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July 2, 2021 4:00 am
I really believe that there are certain principles that make you useful to God when you have these things you are useful to God in a crisis. Not a lot of people useful to God when is no crisis but when the crisis hits separates commitment for most margin got to have some deep character, the mountain security blanket of stability if you will that tends to make us think things will pretty much continue as they are, even with the political upheaval and the occasional overthrowing of governments. It's hard to imagine the layout of the world map significantly changing, let alone turning upside down and yet from the Old Testament book of Daniel we learn about the rise and fall of nations both in Daniel's day and in modern times to so what's going to happen in the future and how will it affect you consider that today as John MacArthur looks at Daniel chapter 2. It's part of his series called the rise and fall of world powers. So take your Bible and follow along with John MacArthur as he begins today's lesson were going to be looking at the second chapter of Daniel Noah's look at the first 13 verses the forgotten dream the dream the dilemma that leads thirdly to the deficiency. The deficiency verse 10.
We've already seen it but what they really claim here is that the king is asking to do something it's impossible.
The Chaldean group answered before the king and said there is not man upon the earth that can reveal the king's matter you see the significance of that one awesome. They were flat out right workday. There wasn't a man on the earth that can reveal it such truth doesn't come from your list.
If you think that anybody can really predict the future on the earth, you're wrong. If you think there's anything to that horoscope stuff other than demonic influence in mind control you're wrong. There is no such thing as reading the future. The only place you go to read the future is in the Bible when God talks about and they were right. There is not a man on the earth that can reveal the king's matter. Therefore, there is no okay Lord normal that asks such things of any magician or astrologer are Chaldean, they say no king and no ruler.
No, nobody great and powerful as he maybe would ever ask anything like this because no human can do it not their experience: that there were limits what they could know they could pull off their fakery, but they couldn't read somebody's mind is a little inside but I thought about that for a while. Yesterday, I thought that's interesting that may well be an indication that Satan can't read our mind because of Satan could read our minds then believe me he could interpret our dreams, and he could reiterate our thoughts.
I've never believed that Satan can get inside and read our thoughts and I think this may be an indication. These were Satan's agents, astrologers, mediums, spiritists, magicians, sorcerers, the whole pile of and they would've had experience in revealing dreams that were unspoken, they would've had experience in revealing thoughts that have been had in the night and the day if Satan had access to those but it seems to me that he does not so they try to flatter the king all king, no Lord and no king and no ruler, no matter how majestic he is.
Whatever ask this. Don't you want to rank with the greats. See, this is beyond any human ability. Verse 11. It is a rare thing that the king requires.
And there's no other that can reveal it before the king.
Watch this except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh boy in their stupidity. They were right again. The only place you could get that information is from a supernatural source. Right, it's not available on the earth. What a dilemma. They are about to lose their life. They are about to lose everything they possess.
They have already lost all their credibility.
They are given an impossible thing that they cannot do.
They are trapped in the human deficiency, therefore, fourthly, the decree because they couldn't tell the dream the decree is given again in verse 12 for this cause. The king watch this was angry and very furious. I would've been enough to say was angry or furious but just to make sure you get how mad he really was a puts both of them in their he was angry, really, really, really angry, and he commanded to destroy get this all the wise men of Babylon. Now that's that's the stupidity of anger. Anger never knows any limits. Anger never draws any parameters. Anger just matches everybody who gets in front of he is made is matter number one because is afraid he scared to death about the dream he had. He is mad because he can't remember the details. He is mad because he can't trust his wise men, and if he can't trust his wise minutes telling the truth now. Be sure that all things he been telling them in the past are probably phony things to and he's upset because they criticize him and say he has no right to ask that and he is mad he is furious is stooped to the depths that some monarchs go to when there particular wills are crossed and so he just gives it execution orders. This lottery will verse 13. Now watch and the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain, and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain. Why because Daniel and his fellows were part of the core of court advisers.
They were part of the quote unquote wise men there were only apprentices. And that's why I don't think that they were originally in the group before the king. They just completed their training, but nonetheless they fit the category and so that the executioners moved out to take their lives now. There we meet Daniel again in verse 13 and this is where we go from the forgotten dream to the unforgettable Daniel. Let's look at verse 14 to 30.
The unforgettable Daniel got a set them up honey, you could have a better set up right is made a great big huge announcements of the king that none of this is not available to human beings. Only a God could reveal this. This is supernatural stuff. It's beyond us.
