We're in a series in the book of Daniel, and today is Daniel 2, next Sabbath is Daniel 3, "Footsteps in the Furnace." I think you're going to like this series.
Come to the book of Daniel 2 in your Bibles, and you will find in Daniel 2:1 that Nebuchadnezzar had a nightmare. Have you ever had a bad nightmare? In fact he had bunch of nightmares that night, because if you read this carefully, what does it say in Daniel 2:1 (KJV)? It says he dreamed dreams. So this is more than one dream. The heading in my bible says "Nebuchadnezzar dreamed." There were actually several dreams. [The Hebrew word, 'dreamed' is kalowm, to firm up, and can be associated with dream.] I think what that probably means is that he dreamed the same dream over and over and they just kept bothering him all night long. And God, of course, sent that dream. And, in a sense God treated that pagan monarch like a prophet, because he gave him a dream, a God sent dream. God has never communicated personally with me, that I know of. I've never had the privilege that Nebuchadnezzar had. I don't know if he's done that to you, but God directly communicated with this Heathen king. But I think dreams can be dangerous. I think the word of God is safer than dreams because you never know where dreams came from. Maybe you just dreamed it.
So we have to compare dreams with God's Word. Isaiah 8:20 says, To the law and to the testimony! If they speak do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn. They have no light in them.
And so Nebuchadnezzar saw this tall metallic metal man. This giant stood before the Oriental tyrant, but as he watched, a stone came out of the heavens and hit the image on the feet and reduced quickly the whole image to dust and then a wind came and blew all the dust away. It was all gone, all the kingdoms of the world were gone. The stone became a mountain, and he could not sleep over what the implications of that dream were. He was worried about the future. (verse 29).
Now Ecclesiastes 5:12 says, The sleep of the laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep. Nebuchadnezzar was rich. Shakespeare said: "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown." If you wear a crown you don't sleep well, and Nebuchadnezzar didn't sleep very well.
Daniel 2:2-3 says, So the king summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers to tell him what he had dreamed. And when they came in and stood before the king, he said to them, "I have had a dream that troubles me and I want to know what it means." "You tell me what my dream is, because, I guess I forgot it." Maybe he didn't forget it, I really don't know. Maybe it was a test in verse nine. I don't know if he actually forgot the dream or it was just testing them. But he wanted to know the dream, and the interpretation.
Now, vegetarian Daniel and his friends were 10 times better than all the wise men in Babylon and yet he did not consult vegetarian Daniel or his friends, Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego. Why didn't Nebuchadnezzar consult one of the four worthies who were a thousand percent wiser than all the wise men of the kingdom? That's sort of strange. If you face a great predicament in your life, you've go this great quandary, and you really don't know what to do and there's something really bothering you, don't go to the magicians and the astrologers. If you're facing some great problem, don't forget to consult with a wise Christian guide or counselor. That's where you need to go. Often God sends a godly wise man or wise woman into a church or into a community that we may consult with those people. Don't forget those people. Don't forget them when bad times descend on you. Instead of going to Daniel we go to the stargazer, we go to the enchanter, we go to the worldly psychiatrist and we ask them for advice. Don't do that. Pharaoh forgot Joseph. Nebuchadnezzar forgot Daniel. Don't forget these people. The enchanters were thinking, 'How can we come up with this dream. This is so weird. We can't interpret a dream we don't even know.'
Even the devil couldn't help the Chaldean intellectuals discover what the dream was. Why couldn't the devil help them. I mean, they worked for the devil. Why wouldn't the devil help them? Because the devil didn't know the dream. Why didn't the devil know the dream? Because I don't think the devil can read our minds. He doesn't know our thoughts, does he? I don't believe he does, I think he's prevented from knowing that. The devil is a very unfaithful employer, don't work for the devil. The heathen astrologers had served Satan for many years, and you would think the devil owed them a favor. But here, Satan was very willing that they would all be sacrificed to the hangman's noose or the executioner in order to get rid of Daniel and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. The devil is a fickle. Don't serve him or his drugs. Drugs are fickle. Only God will see you through. You go to God.
Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were not in the first confrontation. Did you notice that? They weren't called upon. Why weren't they called upon? Well, they were new recruits. But eventually, they were all on the red carpet. Daniel was called by the executioner "come we're going to kill you because you can't tell the dream." And Daniel said,"Wait a minute. I think I can. Let me speak to the king." Daniel was their spokesman and when the head executioner came to take them to their death, Daniel "spoke to him with wisdom and with tact," the bible says.
Cool heads are needed in a hot crisis, but cool heads are rare. Daniel saved the day and He promised that if Arioch gave them time they would reveal both the dream and its meaning. Now how could Daniel promise that? He didn't have any idea what the king had dreamed. He didn't know. He spoke that in faith. Sometimes a Christian just has to walk forward in faith. At that point, he did not know the dream, but Daniel knew God, and God can do anything. God will not let you down. Psalm 50:15, Call upon me in the day of trouble; and I will deliver you... That's a promise! So, when a crisis looms over your head, go into your closet and kneel before the Lord and ask Him for knowledge and understanding. The world needs modern Daniels. We need them even in Collegedale, and we need them at the head of our government. We're facing terrorists who can strike any day. We need leaders, wise leaders who get their answers from God. Daniel may have prayed all night. His prayer was intense and God gave him the answer. The Bible says in James 5:15 (KJV), The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
"Whatever God can do, now think this through, whatever God can do, faith can do. And whatever faith can do, prayer can do when it is offered in faith. So in other words an invitation to prayer, whenever you get on your knees is, therefore, an invitation to omnipotence, because prayer engages the omnipotent God to your case, and brings Him into our human affairs." Payer is powerful. I hope you utilize it, utilize it well in your life.
When Daniel went before young king Nebuchadnezzar there probably wasn't much difference in their ages. Nebuchadnezzar actually was one of the most capable and intelligent of anybody who ever sat on any throne. The monarch questioned him, and said, "Are you able to tell me my dream and it's interpretation? Look at Daniel 2:27-28. 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 the days to come.
He gave the credit to God didn't he. Isn't that beautiful? No human can do that, but God can. He gives all the credit to his heavenly father. So many of us act like Christians when it comes to asking God for something, but we act worse than Heathens by not thanking Him when the answer comes. Shame on us. When you get an answer, when you find your ten-dollar bill, when something good happens, kneel back down and praise the Lord and thank Him for what He did to help you.
Now, all that Daniel told the king, God gave him. And Daniel told the king every detail of the mysterious dream. And I think we have the obligation to tell what God has given to us. Now I know Mark Finley baptized three hundred seven people here in Chattanooga. That's a fantastic result! All those three hundred seven people now have the truth. God has given them new light, and you folks (them, us, all of us included), we need to share what we know. Its not just enough to have it and sit on it. Tell everyone about it. Tell your friends about it. Be consistent about that. If you know it, show it, tell it. Daniel 2:31-34. Daniel said to the king, "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."
Daniel just completely told the dream and he revealed the full meaning to the king who just probably sat there with his mouth wide open. 'How did you know, were you listening, were you deciphering me?' And then Daniel went on afterwards in Daniel 2:46-47, he says, Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor.... He worshiped Daniel? Now I would have thought here that he said he worshiped God, wouldn't you? But he worshiped whom? He worshiped Daniel. When Mark Finley comes to town, don't worship Mark Finley. When Don Gettys preaches the sermon now nobody worships me anyway. Worship God! Worship God! He bowed down to Daniel and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odors unto him to Daniel. Who in the world would want sweet odors? Daniel 2:47, 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."
Well the king was happy. The executioner and his team put their swords away. The "wise" men said, "Whew we're saved." The wise men breathed a sigh of relief. And I will tell you "How often the wicked are benefitted by the righteous!
What saved all those astrologers and wise men. "Who saved them? It was Daniel.
