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Sleepless in Judah Part 3 RDS5C

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton
The Truth Network Radio
September 29, 2022 4:00 am

Sleepless in Judah Part 3 RDS5C

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton

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Welcome to the Monday edition of The Encouraging Word, featuring the Bible-based preaching of Dr. Don Wilton as we dive back into the book of Daniel. This week we're gaining insight to this message called Sleepless in Judah, and as we open our hearts and minds, know that we're opening the phone line to you as well. 866-899-WORD, we would love to pray with you 24-7. We are here for you.

And now, Dr. Don Wilton. I have just felt in my heart, you know, that there are a lot of people who are under attack. It's hard to put it any other kind of way. I just think that in America today, that Satan is out to get God's people, and that many of God's people are coming under increasing attack. Now, folks, I want to say this to you, and this is very apropos to the study in the book of Daniel. The more you stand up for the Lord Jesus Christ, the more you're going to come under attack. And if you make a decision not to defile yourself for the food from the king's table, you're going to come under attack. You're going to come under attack physically, mentally, verbally, practically. And I want to say this to you as a congregation, sometimes that attack is going to come from the most unlikely sources. It'll come from places where you least expect it to come.

The timeless truth is the fact that God is the one who enables us to overcome and to be able to stand up and to withstand and to be encouraged in our hearts despite these things that come upon us. I believe that parents are coming under attack. I believe teenagers are coming under increasing attack. Business people who love the Lord and who serve the Lord are coming under attack. Your businesses are coming under attack. And everything about you, your homes, this nation is under attack at the moment. And there's a sense in which we'd say, well, that's always been true.

Yes, of course, it's always been true. But I have sensed in my heart as I have the privilege of being in homes and meeting wonderful people, you can just sense that. And this is a time when we rally together around the Word of God and the Spirit of God and we uplift one another and we uphold one another.

By the might and power of God's Spirit in the inner man. I have to be careful what I say when I say things like this. I have a sense in my heart sometimes as though something big is going to be happening. And you say to me, well, pastor, what? I don't know.

And I don't know that it's anything of any significance. But I feel as though God is preparing our hearts. And we need to be ready for that.

We need to be ready all the time, don't we? And God has blessed us in so many different ways. And one of the things that I love about this study in the book of Daniel is that we are being confronted by a remarkable stand.

And I refer constantly back to chapter one, verse eight, Daniel resolved. And he made a decision not to defile himself with the royal food and wine. He made a decision. He did something that was definitive.

He took a stand. Now, I want us to be in Daniel chapter two. And I do need us to read. I want to say to you that there is a sense in which we might ask the question, why reread some of these passages? I don't think we could read these passages enough times.

So I do want to read this Daniel chapter two. In the second year of his reign Nebuchadnezzar had dreams. His mind was troubled and he could not sleep. So the king summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers to tell him what he had dreamed. When they came in and stood before the king, he said to them, I've had a dream that troubles me and I want to know what it means. Then the astrologers answered the king in Aramaic. Remember, that was the language of the Gentile court. It came out of the Babylonian court.

Can I just say something here for a minute? These thoughts suddenly come to my mind when I look at some of these things and I haven't thought of them before. Not only did King Nebuchadnezzar try to get Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to become like them, but he even changed the language to suit the language of the court of the Babylonians. Folks, I have even heard people say in today's world that we need to change the language of the church in order to make things more comfortable for the world.

It comes in very subtle forms. There is a tremendous movement today in America to make the church conform to the world, to change things. I'm not talking about being a church that would seek to reach out and be on the cutting edge.

I'm not against contemporary worship services. I believe that we need to be where the people are, but the message of the gospel must never change. The word of God never changes. Well, in verse 4, then, the astrologers answered the king in Aramaic, O king, live forever, tell your servants the dream, and we will interpret it. And so it is that we go through this tremendous struggle that took place between the king and his counselors.

Let's go all the way down to verse 10. The astrologers answered the king, there is not a man on earth who can do what the king asks. Needless to say, no king, however great and mighty, has ever asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or astrologer. What the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods. Small g, what dramatic spiritual irony.

And they do not live among men. This made the king so angry and furious that he ordered the execution of all the wise men of Babylon. So the decree was issued to put the wise men to death, and the men were sent to look for Daniel and his friends to put them to death. When Arioch, the commander of the king's god, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact.

