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Daniel 2 Experiencing God as the 'Revealer of Mysteries'

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Dear Congregation of our Lord Jesus Christ,
When you find yourself in Babylon, when as child of God, called to be His treasured possession in this world, serving with different values different goals, when a believer finds themselves in the kingdom of this world - face a real identity crisis. When in Rome do as the Romans do… we become like those in the culture we’re immersed in. This was the threat that began the book of Daniel, first test was… FOOD… would they defile themselves. Remember changed name,changed education - change the wisdom they live by . But much more at stake than just Daniel staying pure, remember much at stake in a cosmic battle - ned this spiritual persepective on our lives. Daniel taken to Plain of Shinar, after experiencing holocaust - issue is whether these roayl princes from tibe of Judah will become Balshazar, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in body and soul, or whether - Lord would have true believeer,s servants’ prophets living by his wisdom speaking God’s truth at the theart of the3m pire of the world? That is what is at stake with you and I in our walk in this world, living as citizen’s of Christ kingdom!
And what is the answer. We find that carefully and humorously given at the end of chapter 1.
Daniel 1:1 ESV
In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.
Daniel 1:21 ESV
And Daniel was there until the first year of King Cyrus.
In chapter 1 Neb and Babylon look so powerful, God’s people so helpless, 14 year old teens taken to Shinar, but already tipping hand, to show us when you stand like Daniel in the Lord, kingdom will rise and fall, neb power is transeint and passing thing, Third year of Cyrus the Persian, shows Neb will be gone, but Daniel as 90 year old man - will stand - stand through 3 empires - as servant of Lord. But even more this date tells us Daniel as 90 old man - before end of his life will be brought back with the exiles to God’s kingdom that will last forever! Chapter 2 begins to explain how. Babylon’s wisdom is proven bankrupt, and Babylon’s king isfound bowing before young weak follower of those whose King is God the revealer of mysteries! - and the key truth is that if you want to stand like Daniel in the midst of a goddless culture you must experience God as the ‘Revealer of Mysteries’
First thing must really experience is that this world’s wisdom is bankrupt!
A. Act Knowing the Bankruptcy of This World’s Wisdom (1-16)
Do you see th irony in the context of this second test, giving the dream and the interpretation of the king’s future? At the end of this chunk, 1-16, how is Daniel acting? Daniel who just fihnds out a death sentence from king - because can’t tell the dream - Calm as a cucumber, wise as serpent , innocent as dove - buys time - in contrl oof the situation - chief of staff, head of gestapo - tell knig appoint a day - buys time. And does run from challenge!
Contrast this with Nebuchadnezzar. He has a dream it sends the whole nation with a king into an uproaro worse than if a bomb dropped into the courtayrd of the king’s palace. Undertandable that this dream of a colussus is about the future, it calls into existence the whole existign order. But the frenzy of the king - is like Presdient Donald Trump -overreacting to tweets he intstigates.... Yes God is pointing a finger drakly at Neb in His sleep - revealing Himself and His will in way Babylonians also understood dream; and this whole chunk is ponting out that Neb and all Babylon knwo they don’t have the wisdom they need!
This is what the world does when faced with problems of life -of future, of death
Daniel 2:2 ESV
Then the king commanded that the magicians, the enchanters, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans be summoned to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king.
Kind of like doctors only give one solution to every problem - antibiotic, antibiotics, antibiotics… He summons list of human advisors, trend spooters, counsellors - what the world does when no cerntanity - science, pychology, econmisits, proffesors astorology, spiritual guru
Ever meet someone in Neb’s staet, myabe after death of loved one3, maybe in midst of perenting and marriage diffuclty - and all the human wisdom in the world can’t answer - despair, sometime sanger, bitterness, rage like Neb.
What do you and I do when we meet someone in this state in this broken and incomplete world?
Thisi s the point of the first section:
Daniel 2:11 ESV
The thing that the king asks is difficult, and no one can show it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.”
= time and again, people and cultures come to this point, edge of bankruptcy, old certianities gone… told you so… but need to realize that believers godlenopportunity … hour come for another Daniel to step on stage - Christian view of problem and solution… when wisemen fail, belivergets a hearing… ?
Daniel 2:10–11 ESV
The Chaldeans answered the king and said, “There is not a man on earth who can meet the king’s demand, for no great and powerful king has asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or Chaldean. The thing that the king asks is difficult, and no one can show it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.”
