezzar.

1. Daniel was inspired by the HS to include this proclamation in His book.

2. So what we have here is one of the most wicked kings to ever rule writing in the Word of God.

3. The events of this chapter are a second dream that God gave Nebuchadnezzar.

4. This shows us that God doesn’t just reveal Himself to the super-Holy.

5. God doesn’t just speak to people who are super-spiritual.

6. God doesn’t just work in the lives of super-religious people like Billy Graham and Mother Theresa.

7. God works through and speaks to whomever He pleases.

8. So don’t let Satan tell you that you aren’t religious enough for God to work in your life or speak to you.

9. Because God doesn’t evaluate people’s spirituality in order to determine whether they’re holy enough for Him to speak to them or work in their lives.

10. Nebuchadnezzar wrote this chapter and God has seen fit to include it in His Word.

B. These opening verses are simply the introduction or the salutation of his proclamation.

1. He begins by stating who wrote it and to whom he wrote it.

2. He gives a greeting of prosperity and then gives the reasons for the proclamation…

a. He wants to tell of the miraculous signs and wonders that God performed for him.

b. He wants to tell how great God’s signs and wonders are.

c. And he wants to tell why God’s kingdom is the greatest kingdom anywhere.

3. This is what he learned as a result of the events that unfolded in this chapter.

4. These verses tell us what Nebuchadnezzar learned from the following story.

5. So now lets look at the dream, which I call the…

II. Revelation

Daniel 4:4-18 (NIV), 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."


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