How often the wicked are saved by the presence of the righteous. If only ten righteous people could be found in Sodom, the whole place would have been saved. Yet how often the wicked despise the righteous, the wicked ridicule the righteous. I remember when I worked at the A.H. Perfect Company in Fort Wayne, Indiana, all summer long. They knew I was a Christian. They saw me praying over my food at lunch time. They would walk by and criticize me, blow smoke in my face. All summer long that happened. How often the wicked criticize the righteous, not that I was righteous, but I was trying to be a Christian.
Well, Daniel's interpretation was:
You are the head of Gold. But Your kingdom will disappear and next after you will come a kingdom made of Silver represented in the arms and the chest. But that kingdom will also disappear and be replaced with one made of Bronze in the thighs. And then that will be replaced the legs of Iron Kingdom and that will be replaced by the kingdom represented by the feet and toes of iron and clay.
The gold was Babylon, of course, which was 605 to 538 BC, lasted 67 Years.
The silver was Medo-Persia. They came into existence in 538 and ended in 331 with the great victory by Alexander the Great. They lasted 207 Years.
Then Greece took over, the Bronze kingdom, 331 to 168, lasting 163 Years.
And then Iron kingdom Rome from 163 BC - 476 AD 644 Years.
And now we're living in the kingdom of what? The feet and the toes, which is not one kingdom but a multitude of kingdoms. Not even the common market can get it together, not even Adolph Hitler could get it all together. It won't come together because iron and clay don't mix. They are always going to be separate. We are living in the kingdom of the toes. From 475 AD to 2006 so far. How long it will go we don't know. I don't think it will be much longer.
Daniel 2:41. Look at this. 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.
When did the Iron Age begin? Actually it began around the time of David and Solomon. But it didn't expand much then. But it began to flourish about the time of the Industrial Revolution when the iron horse and steel came into existence. The huge steel mills in America, those huge factories, we had smokestacks all over America. We were manufacturing everything here. We were the great manufacturing Mecca. But alas now America is experiencing, what some would call, a great sucking sound--the sound of industry moving to India and China where everything seems to be made. You see that. You just try to go to the store and buy certain things. They aren't made in America.
So it would be logical to say that we are moving from the Iron Age to the Clay age. Each part of the image was less valuable. It started out with gold and ending with clay and iron. This is the opposite of Evolution. This ought to tell us that Evolution doesn't work. We are disintegrating. We're not getting better. We're declining. Each material in the image of Daniel 2 has a lower atomic weight than the next material, than the one above it. In other words, gold weighs ten times more than clay. Silver is five times heavier than clay. Each kingdom is inferior to what was in past history.
Now, you may say "I disagree with that, we are superior today. We are really something today." Well, You might think that we are superior to Rome for instance. True we do have modern conveniences--I don't think they had dishwashers in Rome, but they all had servants, and we don't. We have to work from sunup to sundown. We travel to and fro very rapidly but our morals are like the scum of the earth. The world is suffering from moral depravity. We're suffering with terrible things, famines, and global meltdown, terrorist attacks, war, and more complicated troubles than we've ever seen before. I don't think we're better.
What is the clay age? Clay is made up of two principal things one of which is aluminum. The process of processing commercial quantities of aluminum was invented in 1886 by two striking simultaneous discoveries by two amateur chemists both 22 years old: Charles Hall in America and Paul Heroult in France. Aluminum is the most common metal in the earth's crust and yet completely unknown before this time. It was first called "Silver from Clay."
The other principal thing in clay is silicon. Only in the last 40 or so years has it been said that we are now living in the Silicon Age. So you see that we're right down in the toenails of chapter 2. That's exactly where we're living. The computer chip is a striking invention only coming into existence in these last days. Daniel 2:42-43. >b> 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.
