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"A God in Heaven Who Reveals Mysteries" -- Daniel 2:24-45

The Fifth in a Series of Sermons on the Book of Daniel

King Nebuchadnezzar is in a rage and is threatening to execute his entire palace staff.  He had been awakened by a troubling dream which both confused and frightened him.  He then summoned his court magicians and wise men (“the Chaldeans”) to explain the meaning of what he had just dreamt.  But his Chaldeans cannot recount the details of his dream much less offer an interpretation.  No help in relieving the king’s anxiety, and upon seeing the king’s anger at them, the Chaldeans seek to stall Nebuchadnezzar, hoping he will forget about the dream and move on to other things.  Meanwhile, the young Hebrew servant Daniel, who has impressed the king from the moment he first appeared before the king in the royal court, offers the very thing the king’s magicians, sorcerers, and wise men cannot.  Daniel will recount the details of the king’s dream, and then give him an interpretation.  In the scene which plays out in chapter 2 of Daniel’s prophecy, we learn that YHWH has given his young servant Daniel the gift of wisdom, and also revealed to the prophet both the content and the meaning of the king’s dream.  In the contest between Daniel and the court magicians which follows, Daniel will easily win because the Babylonian “gods” are nothing but the figment of human imagination and superstition, while YHWH is the true and living God, who directs the course of history, who grants wisdom, who speaks, and who answers prayer.

We continue our series on the Book of Daniel and we are working our way through the 49 verses of chapter 2.  Last time, we covered the first two parts of this chapter.  In first part (vv. 1-13), we considered the king’s dream and his challenge to his court magicians to recall and explain meaning of it to him.  The second part of the chapter (vv. 14-23), describes God’s revelation of the dream to Daniel–the very thing which Nebuchadnezzar demands from his court magicians.  The third part of the chapter, which we will take up, includes Daniel’s God-given recounting and explanation of the dream to the king (vv. 24-45).  Then finally, we have the king’s very favorable response after Daniel interprets the dream for Nebuchadnezzar (vv. 46-49)–a matter to which we will return next time.

After the king blows the royal gasket, Daniel’s quick and decisive action saved the lives of the entire Babylonian royal court, all of whom are about to be killed because of Nebuchadnezzar’s outrage stemming from the fact that his Chaldeans can neither recount his dream nor interpret it.  Under threat of imminent execution, Daniel spoke directly to the captain of palace guard, the man assigned to put to death the “Chaldeans,” and all the court servants (including Daniel and his three friends).  As we read in verses 14–16, “then Daniel replied with prudence and discretion to Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon. He declared to Arioch, the king’s captain, “Why is the decree of the king so urgent?” Then Arioch made the matter known to Daniel. And Daniel went in and requested the king to appoint him a time, that he might show the interpretation to the king.”  The king wants an interpretation to his dream, and if his court magicians cannot do so, then the king will see to it that the entire palace staff is executed.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here

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