Nobody would ask this, we can handle it. It's an impossibility. And that is exactly where God wants the situation for his man. Daniel and he moves it is God's man with a message he is commissioned to reveal a great prophetic truth. He is a man for a crisis time and I just want to pull it down to where we live and say this number to go through this rather quickly.
I really believe that there are certain principles that God's that make you useful to God about that way certain principles that make you useful to God. Certain character qualities that God really uses and Daniel has the when you have these things you are useful to God in a crisis. Now a lot of people are useful to God when is no crisis. They can just going to go along to do things when there's no storm going. But when the crisis hits it separates the people with real commitment from those were marginal and when you get a crisis like this in angry monarch was about the slaughter, all his wise men and God strategic man. Daniel is going to stand face to face nose to nose with this king.
You've got to have some deep character qualities.
He is a man for a crisis.
I'll tell you why. First of all because he had composure he had composure he never lost his cool.
Verse 14. Here comes the executioners name is area. Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to areata, the captain of the King's guard who was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon limitation everybody was frazzled from the king on down.
Everybody was frenzy everybody was in a state of panic. Everybody was out of sorts.
Everybody was frustrated everybody was in fear. They were all in turmoil, except Daniel he was calm was composed even though his life was on the line. He never panicked.
He had this amazing confidence in God. He knew his destiny rested in God's sovereign will.
And though he was confronted by men. In verse 14, who sought to take his life. There is no panic there is no frustration. There is no despair, just composure. People respond like that in a crisis are already prepared before the crisis, it already got together. Notice the statement in verse 14 he spoke with with counsel and wisdom that could as easily be translated wisdom and discretion. In other words he spoke appropriately. He spoke reasonably.
Daniel responded here comes this guy and you can see them sweeping through the palace and all of the adjacent areas collecting all these wise men to chop them into little pieces and is are doing all of this. They roll in on Daniel and they announced to him the decree and he simply and suitably in corporately with great counsel and wisdom and discretion begins a discussion with area minis composure. The root term of captain comes from a verb that means to slay. He was the king's executioner, and I suppose it could ascent second in command is the kind of interesting that the king the king's own executioner comes, I'm sure you a lot of other guys collect a lot of people but when it came to Daniel, he would himself. That was of God because Daniel wanted to go back to the king, and he would've had an easier road back to the king through the king's own executioner, then through some underling so God made sure he got the right guy.
Now, at the same time. He must've been an authoritarian, rough, tough, feeling less individual or he wouldn't of been executioner, so Daniel just talks wisely and suitably to illuminate this wonderful conversation. Verse 15 answered and said to areata the king's captain. Why is the decree so hasty from the king what is the hurry area. What is the big hurry. I love this. Then areata made the thing known the Daniel Berryessa will will let me tell you about that Daniel will you let me sit down a minute I'll tell you the whole story, God is just controlling this guy's hard he sits down he gives his holes easy.
Daniel had the ability, in the midst of panic. The just put everybody at ease that great calm, composed character, why don't we look for summer like that in the midst of a frenzy in the midst of a panic, don't we look for the guy who's got it all together was just composed and Daniel says, tell me about this. What's the big hurry is no fear because his hand his life is in God's hand. The mark of the useful life beloved, listen composure in a crisis.
If you can't stay composed in a crisis. You never really going to have an effective long-range ministry because ministry is all about meeting one crisis after another second he was. Not only composed he was courageous. Verse 16 then Daniel went in and apparently areata rains an audience with the King is in this amazing is that killing Daniel he was he gets it. Daniel gets a pass to go see the king. Daniel went in and desire of the king get this here is Daniel he's a teenager. Folks, he's got in between 17 and 19 years old just finished his three years of training. He's a Hebrew, which means he's a captive, because in the Nebuchadnezzar who is foaming at the mouth fire and brimstone wants everybody in pieces and here comes this young upstart. One of his wise man is nothing but an apprentice any desire of the king that he would give them time and he would show the king the whole interpretation king.
I'm here to tell you if he just give me a little time I'll tell you the whole thing was the one thing that the wisemen asked for time was the one thing he wouldn't give up time was one thing Daniel asked for time was one thing against time. There was something courageous about it discourages almost audacious.
Who is he who is he to go before Nebuchadnezzar, but he had a strong, confident faith in God and he was going to face this frustrated region. Can you say will know it is a little presumptions how to Daniel know you never build tell a dream because Daniel knew what chapter 1 verse 17 said that God had given him the ability to reveal dreams and vision.
So why did he do it for Daniel while maybe because of chapter 1 verse 20 word says that when the king examined those young men.
