We’re planning something new on the blog this week as we are trying to make the sermons available in an MP3 file. This will mean that anyone can click on and hear the sermon online. Unfortunately it isn’t as simple as I had imagined and is a bit beyond my IT skill level at present though hopefully things will be sorted in the next few days.
In the meantime, the outline from last Sunday is found below along with the images of the statue and charts used. The passage is Daniel Chapter 2 and you can read it online here.
Setting the scene.
- Early in his reign, Nebuchadnezzar has a dream.
- He tells his wise men to interpret the dream,
- A carrot and stick approach is used.
- When they are unable to reveal the dream. the king orders all the wise men executed.
- Daniel and co ask for time and start a serious prayer meeting.
- During the night God reveals the dream and its meaning to Daniel.
- After Daniel has told the king the dream and its meaning, he bows before Daniel and then promotes him
Filling some gaps.
- In chapter two and verse four the book of Daniel changes language from Hebrew to Aramaic and six stories are told before Daniel reverts to Hebrew in chapter eight.
- The six stories are set out in a chiastic sequence as seen below.
- If chapter 7 were to be placed chronologically, it would be placed between chapters 4 and 5 so we see that the order is important and Daniel wants the two kingdom prophecies taken side by side.
|Daniel 2||Daniel 7|
|Head of gold||Babylonian||Winged lion|
|Chest and arms of silver||Medeo-Persian||One sided bear|
|Belly and thighs of bronze||Greek||Four headed leopard|
|Legs of iron||Roman||Beast with iron teeth|
|Feet of iron and clay||Beast slain and judgement|
|Rock that breaks the image||Kingdom of God||Son of Man comes in the clouds|
- The four metals represent four kingdoms that will come upon the earth.
- Daniel identifies the head of gold with the Babylonian Empire.
- The chest and arms of silver are the Medeo-Persian Empire which conquered Babylon in chapter 5.
- The belly and arms of bronze stand for the Greco-Macedonian Empire which came to prominence under Alexander the Great.
- The legs of iron speak of the Roman Empire.
- There is plenty of debate about the feet but since the rock hits the image at the feet it suggests it is something going on at the return of Christ.
- The rock that grows to fill the whole earth is the kingdom of God which replaces earthly kingdoms.
There is much to be said about the dream and its meaning but today we will be thinking how the Lord protected Daniel and his friends and how our only response to him is to bow and worship.
The Lord hears.
- Daniel is a man of prayer.
- He prays with his friends.
- This was passionate prayer.
- They asked for the impossible.
- There was no other hope.
- How different is our situation? We need a miracle to change our community.
The Lord is worthy.
- It was still dark.
- Daniel was still under sentence of death.
- “Then Daniel praised the God of heaven.”
- A life of faith involves praising God when it’s still dark.
- Daniel would not take the glory himself.
- “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess his name.” – Hebrews 13:15
The Lord reveals.
- Religion is reaching up towards heaven.
- The wise men are powerless.
- Christianity is founded on revelation.
- The Lord knows the future.
- He reveals it to his people.
The Lord acts.
“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
wisdom and power are his.
Da 2:21 He changes times and seasons;
he sets up kings and deposes them.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.
Da 2:22 He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness,
and light dwells with him.
Da 2:23 I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers:
You have given me wisdom and power,
you have made known to me what we asked of you,
you have made known to us the dream of the king.”
- The Lord is not merely an observer.
- He acts in history.
- He has a plan for the ages.
- Jesus will return.
- Every knee will bow.
The Lord reigns.
- Nebuchadnezzar stepped down and prostrated himself before a young Hebrew captive.
- “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.”