I Have a Dream
So the Book of Daniel today we're going to get into a new chapter in the Book of Daniel and this is this is quite a long story we are actually going to read through the entire story here but it's a good one I could I could tell it to you myself but it doesn't it's never better than actually reading it but before we really get into Daniel Chapter two let me ask you a question Are you a worrier. Anyone here worry about stuff a few people are raising their hands you're probably worried that I'm going to ask you to share with everyone what you're worried about right now I want I would do that public speaking is a big fear for a lot of people but you know generally speaking for some reason I don't know why this is true but I'm I'm not a big worrier myself but I do recognize that I think the world has more to worry about these days than it was than it did when I was a kid. I went on Google which is that wonderful source of information and I typed America's biggest worries rebellion biggest fears it and they came up with a list and that is an interesting right after a presidential election where a lot of turmoil was kind of brought up during the presidential election and so I think this is somewhat timely and just see if you can relate to some of these worries and fears these are America's biggest fears the first is and I think these are in order but it's income and wealth distribution basically money everyone in America and quite frankly the world is worried about money a second one is they're worried about the size and power of the federal government. I think that's probably something that most people think about some people think it's too big some people think it's too small there's people on both sides of that argument another fear is the Social Security system now if you're under twenty years old which there aren't too many people in the first service you don't care about the Social Security system but the closer you get to relying on it you worry about that and also another one on the possibility of terrorist attacks I think everyone in the world is worried about that. And the last one was the availability and affordability of health care so you look at the world and there are some there are some concerns and there are some things that we can be worried about however that's kind of as American Now if you look at individuals individuals have their own worries and their concerns and you can even say that people in certain age groups are worried about similar things as opposed to other age groups for seniors these are seniors biggest worries on a personal basis I won't read through all of them all read through a few of them but the first one was maintaining good health. You know people worry about their health you know it's some point everyone's health is going to fail we know that these bodies are not meant to live forever but we worry about OK when is that going to happen how long will I have my health Another one is the day that possibly having to give up driving financial security sudden unexpected bills that you're not able to pay mental health and social support those are things that those that are a little older are worried about youth use worry too the number one worry for youth is a power outage because they lose wife I connection.
I'm kidding I actually made that up everyone worried that right really good we can't be without our our internet but i'm some of the things that used to worry about pleasing people the peer pressure and even your own parents the pressure the parents put on their kids getting good grades college job all those things in the future who they'll who they'll marry some day if that's what's in their life and maybe even the death of a loved one now that's kind of on both ends of the spectrum and if you think about life as an airplane trip there is taking off and then there's cruising altitude and there's landing I find myself comfortably at cruising altitude I'm kind of right in the middle and I find that my biggest worries are for my kids and my parents I don't have a lot. Things that I worry about however people I think in middle age they worry about those that are taking off and those who are coming in for their final approach you know we worry about those things for our loved ones I talked to Kristen and she said I'm maintaining balance in life that's always a worry in my spending too much time focused on this or that So how do you spend time with family and and up hold your responsibilities and in society other things that middle age people can middle age I guess I can't do anything about that retirement in your own health things like that you know it at every stage of life we have things to worry about and therefore God and His sovereignty says don't worry about it. Easier said than done right but in Matthew God knowing that we're going to worry about these things he simply says to us Matthew six already part of this for you Jesus says Therefore I tell you Do not be anxious about your life what you will eat or what you will drink nor about your body what you will put on is not life more than food and the body more than clothing and then in verse twenty seven one of the one of the most profound things that we can ever remember is this and which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to the span of his life is that true Worrying is a lot of wasted energy and effort and then Jesus and His wisdom says to us but seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow for tomorrow will be anxious for itself sufficient for the day is its own trouble. And you with everything that a person has to worry about because it can be debilitating if we just focus on these things who in their right mind would want to be the leader of an entire nation think about all the things that they have to worry about. Think about the presidents and the kings that are out there over a over every every governmental system in the world one of the things that they have to worry about. You have to worry about the health and the well being of everybody that they are in charge of they have to worry about the safety of their people is that usually what a leader or a king or a president is worried about sometimes I think the good ones definitely are sometimes kings and presidents they're worried about their own legacy and what people are going to say about them and their approval ratings well if you're not in Daniel yet turn over to Daniel Chapter two because we're going to read about a king who's worried. He's worried and he's at the fairly kind of the beginning of his his reign and he is worried and he's having dreams how many of you have bad dreams when you're worried about stuff reoccurring dreams that's very common and King Nebuchadnezzar has a recurring dream over and over and over again and so this story is about this dream the king of a cow that never has or has so let's go ahead let's read Daniel Chapter Two beginning in verse one. It says in the second year of his reign never can has or had dreams his mind was troubled and he could not sleep so he said so the king summoned the magicians and chanters 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 first thing I want you to notice as in verse one he says dreams and here in verse three he says DREAM I think it's important to know what king of a can has or a saying is he has the stream over and over and over again it is troubling to the point where he needs to figure out what's going on verse four.
