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The Forgotten Dream and the Unforgettable Daniel

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
July 1, 2021 4:00 am

The Forgotten Dream and the Unforgettable Daniel

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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July 1, 2021 4:00 am

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When it comes to very special tasks. God wants uncompromising people with character Daniel was such a person and God uses Daniel as the vehicle through which he reveals the unfolding of the redemptive plan of the history of the world calling tactical Bible study here on grace to you. I think you be encouraged to be a bit intrigued. As we look back to the prophetic book of Daniel for the series, the rise and fall of world powers. Will John this is a rare study from you.

Being from the Old Testament and from the title, the rise and fall of world powers.

I think some of our listeners might be wondering, how does that have any bearing on the here and now. What's the value of understanding ancient history and prophecies from the Bible that are thousands of years old will because in the Old Testament, and particularly were going to be looking at the book of Daniel. Daniel was given visions that made predictions about world empires that would rise and fall and guess what they came they rose and they fell to integrate proofs of the authority of Scripture type Scripture was predicting those great world empires. In fact, predicting the Babylonian Empire than the Medo Persian Empire than the Roman Empire and the ultimate and final Empire of Antichrist is yet to come in so because the part of the prophecies were fulfilled historically we have all the evidence of those fulfillments we can trust what is said about the rise and fall of the final future world power world Empire. This is really incredibly dramatic material from the book of Daniel in the study is going to trace God's sovereign hand at work in the course of human history. By looking to the life of Daniel and the prophecies that God gave him and were going to let the Bible shed especially interesting light on ancient history exploring the rise to power of men like Alexander the great are studies going to unearth the kinds of sins that topple even the most powerful nations. The study is going to prove instructive for modern times. You can see that, in spite of the turmoil that never stops in the Middle East or anywhere else for that matter, God is still sovereign still in control of where we have been and where we are headed. This promises to be a fascinating 2 1/2 weeks of study in the book of Daniel in the Old Testament be with us every day.

Yes, and in this study is Daniel reveals God's sovereignty over world affairs are also going to see the kind of servant God uses and how to cultivate humility and how you can honor the Lord in the midst of a society that rejects him the book of Daniel is loaded with practical wisdom that applies perfectly to us today so let's get to it. Here's John launching his series, the rise and fall of world powers were going to be looking at the second chapter of Daniel George Washington once said few men have the virtue to withstand the highest bidder." He was right. Most people have a price. A truly uncompromising man is a very rare commodity.

But that is exactly the kind of a man in the kind of a woman that God looks for to do his work when it comes to very special tasks when it comes to very great privileges and opportunities God wants uncompromising people with character God wants choice servants for choice ministries and Daniel was such a person. Daniel was a man who wouldn't compromise Daniel was a man who had amazing character qualities, and God uses Daniel as the vehicle through which he reveals the unfolding of the redemptive plan of the history of the world and that's a monumental assignment to be the vehicle through which God gives a prophetic perspective on all of human history. What a calling, and what a privilege in chapter 2 we begin to see that calling unfolding this amazing teenager. In fact, in a way beyond any other Old Testament St. is given the most complete, the most comprehensive and the most extensive prophetic picture of human history ever given in the Old Testament and amazing prophecy that begins to unfold. In verse 31 of chapter 2 and given this not only because he was gifted, nonmarket folks, not only because he was gifted, but because he was of such character that he would receive God's highest service. His life was usable. Daniel was a man to influence the world.

This kind of uncompromising virtue. This kind of amazing character put him in a position to influence the whole world and that is precisely what he did and what he still does. Through his book is prophecy.

The whole marvelous plan of God for the nations. The Gentiles the whole marvelous plan of God for Israel is very special people is all unfolded to this wonderful man Daniel as we divide the first 30 verses. They divide obviously into very to two very simple thoughts.

First is the forgotten dream and secondly the unforgettable Daniel the first 13 versus the forgotten dream.

Verses 14 to 30.

The unforgettable Daniel.

What we have here is this nonmarket folks. We have really two things going on.

What is a divine commission to be the vehicle of God's revelation and the other is a crisis that's going on. This is God's man to reveal a message in the midst of a crisis. So is not only a messenger of God, but he is a man in the midst of a crisis. It takes the kind of uncompromising character. The Daniel had to withstand a crisis that is going to get involved.

