Summary: Ever felt that God has lost control? Understanding what is going on in the world and in your life means understanding the Plan God has in our world today.
1. Illustration of the police report.
• Woman who had been involved in an accident was filling out the police report.
• "I hit a patch of ice, my car began to spin counterclockwise. I hit the curb at which point my car began to spin clockwise. After that I narrowly avoided getting a house and a telephone pole. And if that point I lost control of my vehicle."
2. Have you ever felt like your life was out of control? Like perhaps even God had lost control? Sometimes we look at the events in our life, or t of our friends, or at the evening news, and we can’t help but wonder, "God what is your plan for this world?"
3. I want to assure you that, even we can’t see it, God is still in charge and God still has a plan. As a matter of fact whether you know it or not you are involved in at least three aspects of God’s plan!
4. King Nebuchadnezzar found out quite the hard way that God had a plan. He has a dream one night. He can’t remember his dream, but it troubled him and kept him from sleeping. Eventually, Daniel is called in to interpret the dream. "God has a plan, Oh King, and you are part of it!"
5. While we will look at this in more detail in the weeks ahead, I want to use it this morning as a jumping off place to explore God’s plan in the world today.
6. What is God’s plan, and how does it involve us? There are at least three aspects to God’s plan.
I. God has a cosmic plan
1. While chapter 2 of Daniel doesn’t specifically mention it, the events that we read here touch on God’s cosmic plan. And really, we will have a hard time making sense of any of the events of the Bible if we don’t understand that they are all part of God’s cosmic plan.
2. What is God’s cosmic plan? It is his eternal plan of reconciliation and redemption. The key parts of this plan are as follows: the creation of the universe, the fall of humanity into sin, it’s tragic results in the human race, Christ’s incarnation and death of the cross, and the ultimate redemption of all that has been tainted by sin at the end of the age. In very broad strokes, that is what God is about in the universe.
3. Illus. of my wife’s movies
• She likes to watch movies, I am not so much that way.
• Occasionally will come in at the middle of the story, and see what is obviously a very important scene, but I have no idea of the significance of it. I mean, I see what is happening, but I can’t begin to figure out why it is so important because I don’t know the big picture.
• The Bible is like that. Unless you understand that the bible is really just God giving us the details of His Cosmic plan, those details won’t make much sense to you.
4. Now, you might say "that’s really nice to know, but it doesn’t have very much to do with me!" You couldn’t be more wrong! See John 3:16. You see, how you relate to God’s cosmic plan will determine where you spend eternity. Through God’s cosmic plan He is able to offer us forgiveness and redemption. How we respond to His offer of forgiveness and redemption makes all the difference in the world!
5. God has a cosmic plan, and one way or another you are involved in that plan.
II. God has a national plan
1. Next week we will be looking at the details of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Let me just give you the punch line today: It involved the rise and fall of different nations that would play a part in God’s plan. And the rise and fall of those nations is in the hand of God!
2. See 2:21, 37, 3:17.
3. This might surprise you, but the reason Babylon existed was to judge the nation of Israel. See Habakkuk 1:6. You see, for 490 years Israel had been sinning against God. At the end of 490 years God said, "That’s enough!" And so he sent Babylon into Israel to judge the nation.
4. Illus. of weekly paper (Daniel, Coleman Luck, pp 22)
• Atheist in Midwest wrote to paper and said, “I’m going to prove there is no God.” Planted corn in one certain section of farm. Only worked it on Sunday. Would curse the name of God as he worked it. Produced more per acre than any other part of his farm, and more than any of his godly neighbors.
• Wrote editorial letter and said, “I guess that proves there is no God.”