Then the astrologers answer the king may the King Live Forever tell your servants the dream. And we will interpret it and the King replied to the astrologers this is what I have firmly decided if you do not tell me what my dream was and interpret it. I will have you cut into pieces and your House is trying to piles of rubble but if you tell me my dream and explain it you will receive from me gifts of rewards and great honor So tell me the dream and interpret it for me once more they replied Let the king tell us servants the dream and we will interpret it when the King answered I am certain that you are trying to gain time because you realize that this is what I have firmly decided if you do not tell me the dream there is only one pony for you you have conspired to tell me misleading in wicked things hoping the situation will change so then tell me the dream and I will know that you can interpret it for me now you look at this and you think he is he is out of his mind he's being completely irrational right you know.
How many times have you. Noticed if something is wrong with a friend or a family member guys you know have your is your wife were girlfriend as we are ever been upset with you when you said what's wrong and she says you should know.
What it is I get I care reminds imagine the astrologers in the magicians and the stress of their feelings wait a second we have no idea what you are dreaming why you see acting this way first ten the astrologers answer the king there is no one 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 a chanter astrologer what the king asked is too difficult no one can reveal to the king except the gods and they do not live among humans is made the king so angry and furious that he ordered the execution of all the wise men about one so that it 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 you know just stop for just a minute you have to read kind of read between the lines why would King Nebuchadnezzar do this I think the fact that this is. Early on in his reign has something to do with this maybe he's dealing with trust issues who in his kingdom is able to trust maybe there are people who are more loyal to the previous king and now he's trying to figure out who is going to actually give me good advice Well ultimately God cause never can is or to have this dream and you and I are tremendous beneficiaries today when we learn what the stream was let's keep waiting for fourteen. When area aka the commander of the king's guard had gone out to put to death the wise men about one Daniel spoke to him with wisdom intact he asked the king's officer why did to King if you're such a harsh degree area then explain the matter to Daniel at this Daniel went into the King and asked for time so that he might enter for the dream then Daniel return to his house and explain the matter to his friend's hand and I am Michel 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 to Babylon during the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in the vision then Daniel praised the God of heaven and said Praise be to the name of God forever and ever wisdom and power are his he changes times and seasons he deposes kings and races of others he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning he reveals deep in hidden things he knows what lies in darkness and light dwells with him I think in praise you God of my ancestors you have given me wisdom and power you have made known to me what was asked of you you have made known to us the dream of the king then you want to area whom the king appointed to execute the wise men about blood and he said to him Do you not execute these wise men to Babylon take me to the King and I will interpret his dream for him and Harry octave Daniel to the king at once and said I found a man among the exiles of Judah who can tell the king what his dreams and what his dream means. The king asked Daniel also called Delta shells are are you able to tell me what I saw in my dream and interpret it and Daniel replied No wise man in chance or magician or divine or can explain to the king the mystery he is 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 in the visions that pass through your mind as you were lying in your bed are these and just imagine King Nebuchadnezzar if you were in issues wouldn't you be filled with hope because he is wanting to know what these dreams meant and he is wanting to know if there's anyone in his kingdom that he can trust and so he never can answer I think is just filled with this hope and anticipation hoping that Daniel would know verse twenty nine as your Majesty was lying there your mind turned to things to come and the revealer of mystery showed you what is going to happen as for me this mystery has been revealed to me not because I am greater in wisdom than anyone else alive but so that your Majesty may show the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind I want you to to look up on the screen really quick We'll have the first slide will read through this but here is the image that Daniel is interpreting for King Nebuchadnezzar verse thirty one Your Majesty looked in there before you stood a large statue an enormous dazzling statue awesome in appearance the head of a statue was made of pure gold its chest and arms of silver its belly and thighs of bronze its legs a fire and its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay while you were watching Iraq was cut out but not by human hands and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them in the iron the clay the bronze and silver in the gold were all broken to pieces and became like chaff on the 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 this was the dream and