Sermon and Bible Study Database
Author: Kent Berghuis
Dreaming of Kingdoms Daniel 2 Intro: Snowmen melt with the changing of the seasons, as do nations with the passing of years. Main idea: The God of history will ultimately establish his kingdom over all. I. The King's Troubling Dream--or, The wisdom and revelation of God exceed human expectations (1-23). A. The wisdom of the worldly wise put to the test (1-13). --Do you think Nebuchadnezzar really forgot his dream? --The wise men wisely admit their limitations (10-11); but this suggests a couple of weakness in their wisdom: 1) Perhaps a good deal of their other advice was also untrustworthy, trumped up with religious overtones. 2) They assert that the dwelling of the gods is not with man, which supposes that they do not have access to divine knowledge. B. The wisdom of God put to the test (14-23). --Daniel reminds us of another biblical character, Joseph. Both were exiles from home, both were consistently virtuous in character, both interpreted dreams for kings, both served in royal Gentile courts. --Daniel's response--with tact toward his superiors and prayer to his God (14, 18). --God's response--he revealed the mystery to Daniel (20). --Daniel's praises God who: 1. Possesses true wisdom and power (20). 2. Rules over human history (21). 3. Reveals his ways to his chosen ones (21b-23). II. The Inspired Interpretation, or-- The kingdom of God will one day crush all earthly kingdoms (24-49). A. The introduction (24-30). --Arioch seems to desire praise, but Daniel deflects it to God (25, 28). --The vision pertained to future events, "eschatology" (28-29). --Knowing the progress of future events should have practical implications (30). B. The dream (31-35). 1. A dazzling statue appeared, made of a gold head, silver chest and arms, bronze belly and thighs, iron legs, and clay/iron feet. 2. Un uncut rock struck the statue in the feet and destroyed it, obliterating it. 3. The rock grew into a mountain filling the earth. C. The interpretation (36-45). 1. The progress of nations controlling God's people, Israel (36-40). a. Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom, Babylon, is the head of gold. b. Medo-Persia would arise after it, the silver. c. Greece would arise, the bronze. d. Rome would arise, the iron. --Note that there is a decrease in value, but an increase in strength. 2. The advent of God's kingdom will crush earth's kingdoms (44-45). --The iron would be mixed with clay in the toes, and speaks of vulnerability. --This vision has parallels in Revelation 17 with the beast with 10 horns, and this final form of Gentile power appears to be yet future. There the entire Gentile system is labeled "Babylon", which recalls the unity of the statue and Gentile dominion over God's people. --God's kingdom was inaugurated in Christ's earthly ministry; the King now sits on heaven's throne, awaiting the day of his return in glory to fulfill this vision. Then "the kingdoms of this world" will "become the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever!" D. The reaction (46-49). --Nebuchadnezzar actually worshipped Daniel and recognized his God as supreme revealer among gods (46-47). --Nebuchadnezzar promoted Daniel and his friends over the province of Babylon and the wise men. Conclusion: Ozymandius 1. Trust God to deal with history in the grand sweep of time. 2. Seek to live by principles like Daniel, as a subject of Christ's invisible kingdom.