Now, by the way, we're going to try to understand why he did that. I believe that there is a definitive way in which Christians respond to what is going on. Folks, I believe that even in America today, over this past year with all the traumatic stuff that has been going on on the political scene, that there is a way in which Christians need to respond. I'm going to say to you that the way in which some Christians have responded have done far more damage to the kingdom of God than anything else.

We'll talk about that. Verse 15, he asked the king's officer, why did the king issue such a harsh decree? Arioch then explained the matter to Daniel. At this, Daniel went into the king and asked for time so that he might interpret the dream for him. Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends, Hananiah, Mishael 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 of Babylon. Now, folks, the key verse in the whole of chapter two is right there. He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven. During the night, the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a 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 changed times and seasons.

He sets up kings and deposes them. Can I just repeat that statement? We're heading somewhere here, folks. Could we just look at this again? Maybe some of us tonight didn't quite hear what God's word says. Praise be to the name of God forever and forever. Wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons.

He sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things. He knows what lies in darkness and light dwells with him. I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers, because you have given me wisdom and power.

What is this? Are you telling me that God actually gives what God has to me? And you have made known to me, Daniel said, what we asked of you and you have made known to us the dream of the king that just by the way the king couldn't remember himself. Of course, only the gods with a small g would be capable of being able to make these things known. Verse 24, then Daniel went to Arioch whom the king had appointed to execute the wise men of Babylon and said to him, do not execute the wise men of Babylon. Take me to the king and I will interpret his dream for him. So Arioch took Daniel to the king at once and said, I have found a man among the exiles from Judah who can tell the king what his dream means. Then the king asked Daniel, also called Belteshazzar, are you able to tell me what I saw in my dream and interpret it? Daniel replied, no wise man, no enchanter, no magician, no diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about. But there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries.

Wow, that'll preach. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the days to come. Your dream and the visions that passed through your mind as you lay in bed are these. As you were lying there, O king, your mind turned to things to come and the revealer of mysteries showed you what is going to happen. Who's the revealer of mysteries? That's God himself. As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than other living men, but that so you, O king, may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind. Now, we're not going to get into the interpretation. That's another story altogether.

I want to just remind you of something and I'm going to discipline myself to be very quick because this is important. Why was it that God used the wicked king like Nebuchadnezzar to channel his mystery through? Is it possible that God could choose a wicked person or an ungodly person or a person who loves him but who is not living for him to be a channel of the will of God?

Well, I submit to you that yes, it is. God did it here. I recommended and submitted to you last week that perhaps the reason God chose Nebuchadnezzar was that he didn't have anyone else to choose from. Now, that's my least likely favorite, but it is probably least, it is probably most likely the reason why this happened.

I don't know. We do know that the Jews in Judah weren't living for him. God was looking around for people.

He had only a few like Daniel and Shadrach and Meshach and Abednego to choose from. Maybe the second reason was that he had to prove his power. We're going to find right throughout this text that there was this tussle, this tug of war that went on between the gods of Nebuchadnezzar with a small G and the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. God wanted to demonstrate his power. Third, perhaps because Nebuchadnezzar was the first Gentile king and this after all is a letter to the Gentiles. Perhaps because God understood like we don't understand that when the king had problems and solutions, everybody had problems and solutions. God understood that if you want to get the attention of a nation, work through her leader. Perhaps in the fourth place because of Nebuchadnezzar's genius, his pride and his ego, God knew that what needed to be emphasized would be emphasized. But the bottom line is no matter where we come to or where we arrive related to the questions of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, we do know that God had God's opportunity to reveal not only the commencement, the beginning of prophecy, not only the character of prophecy, what it comprises of, not only the course of prophecy, but God channels through Nebuchadnezzar because he wants to use him to reveal the culmination of prophecy.

Where does it all end? I went into a wonderful home this afternoon at 4.30. A young boy had given his heart to the Lord Jesus and his mom and dad said to me, Pastor, our son gave his life to Jesus because we began to talk about the things related to the book of Revelation and prophecy and he became very interested at a very young age. And it was a great and grand thing to think about that we have a young man and young ladies in our church who come to know the Lord Jesus Christ but they can stand upon a solid foundation that speaks not only of the commencement and the character and the course, but the culmination of God's prophecy which basically announces that Jesus Christ wins.