now. We will interpret it to the king Your Majesty you are the King of Kings the God of Heaven has given you dominion and power and might in glory in your hands he has placed all mankind and the beasts of the field in the birds of the sky wherever they live he has made you ruler over all of them you are that head of gold so I think right now he never can as are his liking this dream sounds good were thirty nine after you another kingdom will arise inferior to yours next a third kingdom one of bronze will rule over the whole earth and finally there will be a fourth kingdom strong as iron for iron breaks and smashes everything and his iron breaks things into 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 are part of the iron and partly clay so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle and just as you saw the iron mix of 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 the mountain but not by human hands Iraq that broke the iron the bronze the clay the silver and the gold pieces the great God is shown the king what will take place in the future the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy. And so these events that we look at the dream it's interesting this dream was given to King Nebuchadnezzar Daniel interpreter and guess what they all happened exactly as Daniel said it would you look at this and we can look through human his. Exactly what Daniel is was referring to the first is the head of gold and this is in Van in Kenya can as you're hearing on my laser pointer here this kingdom lasted for just less than one hundred years and it's interesting how each of these kingdoms they expanded in the amount of time that they were the Middle Persian Empire lasted about two hundred years roughly the Greek Empire lasted almost closer to three hundred years and finally the Roman Empire lasted for a little over five hundred years so all these things took place and if you're out wondering where are we on the statue we're down here where the toes are right and the last part of the vision has yet to take place and go ahead publish over the next next slide and so this is what happened in King Nebuchadnezzar dream this statue was destroyed by this rock and we know what that rock means it is Jesus Christ when He comes back and he sets up His kingdom forever you know this dream that King Nebuchadnezzar had it's more for our sake than his.
I want to share with you many of the reasons why I'm a believer I'm a believer because I feel like God has revealed these things to me and I can trust the Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins and that God rose him from the grave but another reason why I'm a believer is because of prophecies like this these prophecies were made hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years before they were fulfilled and so if you ever are doubting your face which is somewhat normal I think that's a normal thing to have happen you thinking how in the world can we know that the Bible is actually true one of the firm foundations I think that all of us have and that I have for myself especially is the prophecies of the prophecies give us that firm foundation upon which we can build our faith and when we look at that second slide with the rock coming down. There will come a day just like it was written about when Jesus Christ will come back to earth and establish His kingdom and that it will endure forever I want to finish reading chapter two So let's pick up in verse forty six and then we'll look at some of the lessons that we can learn from this verse forty six says thinking never can as are fill prostrate before Daniel and pay them on or an order 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 a ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of its of all of its wise men Moreover at Daniel's request the king appointed Shadrack me shakin to Bendigo administrators over the province of Babylon while Daniel himself remain at the Royal Court. You know this is another story in which a Jew was placed in the governmental system of Gentiles and rose to prominence remember a couple of years ago I think it was we were looking at the story of Joseph very similar things between Daniel and Joseph as we read this story and I know this is kind of a long story I want to read the entire chapter here this morning so we look at this and think wow great so there was this there was a dream given to a king hundreds and thousands of years ago well what does that have to do with me you know we're always wondering you know how does this deal with me what can I get out of this well I have three lessons I think that we can learn from this dream and let me give those to you right now the first lesson is number one this teaches us that God is in control of human history.
God is in complete control of human history were done in Daniel I do want to look at a few New Testament passages so I want you to open your Bible Stigall ations chapter four.
Galatians chapter for. For verse four verses four and five.
This is one of my favorite Christmas verses.
But this verse hearing Galatians chapter four is dealing directly with this vision that king of a can has or had in a dream so glacial is for for the Apostle Paul writes to us this he says. Glaciers for for but when the fullness of time had come. God sent forth His Son born of a woman born under the law to redeem those who were under the law so that we might receive adoption as sons you know that little phrase at the very beginning of verse four but when the fullness of time had come you know it's interesting that each of those kingdoms that were prophesied about in this vision given to King Nebuchadnezzar paved the way for Christ to come into the world.