It's a baked age we live in. Our age is Baked. The heat of our times has spiritually baked our hearts and hardened our hearts and made them brittle and unpliable. In a spiritual sense here in Daniel we are the clay. The clay represents us. What was Adam made out of? We are the clay. Baked clay the Bible says, brittle and hardened, casehardened and solidified like a ceramic pot. Only the Holy Spirit can soften a ceramic pot and remold it. And that's why I believe the Holy Spirit is the only thing that can save people living in these last days. We need the latter rain, it's got to happen, and I believe it is happening. Our world though is baked, it is brittle and fragile. In the last days it will be impossible to hold the world together, it won't happen. Peace will crumble like clay. Mankind will destroy the earth (Revelation 11:18). The big problem in the last days will be the clay, and the clay represents us.
Daniel 2:44-45. "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. Do you want to be part of a Kingdom that will last forever? We do! And that is Gods kingdom. That's the next kingdom that's coming. 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."
Eventually Jesus, the rock of Ages, is coming. That's the Rock. It's Jesus. He's coming, and He's coming through the skies like a bright burning stone. He will become a large mountain and fill the entire earth. It will be filled with Jesus. Do you see what that means? His kingdom will smash into the feet of the image. The feet are the farthest removed from the head, therefore, the feet represent the remnant of the image.
What does Christ, the Rock strike? The remnant. The last people living on the face of the earth. We must surely learn from these verses that God is coming. God is in direct control of the Nations. He sets up king, he takes down kings, he is in charge. Nebuchadnezzar sat on his throne gratis of God. So how will the world end? Jesus is going to come, and Jesus will destroy all the worldly kingdoms. The old will be completely destroyed and blown away. No trace of sin will be found in God's new eternal kingdom. Nahum 1:9 says, Whatever they plot against the Lord He will bring to an end; trouble will not come a second time. It's all going to be blown away, the world will be filled with Jesus.
The answer to the world's problems is not in more laws but in the Lord. We don't need more technology we need more trust. We don't need more gold we need God. Those are the answers to the world. The most important thing in Daniel two is not Nebuchadnezzar, not the image, not even Daniel. The most important thing in Daniel two is that zooming stone breaking the sound barrier as it enters the earths atmosphere and strikes, in the days of the toes, and in the toenails, strikes the image and destroys all the earthly kingdoms and the sets up its own kingdom. That stone is Jesus.
I Cor 10:4 and Luke 20:17-18. Jesus said in Revelation 22:12 "Behold, I am coming soon!" He's coming, and he's coming soon. The last survivors living during the time of the toes will be directly impacted by the stone. They will be in contact with the Stone. God is going step on our toes. Where does the stone land? On the toes. Jesus needs to step on my toes. Do your toes need steeping on? Sometimes after the sermon people will say, "Pastor, you sure stepped on my toes today." Well Jesus is going to step on our toes, he's going to smash the toes of the image! The world is steeped in sin. We're near the end of time, we're living in the last days? Are you ready to meet Jesus? Are you ready to be a Daniel before your family, before your home? Are you living in a bad environment, maybe your neighborhood is bad, maybe it's time for you to be a Daniel. Maybe it's time for you to join Gods remnant church, maybe you've held off, maybe you are attending this church but you are not a member of this church. I invite you to join Gods remnant church. It isn't perfect, but then you might not be perfect, I know I'm not. Jesus is coming and He's going to take His People home. Are you ready for Jesus to come? Are you helping to get others ready for Jesus to come? Lets get ready.
1. Did the King forget the dream? KJV says, "the thing is gone from me." But the NASB and NIV says "The command from me is firm" and "This is what I have firmly decided."
2. The Set of the Sail, by A. W. Tozer, p. 33.
3. Be Resolute, by Warren W. Wiersbe, 2000.
4. Daniel Verse by Verse, by Henry Feyerabend, 1990
5. Let Daniel Speak, by Arthur Keouch, 1986.
6. See Education, page 173 for God's control over the nations of this world.
Hymn of Praise: #30, Holy God, We Praise Your Name Scripture: Daniel 2:44-45 Hymn of Response: #547, Be Thou My Vision 060708#110
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