What an incredible thing to think about. Forgive the interruption. We'll be diving back into this study on Daniel in just a few moments. But Dr. Wilton insists I remind you, we're here for you. Whether it's keyboard to keyboard or on our website at www.tewonline.org. Not taking your text? By just texting the word daily to 30500, you can sign up for a daily email from Dr. Don, something I greatly suggest. We're not going to fill your inbox with anything except God's word on a regular basis every single morning about 6 a.m. You'll get this word of encouragement from Dr. Don. Again, you can sign up on our website at www.tewonline.org. Or if you'd rather, just give us a call at 866-899-WORD and request your copy.

Again, the third way is just texting the word daily to 30500. All of those resources and descriptions are on our website, TEW for the Encouraging Word, www.tewonline.org for all the points of connection. After the Encouraging Word broadcast is over, there's still a wonderful place to connect 24 hours a day.

It's theencouragingword.org. You can visit our message archives, download Dr. Wilton's sermons, or sign up for our weekly podcast. A favorite button on our website is the prayer request button where you can share a prayer request or personal need. Maybe you have a praise report or a testimony.

Let us know so we can rejoice with you as well. You can also sign up for our daily Bible guide and have devotion sent to your email every single day. Now if you have a question about your salvation, perhaps questions about how to share your faith with a friend, let us walk you through the steps to a personal relationship with Jesus and the ability to share that with others.

If you're looking for a book from Dr. Wilton or maybe a CD or DVD, we have resources ready to send to you at the click of a button. No matter what the reason, we hope you'll connect with us today online at theencouragingword.org. Now let's dive back into this study called Sleepless in Judah, a part of our Daniel series with Dr. Don Wilton.

When you give your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ, you're on a winning team. Why did God use Nebuchadnezzar's dream as an opportunity to reveal the unfolding of prophecy? Because I believe it initiates the unfolding of God's drama for the ages. Because I believe it sparks the flame which is fanned to burn the sovereign acts of a mighty God into the heart of generations. Why did God use Nebuchadnezzar's dream to reveal his plan for the future? Because it provides a means whereby the involvement of a loving God in the affairs of mankind is signed, sealed and delivered.

Because it sets in motion the actions of God that culminates in the thousand year reign of a loving Lord Jesus Christ who comes and returns for his own. And so I have entitled this whole section Sleepless in Judah. Poor Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar, I don't believe, had any idea that God was using him like this. This is a spiritual play written by God and we find it in three parts through the Holy Spirit. Act 1 is Daniel chapter 2 verses 10 through 13. Your main character in this first section is Nebuchadnezzar himself and the scene takes place in Nebuchadnezzar's palace. Act 2 is verse 14 through 23.

The character involved is Daniel and the whole scene takes place in Daniel's cottage where Daniel lived. And then Act 3 from verses 24 to 30 is both Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel and there are some minor participants, some supporting roles, but it takes place not only in the God house but in the palace. And so here we have a spiritual play, a drama being presented out in three acts or three parts, Acts 1, 2 and 3 with definitive characters in definitive settings with a definitive message that God, I believe, wanted to give to us.

Let's just have a look at this particular act. First of all, in Act 1, we're looking at verses 1 through 13. I want you to notice in the first place the king's dream in verse 1.

Three things that we can say about this dream. God chose someone who had tremendous insecurity. I want to submit to you and I'm not going to try to camp too much on each one of these areas, but insecurity becomes a root bed for the action of God. It seems to me somehow that when there is instability among leadership, it seems to me somehow that when those who have been given a privilege to lead nations find themselves morally and spiritually insecure, that God moves in and uses them to get a message through to the people he wants to speak to. Now, whether or not those people are listening is another matter altogether.

And folks, we're going to discover what happens when people don't listen. You see, you would have thought that the people of Judah, Jehoiakim, king of Judah, that these people would have known these things. You remember back in the book of Deuteronomy, the Bible tells us that whenever the kings of Israel were elected, David and Saul and on and on, what they had to do, they had to write down the law of God in their own hand, in their own script, and they had to have that law with them day and night.