He found Daniel and the others to be 10 times wiser than the wisest men and babbling maybe said well you know he is 10 times wiser than everybody else may be little time will hurt, but I'm amazed at the courage nobody threatened his life he'd walk up nose to nose with Nebuchadnezzar, no matter how much power he had, because he knew God was on his side. These first two elements are necessary beloved in fulfilling any commission in a crisis.
If you don't have composure and courage will never make it through 10. Some people you can be composed and courageous any time in any crisis when you know you stand on the authority of God's revealed word right if you're doing what's right. You have nothing to fear. Thirdly, we see here not only a characteristic of composure and courage but communion and I love this communion. Verse 17 then Daniel went to his house and he made the thing known to Hannah and I have Michelle and Azariah, his companions, he went back and he said hey guys, you gotta hear that that the king's gonna give me some time to get to work on this know what was going to do. They start to pray Daniel's confidence was in God so immediately sought communion with the Lord. God's men in a crisis goes to his knees.
God's men in a crisis doesn't take his troubles to other people.
He takes his troubles to God maybe gathers other people to pray with him as he did, but he goes to God as a final point of contact.
Verse 19 begins then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in the night vision. Wow in the middle of the night of prayer, God gives the secret that leads to 1/4 characteristic of the man in crisis commendation commendation what he mean by that will look at verse 19. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Commendation is just another word for praise. I looked up in the dictionary and it's a synonym he commanded God he praised God.
Daniel gave the glory to God. What a tremendous young man.
He is amazing wisdom for his years following verse 20. Daniel answered and said, blessed be the name of God forever and ever for wisdom and might are his and he changes the times and the seasons he removed with kings and set us up kings. He giveth wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to those who know understanding.
He revealed with the deep and secret things he knowest what is in the darkness and the light well if with him. That's a great statement. Beloved. That's a Psalm really, that's a Psalm, a hymn of praise. He begins by saying, blessed be the name of God.
That's all that God is, he blesses him for his wisdom in his mind for his power.
In verse 21 Lipo tents. He changes the times and the seasons, he removes kings he sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to those who know understanding. That's omnipotence. Verse 22 is omniscience reveals the deep and secret things he knows what is in the darkness and the light. Well, if with him. He is extolling God commending God then in verse 23 I think the and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might and made known unto me now what we desired of the four thou hast now made known unto us.
The king's matter apparently shared it with the three because it says we and us, listen, Daniel was not stuck with Babylonian fatalism, but a sovereign wise and powerful God. And when God heard his prayer. Daniel gave God praise and thanks in a Psalm that is a model for Psalms of praise was marked the man in crisis is composed is courageous. He is in communion with his God. And when he hears and answers he commends is God just to more quickly and will close this section. Daniel was also marked by compassion. Verse 24 therefore Daniel went into the area whom the king ordained to destroy the wisemen of babbling. He went and said, thus on to him just to make sure nothing happened just to make sure he didn't go through with it before Daniel even went back to tell the King's dream. He went to areata and he said, destroyed, not the wisemen of babbling bring me in before the king are revealed under the king the interpretation. Daniel is now in control the whole situation. He says don't destroy the wisemen I get this the last order areata CAD was from Nebuchadnezzar.
This order is from Daniel who is Daniel some kid some Hebrew captive was popped out of nowhere and is now telling me what to do, but it was in control he said just take me to the King and all revealed the king interpretation don't slay the wisemen on the Daniel had compassion on the Daniel cared about me knew they were lost in idolatry. He knew they were doomed to hell and want to die. Verse 25 and areata brought in Daniel before the king. In haste, the word in haste means with much alarm much excitement he was really excited he was in a man hurry.
I'm sure he didn't want to do the slaughter anyway so areata brings in Daniel in an excited energetic way and he says to the king, I found a man of the captives of Judah that will make note of the king the interpretation.
I think it takes a little more credit than he deserves. Daniel really came to him, but you know when you're underling the king you want to do all you can earn those points.
Choices I got just the man boy. He can tell you the answers and he can give you the dream and the whole thing. Verse 26 the king answered and said to Daniel, his name was Belshazzar that was his Babylonian name. Are you able to make known to me the dream which I've seen in the interpretation of it.
By the way, if he couldn't he really get it. Postponing all of this so long with no real resolution. Can you do this, can you really do it. Both the dream and the interpretation he's got some doubts because he's doubting the whole supernatural area because all of his supernatural list of failed. So, Daniel is marked by compassion and he goes to the king.
We come to the last characteristic of Daniel humility.
That's Daniel. In spite of all of the gifts I mean the guy was handsome beyond description. He was brilliant he was spiritual.
