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Dreams of a King
Scripture: Jeremiah 29:8-9; Daniel 2:14-49; Isaiah ...
Track 2 of 12 in the Daniel: A Life Without Compromise series
Running time: 1 hour, 05 minutes
Daniel has the meaning to the dream and can tell the king what dream he had. God is going to set Daniel apart from the other wise men in the kingdom. He is going to allow Daniel to do something that the wise men of Babylon said couldnt be done.

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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.

Dreams of a King

When we finished last week, Daniel had convinced his captors to let him eat his normal dietary food in place of the food ordered for him. Daniel was set not to defile himself even if it meant dying. Because of that, God helped him live up to the obedience he wished to have for God. And God would honor Daniel for that obedience and used him to advance His agenda in Babylon.

How many of you dream when you sleep? Any of you don’t dream? Have you ever had a dream so real that when you woke up you wondered about what the dream meant? Have you ever sought out to find the meaning of a dream?

Dreams and visions were some of the ways in which God communicated to man back in the Old Testament. He even did it in the New Testament. Dreams were important in the Old Testament, too. Israel was forbidden to use many of the divining practices of her neighbors, but over a dozen times God revealed something through a dream.

In the Ancient Near Eastern world dreams were real. They were not an extension of one’s conscious or unconscious mind. Dreams were the world of the divine and the demonic. Dreams had meaning, too. They often revealed the future. They could show the dreamer the right decision to make. People even went to temples or holy places to sleep in order to have a dream which would show them the decision to make.

The dreams of common people were important to them, but the dreams of kings and of holy men or women were important on a national or international scale. One of the results was that many of the nations surrounding Israel had religious figures skilled in the interpretation of dreams. These figures could be consulted at the highest level of government for important decisions. It was a very dangerous business to be in. To mess up or not be able to give an interpretation to a dream could mean your death.

Not every dream was thought to be from God. Not every dream was significant. Some could be wishful thinking. In times of need and especially when a person sought a word from God, dreams could be significant. In the Old Testament the interpreted dreams were most often those of prophets and rulers. Not every dream needed to be interpreted. To note this we can distinguish three types of dreams.

• A simple “message dream” apparently did not need interpretation. For instance, Joseph, in Matthew 1 and 2, understood the dreams concerning Mary and Herod even though no mention is made of interpretation.

• A second type, the “simple symbolic dream,” used symbols, but the symbolism was clear enough that the dreamer and others could understand it. The Old Testament Joseph had this kind of dream in Genesis 37.

• Complex symbolic dreams, though, needed the interpretive skill of someone with experience or an unusual ability in interpretation. The dreams of Nebuchadnezzar described in Daniel 2 and 4 are good examples of this kind of dream. Even Daniel himself had dreams in which the symbolism was so complex that he had to seek divine interpretation (Dan. 8)

How safe is it to believe in dreams today? Dreams were neither foolproof nor infallible. Both Jeremiah and Zechariah spoke against relying on dreams to express the revelation of God. Dreams could come without being God’s word.

Jeremiah lumped dreamers together with soothsayers, sorcerers, and false prophets (Jer. 27:9). He cautioned exiles in Babylon not to listen to dreamers and false prophets who told them that the Exile would not be long.

Jeremiah. 29:8-9 Yes, this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the LORD.

What was the rule in knowing if what the prophet told you was true? How did the people know if the prophet was actually from God? How can we tell if an interpreter of dreams is actually able to tell us the true meaning of our dream and not someone who is trying to pull the wool over our eyes?

In our lesson today, King Nebuchadnezzar had dreams. He had dreams that concern him. They cause him not to sleep and he felt they meant something. So he called his magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers in to tell him what his dreams meant. Nebuchadnezzar was very smart. He didn’t tell them his dreams. He asked them to tell him what his dreams were and the interpretation. He was looking for real answers and he knew if a person could tell the dreams without hearing it from the king, then the interpretation would be real.

Daniel 2:10-13 The astrologers answered the king, “There is not a man on earth who can do what the king asks! No king, however great and mighty, has ever asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or astrologer. What the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among men. ”This made the king so angry and furious that he ordered the execution of all the wise men of Babylon. So the decree was issued to put the wise men to death, and men were sent to look for Daniel and his friends to put them to death.

