Summary: A look at the life of Daniel; who’s in charge.
Series: When Cultures Collide
Topic: Who’s The Man
June 16, 2002
Introduction: Ill. Roller coaster-fun to experience. The turns, shakes, rolls, acceleration, hills, etc., but we know there is control; same experience as a passenger in a car and we will fear for our lives. The difference is control. As long as we feel in control, or that we can trust the one in control our hearts are settled and our mind is at ease. Remove that sense of control and panic results.
This happens to the king. Has a dream that just devastates his self confidence-his ability to be in control.
Recap of last week [Topic: Letting God Use Who You Are]
Wise men survived by image of being in control; of wisdom, faculties of the mind.
Nebuchadnezzar is a man in control. Kings are accustomed to being in control. Others depend upon them. Military, political, financial leaders.
When leaders aren’t in control, or when they allow themselves to be seen as such it weakens their ability to lead and provide vision and support. Military questions such a leader-morale drops drastically. For business and economic leaders financial markets take a plunge. With no vision, strong leadership people will question their future; they will fear for their livelihood. Chaos makes for a bad economy.
Nebuchadnezzar is a king in control of a vast empire
deports best and brightest
converts them into Chaldean wise men.
But, something happens that sets him off...
He has a dream. A dream so large that it haunts him; looming over his every move. A dream so enormous that before the night is even over he’s begging for an interpretation to what the dream means. What about this dream has disrupted his life so? What about it has caused him so much anxiety?
Simply this...the dream is about control, or rather the loss thereof.
A good friend once told me, "Control is an allusion." Nebuchadnezzar is given a glimpse, a revelation of a broader perspective. He is given an awareness that the God of Israel is in control. And for a king to feel out of control is a frightening thing. As the king, so the people. But God wants Nebuchadnezzar to understand His authority and position.
God comes to the king in a dream and reveals the splendor of His authority. Nebuchadnezzar, the great king of the Babylonian empire, the superpower of that day; the king of kings across the known world; the one who the nations bow in reverence for his power, wisdom, and might; the one who salutes his own majesty by bringing the temple goods, symbols of the power of Israel’s God, into the treasury of his own god’s temple; this, the great king comes face to face with YHWH, the Lord God of Heaven.
Amos 5:8 "He who made the Pleiades and Orion, and turns deep darkness into the morning, and darkens the day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out upon the surface of the earth, the LORD is his name" (RSV)
Job 41:11 "Who has given to me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine." (RSV)
Job 38:3-6, 31-33; 41:34 "Stand up now like a man and answer the questions I ask you. Were you there when I made the world? If you know so much, tell me about it. Who decided how large it would be? Who stretched the measuring line over it? Do you know all the answers? What holds up the pillars that support the earth? Who laid the cornerstone of the world?...Can you tie the Pleiades together or loosen the bonds that hold Orion? Can you guide the stars season by season and direct the Big and the Little Dipper? Do you know the laws that govern the skies, and can you make them apply to the earth?...He beholds everything that is high; he is king over all the sons of pride." (TEV/GN/RSV)
In spite of all his power and authority God wants the king [and us] to learn a few things...
1. God Is Establishing His Plans (vs 28)
Kings/ Leaders are accustomed to establishing schedules. Schedules that reflect their personal plans and policies. The kings schedule may have been something like this:
7 am Wake up
8 am breakfast with proconsul
9 am meet with temple priests and discuss kingdom morale
10 am brunch with Assyrian ambassador
11 am tour military facility
noon lunch with harem
1 pm siesta with harem
2 pm sign new edicts into law
4 pm meet with business leaders
5 pm plan conquest of Palestine and Syria
Proverb 16:9 "A man’s mind plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps." (RSV)
We are no different. How often we do the same thing; planning our lives but not giving place to God. [What kind of schedules do you make...] We should begin, "Lord, what are your plans for this day?" If He holds the future, why don’t we trust Him with the present?