Now let's look at the first 13 versus the forgotten dream first were going to see the dream then were going to see the dilemma then will move to the deficiency and finally the decree the dream the dilemma the deficiency in the decree. First of all, look at the dream in the first reverse and in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams notice it's plural, and his spirit was troubled, and his sleep went from him. So Nebuchadnezzar this king dreamed dreams I had this happened well but out of verse 29 and it kinda gives you a footnote about it. Verse 28 ends with the statement that he was dreaming on his bed and then verse 29 says. As for the okaying guy thoughts came into thy mind upon my bed. What is what is this is not right here. What should come to pass hereafter.

I was basically stuck. He was lying in bed one night he was thinking to himself, you know I'm not gonna live forever.

I wonder what's going to happen when I die. I wonder what's going to take place in the history of the world.

Cataclysmic things have taken place. The Assyrians been wiped out. The Egyptians been decimated never to rise from their own ashes, the land of Israel had been completely taken into captivity and never return. Judah was now in the process of its dissolution and Nebuchadnezzar saying to himself. From the vantage point of ruling the world as he knew it.

I wonder what'll happen to this whole thing when I die, and as he went to sleep God gave them the answer. Any dreamed dreams notice it's plural. There in verse one. He had several dreams and apparently these dreams were so shocking and they were so deeply alarming that he was unable to sleep in his sleep went from them. They couldn't sleep. The dream was so devastating now. I believe he had several dreams because of the plural, but I think it was one particular dream that gave him the greatest amount of anxiety were troubled there means a very deep disturbance now ordinary dreams would trouble us. But not in the intensity that is met here.

This was really deep trouble of his soul, and I believe that was because God ordained this dream I say listen a little strange for God to reveal things in dreams. I'm then usually just write the Bible didn't just tell somebody in their heart their mind while they're away coming his dream thing sounds like a kind of an cultic thing but it's not abnormal all forgot to do that during periods of Revelation, he did a lot in numbers 12, six the Lord said he would speak to Moses face to face, whereas with others, such as profits and visions and dreams in Genesis. Jacob saw dream that promised him the land of Palestine in a dream. God appeared to Joseph in a dream. God spoke to Ahimelech in a dream. God appeared to Solomon in a dream.

God spoke to Farrell and revealed the seven years of plenty, and the subsequent seven years of famine in a dream. God spoke to one of the soldiers of the Midianites and gave a vision for the encouragement of Gideon. It was, not abnormal at all for God to speak in dreams. Now I would say it's abnormal today. God is finished his revelation so don't go to sleep at night hoping you get a revelation from God in your dream.

I don't think God is in the business of revelations anymore since Hebrews 1 says he's spoken unto us. Finally, in his last days, through his son. I don't think there is any more Revelation but in those days, God chose to speak through dreams. Now the king had this dream and it panicked him and what was even worse.

Really amazing. He couldn't really member the dream I knew what he remembered were some bits and pieces I think he vaguely remembered some things that sort of ephemeral.

He swept through his brain, buddy. He couldn't grasp the dream again and I believe that as much as God gave them the dream so much.

Did God remove it from his memory may say we that makes no sense. I had enough trouble figuring out why God gave him a dream and I say the same God gave him a dream to get away from. Well yes essentially I think God had a purpose for both and will see it as we go. I think he remembered the terror of the dream. I think he remembered the fearfulness of the dream, but I believe the specifics somehow floated out of his mind and he couldn't recover the memory of it.

Only the fear remained in the sleepless hours added to his anxiety and his fear.

By the time the morning came, he was a wreck because of a dream he couldn't even remember and so he acts verse two and the king commanded to summon all the magicians, astrologers and the sorcerers and the Chaldeans to show the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king and the king said under them. I dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled and know the dream now he gets all of the brain trust of the Babylonian empire and he pulls a Malian, he appealed to the intellectuals because he couldn't figure out his dream and he was afraid the terms here are kind of interesting. The magicians is two possibilities for this.

Basically, the term can refer to fortunetellers but sometimes we find it seemingly associated with people who were scholars in one sense, it would be more academic in another sense it would be more cultic, but for the kind of society of that time. It's very possible that they were engaged in both. And then there are the's the astrologers and those of the stargazers, those of the monthly prognosticators, those of the people who charted the course of the stars and determine destinies on the basis of how they arrange themselves like horoscopes do today and then the sorcerers, the sorcerers are the spiritualists. They are the enchanters. They are the mediums near the one to talk with the did and then the Chaldeans and the Chaldeans are the leading group because they do the talking. They I suppose were the wisest of the wines by the way. Originally, the Chaldeans were simply a group of people in southern Babylonia.

There were simply a group of people who eventually under Neville plaster.