If you were one of the enchanters who was now about to be put to death, what would be going through your mind? What if you were Daniel? Have you ever been in a situation when you had to act, to commit yourself to doing something spectacular and then gone home to ask yourself, now, how do I do this?

Daniel 2: 14-16 When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact. He asked the king’s officer, “Why did the king issue such a harsh decree?” Arioch then explained the matter to Daniel. At this, Daniel went in to the king and asked for time, so that he might interpret the dream for him.

How confident are you in God? Are you willing to bet your life on Him?

Daniel 2:17-10 Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven.

Daniel has the meaning to the dream and can tell the king what dream he had. God is going to set Daniel apart from the other wise men in the kingdom. He is going to allow Daniel to do something that the wise men of Babylon said couldn’t be done.

Daniel 2:24-30 The king asked Daniel (also called Belteshazzar), “Are you able to tell me what I saw in my dream and interpret it?” Daniel replied, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come. Your dream and the visions that passed through your mind as you lay on your bed are these: “As you were lying there, O king, your mind turned to things to come, and the revealer of mysteries showed you what is going to happen. As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than other living men, but so that you, O king, may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.

Because Daniel could actually know what the dream was plus its interpretation, what message was God sending to the wise men of Babylon? Why not let the wise men of Babylon be killed for their inability to tell the dream? It is obvious that they were false men. Why ask for them to be spared? I would think God would want them executed?

In these opening verses, what important trait do we learn about Daniel? He did not fall into temptation concerning intellectual pride.

Daniel 2:31-35 “You looked, O king, and there before you stood a large statue—an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.

In a way I feel Nebuchadnezzar might have guessed somewhat that the dream was about him. My feel is that he had this dream repeatedly. It is one thing to have a dream that gets your attention; it is another thing if you keep having the same dream.

What is the important observation of the statue? The quality of the metal decreases as Daniel descends in his description of the image.

In the description of the dream, dramatically a stone appears. Notice Daniel reveals that it was not cut by human hands. The affects of this stone were not man made. The affects of the stone were caused by God himself. The stone destroys the image and the image quickly is swept away without a trace. Only the stone stands.

Do you think Nebuchadnezzar thought in the back of his mind that this image was about him?
Notice how Daniel revealed the dream. There was no fanfare. It was direct and accurate. There were no corrections made by Nebuchadnezzar either.

Daniel 2:37-45 You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; in your hands he has placed mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold.“After you, another kingdom will rise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth. Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron—for iron breaks and smashes everything—and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others. Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay. “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces. “The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy.”

The first major item in the interpretation was the fact that the statue represented a succession of kingdoms. Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon were the first in a series of kingdoms. His would be the greatest of the kingdoms.

The second major item in the interpretation was the absolute sovereignty of God in all of these kingdoms. They start when God gives the kingdoms to men and they will continue with God taking them from men with the setting up of his own Kingdom in the earth.

Knowing this fact about God, what does this say about the United States of America? What is our history, our present and our future when facing the reality these kingdoms faced?

• The first kingdom is Babylon
• The second kingdom is the Medes and the Persians
• The third kingdom succeeds the Medo-Persian Empire. It was identified as Greece in Daniel 8
• The fourth kingdom was not identified. But by the nature of its rule, most believe it was the Roman Empire. It is historical fact that the Roman Empire succeeds the Grecian Empire in 63 BC.
• The feat of clay marks the decline of the Roman Empire over their many years of rule. Jerome writes about how weak and feeble the empire became during his time.

The stone represents the Kingdom of the Lord God Almighty. It is the last kingdom. Other kingdoms will come and go on the earth but none will have the impact the other four had on the earth during their reign. But it is the Kingdom of God that stands and fills the whole earth.

Notice that there is one very important kingdom that is missing from the image described by Daniel. Which one is missing? What does this mean? What does this say to our country? How is the image of the stone used to describe the kingdom of God throughout the Bible?

Isaiah 28:6 So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.

Daniel 2:46-49 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him. The king said to Daniel, “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.” Then the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men. Moreover, at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego administrators over the province of Babylon, while Daniel himself remained at the royal court.