Why? Because God wanted them to be reminded as the leaders as to exactly what their spiritual, moral and civic responsibility was. But you know, despite the fact that all these kings wrote these things down in their own hand, they couldn't call on their secretaries, they couldn't rely on their computers, they couldn't fax this to anybody or receive an email in order to circumvent the situation. God said, uh-uh, put away your computers, your faxes and your emails, your telephones, your beepers and everything else in between. Listen, big boy, you may be king, you may be ruler, you may be able to call the shots, but because you are the king and I have appointed you, you will do this personally and write my law upon your heart. But they wouldn't listen. You'd think by the time we get down to the book of Daniel, that the Jewish people, the tribe of Israel had come to the point at which they were willing to say, hey, wait a minute, folks, God's trying to tell us something, we need to listen.

And so it is that time without number, we find them suffering under the consequences of their sin. This man king Nebuchadnezzar at this juncture, this one who had invaded the rights of a sovereign people, this one who tried to interrupt the sovereign will of God, this one who tried to intersperse his own kingly and monarchial edicts into the face of a sovereign and a loving God, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He became so insecure. He was troubled. He thought he had the world in the palm of his hand.

He had been elected by the people for the people. He wanted to serve the people, but he didn't obey God. And God moved in and said, listen, I'm going to use you mighty king to get a message through to my people.

But I don't only notice his insecurity, but notice his hostility. He was mad at God. This fellow king Nebuchadnezzar really had a problem with God, didn't he? I mean, it seems to me that every time we get to another place in the book of Daniel and in the lofty career of king Nebuchadnezzar, this man who had the world in the palm of his hand, every time he was confronted by the reality of the God of Abraham, he accepted, he bowed his head momentarily. And before we know where he has run to, he has once again become mad at God.

You see, spiritual insecurity always leads to hostility. Hostility leads to the third component of his dream, and that was his craving. He craved for power. Everything about this dream centered around Nebuchadnezzar. But I'd like you to just, for example, go through here and circle every time the word I is mentioned related to Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar had the same problem most of us have.

He got in the way of himself. What a powerful statement from our pastor. Oh, there's so much more power to come out of God's word, the encouraging word in our study on Daniel.

I hope you'll join us tomorrow as well. But before we get away, perhaps the most important challenge and words from our pastor are next. God has spoken to you, hasn't He? Are you ready to give your heart to Jesus?

I'd love to help you right now. Would you pray this prayer with me and accept Jesus into your heart and life? Dear God, I know that I'm a sinner.

I know that Jesus loves me and died for me on the cross. Right now, I repent of my sin, and I confess my sin to the Lord Jesus Christ. Come into my heart and save me today and forgive me for my sin. In Jesus' name I pray.

Amen. If you've prayed that prayer, we'd love to get alongside of you and celebrate with you and send you some literature and help you as you begin to grow. And I want you to know that I love you very, very much. And by the way, don't leave.

Don't go away, whatever you do, because I'll be right back. If you've given your heart to Jesus, welcome to the family of God, and let us put some resources in your hands. Give us a call. Our number is 866-899-WORD.

That's 866-899-9673. We'd love to pray with you. Put those resources in your hands and welcome you to the family. You know, we're able to do this every single day, seeing people come to Christ because of wonderful supporters, prayer supporters and financial supporters we call encouragers. Hello, my friends. I want to speak to you personally today from my heart to yours. I don't think there is ever a better or more important time for us to respond to our world by standing up for righteousness. Now, with this in mind, I would like to invite you to become an encourager ministry partner.

You see, together we can impact lives both now and for all time and all eternity. The encouraging Word is a viewer and listener-supported ministry, and to know that you are standing with me financially enables me to move forward with confidence to do the work God has called me to do. So please call and just simply say, I want to become an encourager. Thank you so much for helping me. That number one more time is 866-899-WORD. That's 866-899-9673.

Or meet us online at our website, TEW online. How very blessed Bob and I have been to have worshiped by way of TV and radio. We thank you both for the way you ministered to us both, and then after the passing of my beloved Bob last November, and my not being able to get out on my own to go to a local church after my knee surgery. It has been a difficult time for me after spending 58 years with such a godly, wonderful man. And your messages have helped me to recover. Thank you for your constant focus on the Lord Jesus Christ and loving us all as He has loved us. As Bob's last name was Maine, he would have loved that you have adopted the great saying, keep the Maine thing the Maine thing. Congrats on 25 wonderful years.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-31 21:53:09 / 2022-12-31 22:03:41 / 11

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