That's where they came from Neville plaster being Chaldean conquered the whole thing and so this one particular group of people rose to be the highest in the courts of Babylon. They were supposedly the wisest and the most knowledgeable in all of the arts and science of Chaldea or babbling and so everybody came together with all of the scholarship that was available. With all of the ox cultism that was available. With all the demonism that was available. With all the human wisdom that was available.

He got all of the brain trust the fortunetellers and the Futurists in the Thomaston the T leave readers in the crystal gazers in the horoscope people just like we do today trying to get ahead on tomorrow try to figure out what was going to happen. It's amazing that that's what our world is because we don't know God. Whenever somebody in our society wants to know what's going to happen in the future. They pull together all the brain trust to try to figure it out now. They believe the dreams are very important in that day and so they were very anxious to help the king in this matter, and when they saw no doubt, how concerned he was.

They were even more anxious not only tell you about these Chaldeans they had a dream reading system ready for that they worked on this principle. I think this is so fascinating.

I got in reading this, it just was amazing to me. They worked on the principle that dreams now watch and their sequels follow an empirical law which given enough data can be established and so what they did was they kept records of all dreams and then they charted after a person had a dream the way their life went, and so they concluded a guy had this dream in his life went like this guy had a very similar dream in his life went like this and they found out the similarities and said if you have a certain kind of dream your life will go like this. It wasn't a lot. Unlike what happens in the legal profession today.

They based the current interpretation of the law on how it was interpreted in the past.

I look for the gondola attorney's office and seeing the volumes and volumes and volumes of books but give you all these law cases all the stuff data on what's gone on the past and when anybody wants to interpret the Constitution now wants to interpret the law. Now they going to recheck all the past will believe it.

The Chaldeans, and all the sorcerers and all these people had manuals they had massive libraries. We've even found their dream manuals and archaeological studies and you could go to a dream manual and you could look up the elements of your dream and they would tell you what it meant. Now course, it's all a bunch of hocus-pocus because they really didn't know. But they had tried in their human ingenuity to devise a clever system.

They had a very systematically arranged easy reference.

Dream manual not only taste. There were so many of these books apparently and there was such a huge amount of material to follow that they needed some time and will see a little later that the king was about to give it to these dream manuals apparently covered every eventuality possible and they had to spend time looking through to find out all the little parts and pieces to put the guys dream together.

But the problem was this, I love this. He forgot the dream he announces to them his problem. Verse three singular rises that I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream now.

I had a lot of dreams but only one of the dreams really hit it and he said I want to know that dream. That's their problem. They can do pretty good with their stuff they can pull out their bag of tricks and puller chicanery if they got if they got a dream to work on, but he tells them. I don't know what the dream is you tell me the dream, and then interpreted forming and that leads us from the dream to the dilemma .2 that's a little tough.

Verse four, then spoke the Chaldeans to the king in Aramaic in this kind of an interesting note from here on through chapter 7 verse 28. The whole section is written in Aramaic, Aramaic, and so it was a common language. At that time in the courts later became the common language of that whole part of Southwest Asia and because it was the court language of Babylon. This particular section which involves the court of Babel and is written in Aramaic, which is that a language similar to the language Hebrew. Although different in many ways. So then spoke the Chaldeans in Aramaic and they said this so king live forever. You always say that the king right is just standard Pharaoh king live forever along with the king. No court etiquette and so they got through that deal. They said tell all thy servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation, what confidence just tell us your dream king and will tell you exactly what it means will go back and will get our dream manuals and will find out what your dream means will show you the interpretation only needed to know was the dream, but the king wasn't about to operate on their conditions will diversify the king answered and said to the Chaldeans. The thing is gone from me, it's gone from me if you will not make known to me the dream, with the interpretation of it you shall be cut in pieces and your houses shall be made at dunghill. Now he is upset that dream has really disturbed him. You see, and then he says in verse six, but if you show the dream and its interpretation used to receive from me gifts and rewards in great honor. Therefore, show me the dream, and the interpretation of it.

You got two choices. He says you cannot show me the dream or its interpretation.

I'll turn your house into dunghill after I chopped into pieces on the other hand, just tell me the dream and its interpretation. I give you great reward great honor is easy always put them on the spots he and I believe basically Nebuchadnezzar was a cynic.

I believe Nebuchadnezzar was too smart to buy zone system.

He must've thought the whole pilot more about the charlatans and he finally got his mother worried really laying on having your so smart. You got all the supernatural information you're always saying you speak for the gods. You know the destinies of men.

All right tell me the dream and its interpretation. Let's see if you can pull it off and so added to his frustration in his irritability.