= time and again, people and cultures come to this point, edge of bankruptcy, old certianities gone… told you so… but need to realize that believers godlenopportunity … hour come for another Daniel to step on stage - Christian view of problem and solution… when wisemen fail, belivergets a hearing… ?
= time and again, people and cultures come to this point, edge of bankruptcy, old certianities gone… told you so… but need to realize that believers godlenopportunity … hour come for another Daniel to step on stage - Christian view of problem and solution… when wisemen fail, belivergets a hearing… ?
Who was not on their go to list? Prophet of God, and proclaimer, and theologian, - What about on your list? Hit time of trouble - where do you turn first?
And that brings us to how daniel responds and howyou and I must respond to the wisdom of this world!
B. How to Experience God as the Revealer of Mysteries (17-30)
Arioch Neb’s chief of staff, and head of the gesatappo guard, is rounding Daniel and the boys up to be executed. Daniel reply with prudence and discretion buys time. And what is the first thing Daniel does? Run, hit the books, all-night study committee on neb and what he wants to hear? Get his affairs in order, fatalisitcally say I can do nothing… may as well asay my good bys?
Like a friend losing mulitmillions dollar farms, partner cheated - depressed - turn to prayer and the word - still see him in living room darkest face, sleepless nights.
My friend could have rushed to the bank, as later he did following advice he found in the book of proverbs. Just like Daniel the first and not the last thing he did was turn to the Living God in prayer! But they don’t just pray alone ..they call a mini prayer meeting:
Daniel 2:17 ESV
Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions,
Daniel 2:17–18 ESV
Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
Four are better than one. Note they are four who id themselves as Christains in the face of Babylon - do you have four friends you could call on to pray with? My God is graciuos, Who is like our God, God is My Help! Whole antion in confusion, all sorts of Daniel’s coleaguages and co-workers would die - if not for this time of prayer together! How about in the churches of this land, our nation, your family -
Underatnd that the privellege of prayer believers have is not only privellege but it is a \command - to pray expectantly, to pray and then act on those prayers! Daniel prays specifically for mercy concerning the problem of the state and of his own life - mystery!
They pray and then what happens .. Daniel and all three friends they can sleep soundly - like Peter in prisonchained to two guards - praying and singing to the Lord.
Then in sleep - vision comes - both the dream and the interp.
And again what is the first ting Daniel does - run to king, to his friends? Remember save his life, but also promsied great reward from king, great position? No. Who is biggest in Daniel’s life - revealeed by what happens next -
Daniel stops, and prays right away to God - give thanks and praise -
Daniel 2:20 ESV
Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might.
make time for that- Dqaniel acknwleget he soverriegnty of God who changes timesa and seasons - lets that soak in as humble srvant goes to speak to enraged confused most powerful man in world.
Your prayer life botht he asking, and the thanking reveal your relationship to God! This is the point of the second sectionn - Daniel appels to wisdom above - Daniel’s prayer is saves lives and stops the disintegreation of the nation! Do you see it, Daniel’s wisdom, cannot be had by learning, education. point of this section is the point of all the wisdom literature of the GBible. Prov - fear of the lrdo is the beginning of wisdom - Onoly in relatinoships to the Lord get wisdom! Where is wsdom to be found - not human effort - but in walking with God - Point of the conclusion of Job,
The magiciasns in babyolon only partly right - no man can reveal this, but God certainly can, and he does walk among his people - even with those who like Daniel seek Him in prayer!
In the NT Paul says:
1 Corinthians 1:20 ESV
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
But the Spirit searches out all things, even the deep things of God! Paul goes on to say:
1 Corinthians 2:16 ESV
“For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
He says,
1 Corinthians 1:30 ESV
And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,
In Colossians we learn that in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge!
Daniel experiences God as teh revealer of mysteries - active God solving the problem sof ur world and our lives - so he gets on with God’s rogram and acts - with God teh revealer as teh biggest part of his life, not even the dream itself!
He doesn’t next go to the King, but to Arioch, to spare the wisemen - he shows love to even his enemies and captors
And even when he goes into the king and the king demands “are you able to or not” What is Daniel’s first and most important concern… look I can’t, no one can, - but the big part of your dream is about God:
Daniel 2:28 ESV
but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed are these:
And though a polytheist - neb’s major point at the end of the chapter is not about his kingdom, however long he gets to rule it, but he’s says to Daniel:
Daniel 2:47 ESV
The king answered and said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.”