Two of those kingdoms in particular I want to address the Greeks and the Romans I don't know of for those of you who are very familiar with human history some of you might be aware of how the Greeks and the Romans influenced the world and if not all kind of share that with you right now but the Greek empire which was from three thirty one to sixty three B.C. they did two main things to civilized world around them they Hellenized the world Greeks called Helen ization and what they did is they set up our modern city structures cities today are based off the Greek way of life where they'll have the city people are kind of living in close quarters to each other they have the streams and usually in the center of a city you have a marketplace and you have the governmental systems the world around us the entire world is based off this Greek influence so we get cities from Helen ization or Greek culture the other thing that the Greeks did at that time is they had one common language for the entire modern world to. You use all right so that's what the Greeks did that's how the Greeks influenced the world after them the Romans came and the Romans did a couple things have you ever heard the phrase All roads lead to Rome Well there's a reason why they said that the Romans built roads they built them everywhere and they built them in between all of the cities that the Greeks had all the people build up and so during the time of Christ you had people living in cities you had no city structures you had one common language and you had a road leading from every city to another city and the Romans were very well known for being very forceful in keeping the peace maybe you've heard of the phrase the pox Romana the peace of Rome if you acted up and if you got out of line Rome would come and they would make you follow them they would really kind of squash any insubordination and so when Christ came into the world the entire world spoke one language the majority of the populations were in cities there were rows leading from cities to cities and there was peace it was the perfect conditions for the Gospel to be spread to the nations around them and so when you're reading the lation for for when the time it fully calm God had been setting up the conditions for the Gospel to be spread to the nations and this was given in a vision to King never can as are hundreds and hundreds of years before and so when you look at that you realize God is in complete control of human history we see the implications of everything that happened and the good news is that it's not done this vision is not done there are still one more parts to it you know when Jesus after He rose from the grave in his disciples were starting to realize exactly who Jesus was they asked him they said Are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel and Jesus replied to them it's not for you to know the Times or the seasons. That the father is set in fixed by his own authority so Jesus was saying that's going to happen but it's not for you to know exactly when I want you to go over to a feature ins or diffusion chapter one just a couple pages in your Bible.
And inefficient Chapter One I think if we read these few verses in light of this vision that God gave to King Nebuchadnezzar I think it makes even a little bit more sense or it adds a little bit more structure bring color to it so this is going to happen the rock will come down smash all the kingdoms and one kingdom will be set up and Paul speaks about this time in the future and how the future plan of God has been revealed to us if he says one beginning in verse seven.
Talking about Christ Paul says in him we have redemption through His blood the forgiveness of our trespasses according to the riches of His grace which he has allowed us upon us in all wisdom and insight verse nine making known to us the mystery of His will according to His purpose which he set forth in Christ in verse tends them point one here as a plan for the fullness of time to unite all things in him things in heaven and things on earth you know like the feet of the statue the world right now is so divided. Is everything is divisive in the world today but when Christ returns everything is going to be united just like it says in verse ten as a plan for the fullness of time to unite all things in him things in heaven and things on earth and that's when that rock comes down and smashes the rest of that statue. The second lesson I think that we can learn from this vision is not only does God have a plan and using intro love all of human history but we're included in that plan this isn't just for people out there this is including us. You know these these seventy eighty ninety years that we live on on this earth however long we live this is not the point or the purpose for our existence the purpose for our existence will be understood when we are in the presence of Jesus Christ when you turn over to another verse in first term of the chapter six. So keep going to to your right in your Bible to first sim of the chapter six.
And Paul wrote to Timothy one of the last things that he wrote to someone.
