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"Your God is God of Gods and Lord of Kings" -- Daniel 2:44-49

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

Nebuchadnezzar had a frightening dream–it was not a nightmare, but divine revelation.  In this dream, the Babylonian king saw a statue of a mighty and brilliant figure which absolutely terrified him–and he was a man who prided himself on his ability to terrify others.  Knowing this was no ordinary dream and that it foretold his own future as well as that of the empire he ruled, the king demanded that his court magicians recount the contents of the dream and then give the king an interpretation.  When it became clear to Nebuchadnezzar that his magicians cannot recount the details of the dream, much less interpret it for him, the king grows furious and threatens his magicians with death–along with the entire palace staff, including Daniel and his three friends.  The image which the king saw in his dream had a head made of gold, its chest and arms were made of silver, its belly and thighs were made of bronze, while its feet were an odd mixture of clay and iron.  Suddenly, in the dream, a rock hit the statue’s feet, shattering them and causing the entire statue to crumble into pieces.  The fractured remains eventually disintegrate into dust which was scattered by the wind so that nothing of the statue remained behind.  The rock which smashed the feet of the statue had been cut from a mountain without human hands, and rapidly grew into a giant mountain which eventually filled the entire earth.  What did all of this mean?

This dream terrified Nebuchadnezzar because it had been given to him by none other than YHWH (the true and living God), who, in turn, revealed both the dream and its contents to a young Hebrew servant in the Babylonian royal court, who also happened to be a prophet of YHWH.  In the dramatic conflict between Daniel and the wise men and magicians (the Chaldeans) which plays out in the Babylonian royal court (in reality this is a conflict between YHWH and the idols of Babylon), Nebuchadnezzar learns the fate of his empire–it will be defeated and destroyed.  At the same time, the people of God are given a panoramic vision of the four great empires which will arise and then fall until the coming of Israel’s Messiah (Jesus) who will crush the last of these great empires as his kingdom extends into all the earth and endures until the very end of time.  It is Daniel’s God, not Nebuchadnezzar’s “gods,” who rules heaven and earth, and directs the affairs of people and nations.  King Nebuchadnezzar is terrified for good reason–his “gods” and his magicians cannot help him.  Nebuchadnezzar is at the mercy of YHWH.  

We wrap-up the account of Nebuchadnezzaer’s dream (in Daniel 2), by considering the king’s unexpected response to the amazing ability of Daniel to do what the king’s expert magicians cannot do–recall and explain this bizarre and frightening dream.  The 49 verses of the second chapter of the Book of Daniel can be divided into four parts.  The first part (vv. 1-13), deals with Nebuchadnezzaer’s dream and the king’s challenge to the Chaldeans to recall and explain the meaning of the dream.  In the second part of the chapter (vv. 14-23), Daniel recounts that YHWH revealed both the contents of the dream and its meaning to Daniel–which Nebuchadnezzar demanded from his court magicians but which they could not provide for the king.  The third part of the chapter (vv. 24-45), which we covered last time, involves Daniel’s recounting and explanation of the meaning of the dream to the king.  We will wrap up our time in Daniel 2 by considering the fourth part of the chapter (vv. 46-49), which describes Nebuchadnezzar’s response to Daniel, after his young Hebrew servant interprets the dream for the great king.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here

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