Shouldn’t this be our goal when walking beside others at the end of their rope -to show them how we knwo the Revealer of Mysteries and they should dare in their situation to believe in Him too!
But what is the mystery God reveals that we are to dare to make known?
C. Turn to God Revealing the Mystery of Your Life
Now whie all of us dream - interesting to consdier what our dreams reveal about what’s going on in our lives. Rarely interp to give the meaning of our life, and in terms of how God speaks to us today never a realiable mode of revealing the futrue to us!
But these truths revealed solong agao to a king, and anation, and preserved for Gods’ epeope forever in His word, they do reveal mysteries about our lives nad the lives of those around us! And God wants you to know them, and mkae them known!
Interesting that this become the core message of the book this vision and the corresponding vision of Daniel of four beeasts representing four empires in ch7 - and this is all in the common tongue of Aramaic - same characters, different language… mystery of Christ among the nations!
The first part of the vision shows how shaky and transitory the throne of Neb would be, this world like Neb - think a march of unfettered progress… but God reveals where this boriken world and itskingdoms end - though some have matched the metals… notice that the metals are of declining values - noticve also they get smashed to pieces and washed away. The world thinks life progress and then ends with a big questions mark - Lrod reveals kingdom fthis world endin destruction! That is the overall message more important to reveal to others this destiny than how match up - w God controlling rise and fall, of Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome! This colluses - head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thigh of bronze, legs of iron, resting on feet of iron and clay mixture… anti-Christian forces take on different forms in different ages, yet in essence remain the same - humanism, commjunism, unfettereed consumerism, hedonism… = think its' gold, precious metal… feet of clay!
more important to reveal to others this destiny than how match up - w God controlling rise and fall, of Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome!
But the most major part of this mystery is the drama of what happens at the end! Can you see that stone, cut without human hands, Hehas no beginning, He is divine and eternal, and yet he is formed in human likeness, taking on human nature, incarnate Son of God comiong down to become King of Kings and Lord of Lord - rolling down ffrom heaven intothis world - and thought the kngdoms fo this wrold, willb ecome of our God and of his Christ, he will put all powers under his feeet. then pontisn’t so much the desturction of the kingdoms, but making a place, making room for the last kingdom!
Do you see what happns after the chaff is blown away:
Daniel 2:35 ESV
Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
This is Living God’s message to believer and unbeliever alike - you must take into account the Rock, Jesus Christ - must leave room for him - not just a little corner of our lives, Rock grow into a mountain - until fills whole earth - ample room then for kingdom f Christ - but now have you prpepared aplace for Him in your life?
Now how many of you have had this mytery hidden for the ages, now revealed in Christ to you - gospel, the kingdom - the application is that Daniel diddn’t just go and tell his own friends oabout this - this concerned the people out there - concenred the work-dady world and the nations of the earth - Daniel receive the revelation and doesn’t want the position of being so smart, he wants peole to knwo these truths and acknowledge the living God in their lives. . God gives light to those in confusion, stumbling in the darkness - You know all sorts of people stumbling with pride, coveteousness, moralism - God give sthis mystery revelation, show up and say here is the answer!
Jesus is the light of thworld - but he turned to us and said now y9ou are the light of the world, don’t put that light under a busheml… Why send out mission teams, Why go caroling, have VBS, tried the evangelism of the Plowing Match.
The diviners of Daniel’s day - try to interp omens, sheep lives, abonromal births, stars, and dreams. But they were not “seers”, they themselves ddin’t receive revealation. All of life to them was like ancient wedge shaped writing - cuneifirom , heirogrplphyics - Like people of world today - trying live life wihtout an interprettor -
One day found Rosetta Stone - 3 languages… That Stone key to it all - reveals… well congregation in pryaer you ask the author of the Roseeta Stone of Lfe -to reveal the Rock, Jesus Christ, to you - itnerpretatino for what he maans for your life and others - In prayer seek this Christ and his revealtlation, and be surrprised how your life, and lives of those around you - rebuilt with that cornerstone!
jesus said:
Luke 20:17–18 ESV
But he looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written: “ ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’? Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”
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