Daniel 4By Pastor Boffey on Sunday, September 19, 2010.
Daniel 4 A. This chapter is a profound lesson against pride. v. 37. B. These are the words of a pagan king which the Holy Spirit chose to include in the Scriptural record. 1. That Nebuchadnezzars' words are recorded as part of Scripture here (and good words they are!) is one thing, but to be adamant that he was a child of God is entirely another. Balaam, the false prophet, likewise spoke great swelling words concerning God which were recorded for our comfort, patience and admonition (NUM 23-24). But, for such as him are reserved the mists of darkness forever. 2PE 2:15-18. 2. At His discretion, God can force His words out of dumb asses (NUM 22:28 c/w 2PE 2:16), the midst of a burning bush (EXO 3:4), stones (LUK 19:40), ungodly conspirators and murderers (JOH 11:49-52) and occasionally a televangelist. 3. Full assurance of grace, a new birth and sonship comes from manifesting the fruit of the Spirit as seen in GAL 5:22-23, which curiously omits prophecy. 4. Ultimately, all creation will confess the Lordship of Christ but this does not mean that all are His children. MAT 25:41-46; PHIL 2:9-11. 5. Talk, including prophecy, is relatively cheap. It is those who DO the righteousness of God that evidence inward grace and eternal hope. MAT 7:18-21; ROM 2:13. v. 1. A. Nebuchadnezzar expressed a desire for peace on earth, a commendable notion. However, true peace is an elusive ideal apart from God. There is a peace for which the world strives that is contrary to the peace of God. JOH 14:27; PHIL 4:6-7. The peace which Christ brought was not primarily amongst men; it was between man and God. LUK 2:14; 12:51-53; COL 1:20; ROM 5:1; EPH 2:14-15. Peace is the proverbial carrot dangled in front of the plow-horse of humanity. It is a valuable tool to entice people into subjection. DAN 8:25; 2KI 18:32. True peace is achieved only through conformity to God's will. PSA 85:10; ISA 32:17. B. C. D. vs. 2-3. A. It is good to declare the might and glory of God. He has even ordained the creation to do so. PSA 19:1-3. B. Especially worthy of our consideration are the great things that He has wrought toward us. EPH 1:3-8; 2:7. C. There ought to be no shame in declaring what God has done for us in Christ. PSA 40:10; ROM 1:16. D. The declaration of God's dominion through Christ is the pure essence of the gospel. ROM 10:15 c/w ISA 52:7; 1CO 15:1-4 c/w MAT 28:18; 1PE 3:22. vs. 4-5. A. The powerful and affluent are not exempt from the terrors of the Lord. He can trouble them in their sleep as it pleases Him. GEN 41:1-8; MAT 27:19. B. God specializes in interrupting the ease of fools. AMO 6:1; LUK 12:19-20; 1TH 5:3. vs. 6-9. A. The Chaldeans had previously assured the king that they could certainly interpret his dreams if he would but make them known (DAN 2:4, 7). God gave them opportunity to prove their assertion, Daniel 4 9-12-10 Page 1 of 3 but they could not do so. Frustrated again! ISA 44:25. Note the reluctance of carnal man, even in light of past performance, to appeal to the God of Daniel in time of need. 1. Here is a lesson for many churches: how long will you look for answers in man's wisdom instead of the proven counsel of God's word? PSA 119:128; ROM 3:4. 2. Here is a lesson for individual believers: why is there a tendency to rely on the flesh when we know full well that God's grace and spirit were our beginning with Christ? GAL 3:3. A close analogy may be drawn here with evolutionists. 1. They are convinced that the answer to the question of life and its origin will certainly be revealed if they just keep digging, but there is one source of answers which they categorically refuse: God and His word. 2. Incontrovertible evidence will not convince a stubborn, blinded fool. 2PE 3:3-5. Another analogy may be drawn here with modern-day theologians who can't believe that God would transmit His word infallibly in their language. 1. Thus, they appeal to Greek and Hebrew texts whose representation of the original autographs cannot be proven and which still require translation into their own native language to be of any benefit to themselves or their hearers. 2. Worse, any semblance of Scripture at all is discarded in favor of humanistic reasoning. B. C. D. vs. 10-18. A. Nebuchadnezzar related his dream to Daniel. B. Even in the absence of a dream-interpreting prophet, a man of faith with the Scripture in hand could have closely understood the vision by referring to EZE 31:3-11. C. A God-fearing Bible believer can be wiser than a collection of astrologers, Chaldeans and soothsayers by comparing spiritual things with spiritual. PSA 119:100; 1CO 2:12-13. vs. 19-26. A. Daniel interpretted Nebuchadnezzar's dream. B. Unlike the Assyrian who was utterly cut off, Nebuchadnezzar was to be left with hope of restoration after being humbled. c/w JOB 14:7-9. vs. 27-33. A. The best course of action for Nebuchadnezzar was repentance, peradventure God would give space for it, which is His prerogative. JON 3:9-10; REV 2:21. B. Nebuchadnezzar's prosperous government had been neglectful of the poor, so typical of despotic rulers and pagan religion. 1. Mercy to the poor is a demonstration of pure religion. JAM 1:27; GAL 2:10. 2. Civil government's greatest mercy to the poor is to release them from the chains of socialism, heavy taxation and false charity called welfare. C. One year elapsed from the time that Nebuchadnezzar was apprised of his errors (vs. 29-30), but no fruits of repentance were brought forth. 1. Thus, the axe was laid to the tree. LUK 13:6-9. 2. Make no false assumptions about God's longsuffering; your time for repenting of error is today! HEB 3:15; JAM 4:14. D. Nebuchadnezzar's pride brought on his inevitable destruction. PRO 16:18. E. He did not heed the warnings given him, seizing glory for himself that was rightfully God's. Thus, his destruction was sudden, unawares, and swift. v. 31 c/w ECC 9:12; ACT 12:23. F. Nebuchadnezzar refused to understand his rank under God and was turned over to be as a beast, an Daniel 4 9-12-10 Page 2 of 3 appropriate sentence. PSA 49:6, 20. vs. 34-37. A. In time, a humbled Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged God's sovereignty and then his reasoning returned. Sometimes we need to be quite humbled before we come to our senses. LUK 15:17. B. Acknowledgment of the sovereignty of God is essential to proper reasoning. C. Psalms 103:19. The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.