Summary: Exposition of Daniel 2:1-23 about the king’s dream and command to tell dream and interpret it.
Text: Daniel 2:1-23, Title: The Dream Giver 1, Date/Place: NRBC, 3/22/09, AM
A. Opening illustration: the sickly man who dreamed about pushing the rock…
B. Background to passage: remember that the theme of the entire book is God’s sovereignty in a foreign land, as the children of Israel have begun their 70 year captivity. And as Daniel and the three others have been catapulted into a pagan government as advisors to the King, God intends to display His glory and control to all those in the royal court. Note: Dan 2:4-7:28 written in Aramaic.
C. Main thought: God uses a dream to reveal that He is the one that raises up and pulls down kings and kingdoms, and He uses Daniel to do it.
A. Does God Speak? (v. 1-2)
1. The text isn’t explicit about these dreams coming from God, but the entire book is about God in control, and this story is all about God giving a message to N through Daniel. What is interesting about this is that God speaks to a pagan king. We would have no problems saying that God speaks to believers, but to a godless dictator—like God speaking to Castro, or Ahmadinejad, or Kim Jong Ill. It is clear though in this text that God does exactly that, but not through a prophet, or scripture, but through a dream. Whatever means He chooses, the simple truth is that God speaks! He is actively involved with His creation and with individuals bringing about His desired ends.
2. Ps 8:4, Deut 5:24, Ex 33:11, 1 Cor 2:14
3. Illustration: share the story about the now 12 year old that had an experience with God at 4 years old that resulted in the conversion of her entire non-Christian family, share a little bit of my testimony about the time that I first trusted Christ completely after the comment in the message about God and me being separated by sin, "It’s amazing!" he replied. "I just can’t see how anybody can make a crib like that for only $46.50."
4. We are not to limit God in how He chooses to interact with man. How do you interpret your dreams? Bad chili for dinner? Sometimes God uses means other than normal to speak to us. So what’s normal? The bible, preaching, books, other people, creation, circumstances, and the inner witness of the Spirit are fairly normal means. But the truth is that we should be amazed that He speaks. If our concept of God is biblical and accurate and our concept of man is equally so, we should be amazed that he has any dealings at all with us. If God is not speaking in your life, we should look for issues to explain that, for the norm is not silence. Could we have sin in our lives to hinder our hearing or His work in us? Could we be distracted by other things? Do we expect or anticipate God speaking? Then we must ask if we are truly born again. I don’t think this truth is explicit, but the parallels work—God spoke to an unconverted man, but he couldn’t understand it; he needed an interpreter. Without the aid of the Interpreter in your heart and mind, you cannot understand spiritual truth, nor what God is saying to you. You need the Spirit. You need to be saved. Do not wait, today is the day of salvation.
B. Control of an Impossible Task (v. 11)
1. We don’t know whether N could not remember his dream, or maybe he just wanted some confirmation that these wise men weren’t just making it up as they go or saying what he wanted to hear. But for whatever reason, he indicated that his mind was made up—tell the dream AND the interpretation or be cut to bits and homes and families reduced to rubble. God had made a bad situation for the wise man worse in that He made N’s decision firm…firmly impossible. He did this to show His power. And the wise men stated it perfectly, “only the gods” could do what you ask.
2. Pro 21:1, Ex 8:19, Matt 19:26, 2 Cor 1:8-10, 12:9-10, Rom 5:3,
3. Illustration: The pastor rose and said, "Friends, we have been counting on our own strength, and apparently that has failed. As this is the day of our Lord’s resurrection, let us just ring the bells, have our services as usual, and leave the matter in His hands. We know only our weakness, and not the power of God to defend us." The council accepted his plan and the church bells rang. The enemy, hearing the sudden peal, concluded that the Austrian army had arrived during the night to defend the town. Before the service ended, the enemy broke camp and left. “There’s nothing like a good crisis to increase my energy and remind me how much I need God.” J. I. Packer writes: “Grace is God drawing sinners closer and closer to him. How does God in grace prosecute this purpose? Not by shielding us from assault by the work, the flesh, and the devil, nor by protecting us from burdensome and frustrating circumstance, not yet by shielding us from troubles created by our own temperament and psychology, but rather by exposing us to all these things, so as to overwhelm us with a sense of our own inadequacy, and to drive us to cling to him more closely. This is the ultimate reason, from our standpoint, why God fills our lives with troubles and perplexities of one sort and another -- it is to ensure that we shall learn to hold him fast. The reason why the Bible spends so much of its time reiterating that God is a strong rock, a firm defense, and a sure refuge and help for the weak is that God spends so much of his time showing us that we are weak, both mentally and morally, and dare not trust ourselves to find or follow the right road.