And he reminded Timothy while he's living on Earth as the things that he's supposed to focus on and he says this in first some of the chapter six beginning in verse eleven Paul says to his son in the faith Timothy but as for you old man of God leave these things and these things are the worldly worries the concerns the just kind of consume us don't don't worry about the earthly passions he says to him pursue righteousness godliness faith love steadfastness and gentleness fight the good fight of the face take hold of the eternal life to which you were called in other words Timothy you were called to something bigger than you God has a plan for you take a hold of that life and about which you made your good confession the presence of many witnesses I charge you in the presence of God who gives life to all things and of Christ Jesus who in his testimony before ponchos pilot made the good confession Listen to this to keep the commandment unstained free from reproach and tell the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ which he will display at the proper time he who is the blessid and only solver in the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
This deals with our future as well God is in control of human history the next lesson is we're a part of that plan that God has for us and because number one is true. Because Number two is true there's one other lesson I think that we should learn and that is that our focus should be making the most of our time if our future is secure in Jesus Christ we should stop worrying about all the things that don't matter like Jesus told His disciples and we should worry about the things that God tells us to worry about efficiency five of verses fifteen and sixteen last verse it will read you can turn there all read that really quick though it says if five fifteen and sixteen it says look carefully how you will walk not as unwise but as wise making the best use of the time because the days are evil therefore do not be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is.
We don't know how long we have doing it and I don't know if we'd want to know I don't know if I'd want to know but we know that our future is secure and that God has given us something worth living for you know usually when someone tells you has anyone ever come up to you and said hey let me tell you about a dream that I had and how do we usually respond. OK I guess you're going to hopefully this doesn't take too long right but if they say I had a while dream last night and and it was about you.
You don't want to know about that dream right you're really going to be paying attention well he never can as your dream we look at this and we think Wow Interesting dream great but when we realize we're included in this dream I think our mind should open up to really understanding what it's talking about if God can not only predict but map out the course of human history and we can look back and see how it all came true we can definitely put our hope and faith regarding our future in the future of mankind in Jesus Christ and you're here today and if you're hoping your faith isn't anyone other than Jesus Christ or any other source of truth other than the Word of God.
Then you're off point.
These are the lessons that we can learn this is what gives us strength instability in such a day I think what we can learn from this is today we can make an exchange we can exchange all of our worries that we have in this life they're important to us I know that they're important but whatever you're worrying about today give it a few months in you're probably not going to be worried about it we can exchange those worries for living with purpose and God gives us that purpose and it begins with putting our faith in Jesus Christ.
You know I don't know where everyone is out in this room I don't know what your future holds but I know that if you place your faith in Jesus Christ your eternal future is secure and you know that for sure for yourself if you're here today and you're not sure what would happen to you if you were to die and if you're going to be participating in any of the good things that God has planned for those who love him and if you would like to know for sure all you need to do is is ask Christ to come into your heart ask Him to forgive your sins and you will be adopted as a child forever and if you're uncertain about where you stand with God today you can make that certain And so I want to give you this offer right now to accept Christ and have your future eternally secure I want you all to close your eyes and about your head and right now as if you've never done this before and right now you would like to place your faith in Christ alone for your salvation you all you need to do is simply pray this prayer in your heart in your mind and God will hear you would simply pray to God I know I am a sinner in need of forgiveness.
And I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins.
And I believe that He rose back to life on the third day to give us all the hope of eternal life.
And so right now I place my faith in Christ alone for myself ation.
If you prayed that prayer for the first time today or the tenth time or one hundredth time if you ever prayed that prayer. Your future is secure no matter what happens in this life your eternal future is secure. And that should cause us to live with purpose Let's close in prayer Dear Lord I thank you for this this vision that you gave to King Nebuchadnezzar so many years ago and sometimes we look at these events and we think well how does it relate to us Well as you're explaining to the Knesset and ultimately through Daniel and the rest of us who have your word you are teaching us Lord that you are in control of human history and that the end of human history is the best possible existence for those who place their faith in Jesus Christ and so Lord thank you for giving us the reassurance that our face is trustworthy and it's true it's in a god that is truly softened and then it's in the Lord and Savior that loved us so much that he died on the cross to forgive us our sins and so Lord today we come before you with all of our worries as as big and as scary as they might be for each and every one of us and we simply exchange them for giving our lives over to a life with purpose and that sharing with the world around us that our hope can be secure as we place our faith in Jesus Christ alone the Lord help us as a church and as individuals to continue to remind the world around us and be that that light shining in the darkness and the salts and the city on the Hill all of those things Lord so that the world might see that your word is true or thank you for giving it to us and it just be with us now as we go out and we live our lives for your honor and glory we pray this in Christ name Amen and now may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ the love of God the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all day man.