He decides to put a test on his court wisemen in order to find out whether they been telling the truth. In the past and whether they're worth anything in the future. By the way, in the Orient.

It was considered ominous to forget a dream. It meant the gods were angry with you. So he was really panicky. He makes the statement in verse five.

The thing is gone from me now. Some people have translated that differently. Some say that it can mean.

I am sure of it and say the very opposite that he does know the dream and he's holding it back from them it so difficult for me. You know, studying all these commentaries one goes one way one goes another.

I think the weight of evidence and you can trust me.

At this point, for it is on the side that he had forgotten the dream. It seems the only thing that makes sense in the context and I believe it makes sense from God's viewpoint to I really feel God is involved in this and that God wanted him to forget the dream in order for once and for all to reveal the whole fakery of all the suppose it wisemen and their idols.

It's devastating. The Babylonian wisdom and I think it sets up Daniel for the rest of the years of his life as the mouthpiece of God unequaled by any of the Babylonian wisemen. So I think he's giving them the ultimate test.

He is tyrannical he is unreasonable. He is demanding and in the process. He's going to find out whether there for real or not Leopold was a very fine Old Testament commentator says we venture to say that if the Chaldeans had not made pretense of having access to the deepest and most completely hidden things.

The king would never have made this unreasonable request of them."

As long as they were to pretend to know all the secrets you want to find out if they knew this would this phrase there in verse five. You should be cut to pieces is amazing to whack you in a little piece that's pretty devastating thing for a whole huge group of people and this is all make your house a manure pile. You know this is often done when somebody had dishonored themselves or somebody wanted to be defamed or or someone wanted them to be defamed. Rather, they would kill the person they would smash down the house and they would build a public outhouse on the same piece of property.

I'll turn your houses and outhouses is what he said.

Second Kings 1027 to see if there on the other hand, if you do what I ask you to do.

I reward you greatly will look at the reply in verse seven, the answered again and said, let the king tell his servants the dream and will show the interpretation there really sticking to their ground them got any other choice. Just give us the dream king. Don't be unreasonable.

See, they faced an impossible dilemma. There was no way they were going to come up with the dream and I as I said, believe God let the king forget in order that God might show this to Kitty of their hold down phony system of religion didn't have any corner on divine truth didn't ascend in the supernatural world at all they could do a thing with their fakery and their trickery and listening to the dream so the king replied verse eight, the king answered and said I know of certainty that you would gain the time because you see this thing is gone from me all you want us to buy time. That's all you're just stalling your stalling, hoping I'll forget about it.

It'll all blow over and I'll cool off. You're just stalling, but verse nine.

If you will not make known to me the dream, there is but one decree for you for your prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me till the time is changed.

Therefore, tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can show me its interpretation pieces look, I'm going right back to verse five is only one decree for you if you don't tell me the dream I cut you in pieces in your homes.

We made into a manure pile. There is no alternative at all. Why look at verse nine.

This gives is true into the a true indication of how I felt about these guys for your prepared literally wicked lies to speak before me. That's why say he wasn't even convinced of his own system.

He saw the phoniness and the whole thing. I'm sure he knew the past stuff that they had told wasn't true that they had made great predictions. It never came to pass. He didn't believe the whole thing. He was cynical. He may have been sort of an atheist. At this point not believing in any God, and he wanted to show them up for the phonies that they were amazing that God uses this man against his own system so the dream and dilemma. This is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us. John is Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary in Southern California. The study, John began today is titled the rise and fall of world powers. As John continues this series he's going to show you that Christians actually have reasons to be hopeful and even optimistic as we look to the future as we wait for Christ's return.

So if you've never taken an in-depth look at this magnificent section of Scripture. Daniel two through five. I would encourage you to pick up a copy of John's current study, the rise and fall of world powers get in touch today, shipping is free on the six CD album to order a copy of the rise and fall of world powers. Call us toll-free 855 grace or you can go online to Jide TY.org and as always you can download the MP3's and the transcripts immediately and free of charge go to our website. Again, that's Jide TY.org and thanks for remembering that it's friends like you help us connect people around the world. Biblical truth every day, church leaders, missionaries, and so many others across the globe are encouraged by this broadcast in the resources available at our website and the free books and CDs we send out each month to have a role in that to partner with us. Call 855 grace or make your tax-deductible donation@jidety.org that's our website Jide TY.org now for John MacArthur and the entire grace to you staff, I'm Phil Johnson encouraging you to be here tomorrow when John looks at why God used Daniel in such mighty ways and how the Lord can use you. John will continue his study. The rise and fall of world powers. With another half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you


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