He was physically just specimen unlike any other. He had this amazing training 10 times wiser than everybody else here is in the audience of the king.
Not only that he can read visions and dreams tell the future.
Amazing thing to be proud about Daniel Gibbon look at his Spirit in verse 27 Daniel answered in the presence of the king and said the secret which the king is demanded. Cannot the wisemen, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers revealed under the king's revenue. Nancy salt in the wound. He just wanted to affirm again that the whole polymer worthless. You want to set himself against them you want to set the true God against the false deities they can't do it. Can they with all of their stuff there useless in the real crisis in verse 20, but there is a God in heaven who reveal the secrets and make it known to the king Nebuchadnezzar.
What shall be in the latter days, that's a term that refers to the fullness of the time in the mind of the writer or the fullness of time in reference to the specific prophecy. It varies from prophecy to prophecy. The latter times of the prophecy given the latter days of the prophecy given in this case, the latter days of the prophecy given encompass all the way to the millennial kingdom and then in verse 29 it says, and he who reveal the secrets. That's a new name for God and the Bible never used before. Makes known to the what shall come to pass God of heaven has given you the stream but look at verse 30 L of this but as for me, the secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that show make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou might us know the thoughts of thy heart.
Hey, he says I can't take any credit for this.
I'm not anybody special. I'm not anybody better than anybody else. God is the revealer of secrets is done it for his own purposes. What a heart of humility was the man for a crisis is rightly related to himself. He's got together in his own heart. The man for a crisis is rightly related to God. Yes it right with the Lord the man for a crisis is rightly related to other people.
He loves them and he doesn't think of himself as better than day. Daniel is an incredibly rare kind of man that's exactly why God used him the way he used and that's exactly why when Ezekiel recited three righteous men of history.
He put Daniel in the middle.
Even though Daniel was a contemporary. It was an unusual man a choice. Serve indeed. Daniel was a choice servant of God, humble, bold, completely committed to God's truth.
John MacArthur showing you how God used Daniel to his glory.
In a fascinating look at Bible prophecy. It's a series called the rise and fall of world powers here on Grace to you Jon, I love the portrait of Daniel that you paint and it reminds me he's one of my favorite Bible characters for his courage and his devotion to the Lord. Unshakable devotion. There's another descriptive word that's often associated with him and it's one we hear a lot about in the political arena gets the word integrity.
That's right. And when you say somebody has integrity. It means there one person there not to people. The not duplicitous.
They don't say one thing in one environment and something opposite in another environment or to put it another way they live, what they say they believe that's integrity really hard to find nowadays very hard to find someone whose convictions are both verbalized and consistently faithfully lived out no matter what the price and Daniel's willingness to live out his convictions had to stand the ultimate test that the test of well the test of the lion's den. Was he willing to die for those convictions. There are few heroes in this culture, who are known explicitly for that level of integrity.
Daniel is the hero you need to become very acquainted with so want to mention a book that will go along with our studying Daniel in the title of the book is the power of integrity. Integrity has immense power.
It's really the story of Daniel and the power of integrity can help you build that kind of life the character study of Daniel, a man whose life integrity still stands out even centuries after he lived. It includes chapters on the consequences of an uncompromising life. The golden rule. On closer examination, doctrinal integrity in many other chapters features a built-in study guide icebreaker questions for use in small-group, it's a great book for giving young people, college, high school, young people just about anybody for sure available from Grace to you. Just ask for a copy of the power of integrity and will be glad to send you one.
Yes send this book examines the lives of exemplary people who faithfully serve the Lord, even under constant pressure to compromise and it will show you how you can do the same. It's a very relevant book as the world gets darker and darker to pick up your copy of the power of integrity. Contact us today. Write us at Grace to you, PO Box 100, St. Martin Lavalle, QC H7V 3P4 or use our 24 hour order line call 800-565-2425. You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Now let me remind you the grace to you is your source for all about 3000 recorded sermons and books by John MacArthur and that includes what has become our flagship resource you Christians serious Bible students and really everyone in between. I'm talking about the MacArthur study Bible. It features more than 25,000 footnotes that bring out the meaning of virtually every passage in your Bible to browse and purchase go to GT Y.org or call 800-5654 25 and let us know how your benefiting from these broadcasts write us at PO Box 100, St. Martin Lavalle to back H7V3 P4 and thanks for remembering our radio outreach is funded by gifts from listeners like you now for John MacArthur Phil Johnson here reminding you to watch the grace to you.
Television program go to GT Y.org to see it online and tune your radio here for another half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on the next