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There Is a God in Heaven (Part 1 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
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June 3, 2021 4:00 am

There Is a God in Heaven (Part 1 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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June 3, 2021 4:00 am

It’s hard to imagine learning anything from the troubling dreams of an ancient tyrant—but it’s possible! Find out what King Nebuchadnezzar’s insecurities teach us about our own lives. That’s our focus on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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In the book of Daniel read how King Nebuchadnezzar threatened his servants because they were unable to interpret the meaning of his troubling dream. While the king's reaction is alarming.

It provides insight into our own insecurities today on Truth for Life. Alastair Begg explains how Nebuchadnezzar's dream can teach us a lesson about our own lives. Daniel chapter 2 in verse one in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar had dreams, his spirit was troubled in his sleep (then the king commanded that the magicians the enchanters the sorcerers of the Chaldeans summoned to tell the king his dreams.

So they came in and stood before the king and the king said to them I had a dream, and my spirit is troubled to know the dream and then in verse 11 verse 10.

The Chaldeans answered the king and said there's not a man on earth who can meet the king's demands for no great and powerful king has asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter are called in the thing that the king asks is difficult and no one can show it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh and then verse 17 then Daniel went to his house and made the mats are known to Hannah and I Michelle and Azariah, his companions and told him to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon and verse 25 and Isaiah brought in Daniel before the king in haste and said nice to them. I have found among the exiles from Judah, a man who will make known to the king the interpretation.

The king declared to Daniel, whose name was Bell to shatter.

Are you able to make known to me the dream that I have seen and its interpretation. Daniel answered the king and said no wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers and show to the King the mystery that the king has asked but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he is made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days.

Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in your bed are the Yankees and then verse 46 the King Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his faith and paid homage to Daniel, commanded that an offering and incense be offered unto him, the king answered and said to Daniel, truly, your God is God of God's and Lord of kings and the revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.

And then the king gave Daniel hi owners and many great gifts and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and then to the end of the chapter. This is the work of the Lord. Father, thank you for the Bible. Thank you for the songs which set our minds in the right direction. You are the God of everlasting truth and righteousness that you have made yourself known. Finally, in saving the Jesus and that you continue to speak as your word is opened up. We pray that not only will be to understand something of the Bible, but that we might have a life shaping encounter with you the living God who is given to us. The Bible we pray for help to be attentive friend to be free from distractions and to hear from you. For we pray in Jesus name, amen. While this is a long chapter that you will see some of you may have read ahead and set yourself while I wonder how were going to handle all of these verses and I've been thinking the same thing and with my mathematical ability. I have been able to work out that if I gave three minutes to each verse. I then our study would last for two hours and 27 minutes as so clearly that is not going to happen. And although the entire chapter clearly forms a unity it's important if were going to come to terms with her this morning that we grasp the big picture while actually working our way somewhat selectively through the text, you can assume that other parts that I leave out. I don't really understand and and you know why made telling lies to you and then you can go on for them out and then as you've already begun to do.

You can come and fill in the blanks for me when I'm walking around the camp and tell me all the parts I didn't get that's fine, begins clearly with this agitation.

This sleeplessness on the part of this great king of verse one is a clear statement of his predicament. He was troubled in his spirit and his sleep (this of course is very significant because we've already been told us what a great king. He is he is powerfully successful. His policy of military expansion has been quite unparalleled in his frontiers and his borders are largely under control and so on the outside looking in. Clearly he has nothing really to be worried about. Yet despite the outward signs of stability he was being emotionally and continually destabilize by what were actually told in the text where divinely appointed nightmares.

He sleeplessness was actually due to the fact that God was at work in the darkness not only of the night, but in the darkness of his own mind and the dark, disturbing doubts about the future in the Phantom of the offer, of which some of you will recall the Phantom at one point sings nighttime darkens heightens each sensation and of course notions that appear problematic in the daylight and become paralyzing in the darkness. I don't know about you but when I have my 3 o'clock in the morning wake-up session I find of the things that destabilize me when I'm lying down don't seem quite as bad when I'm standing up and that may be an experience that is shared know whether whether Nebuchadnezzar was lying down or standing up.

It would be hard to believe that this individual whose word was never questioned, whose directors were never disputed. Could himself be suffering from a deep rooted growing sense of insecurity for that's what were being told. I did this on account of God that he does what was customary to do send for his Chaldeans for his magicians and for his enchanters who you gonna call Ghostbusters and so it is that they arrived right on cue, and in verse three the king makes known to them.

His request verse for their polite response and his case is is quite funny actually is not and there they they tell him that nobody has ever really been confronted by the kind of thing. But the king answered and said to the Chaldeans verse five the word for me is firm.

If you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation. You shall be torn limb from limb and your houses shall be laid in ruins. Pretty straightforward stuff is not that nobody knows anything, you get what he just said Laura could you give you be a little clearer now. It's is quite amazing.

Note that one of the interesting questions. Of course, is did he know what his dream was or not there's nothing to tell us in the dates for the radiator whether he didn't. He just says that he wants them to tell them the dream and the interpretation he might have known the dream and he didn't trust these characters and if even if they didn't tell him the dream they give given any interpretation that he wanted and so perhaps that's the reason I actually don't think so. I think in another dream I think he was disturbed I think he had a deep-seated sense of being somehow or another magnificent and powerful and yet somehow amazingly vulnerable and so he employs a his tactical approach. If you show the dream and its interpretation. You shall receive from the gifts and rewards retries the character and he tries the state. One moment he is the wolf to the three little pigs and the next moment he's Humpty Dumpty was falling off the wall and none of the kings horses and none of the kings men will be able to put them back together again. He must've been a real problem to live with him, really. There's nothing in here about his wife, but if we had had a little sidebar from his wife or from his children.

They said all goodness gracious, you should see this fall when he gets off his throne unbelievable ropes paranoid threatening all kinds of things looking over his shoulder. All of the time and his astrologers who are just really unraveled by this. Finally, in verse 10 pluck up the courage just to give it back to them straight the call, the incense of the king and said is not a man on earth who can meet the king's demand is that those are just the facts, there is not a man on there, they said. However, if there was ever to be an interpretation would have to come from the realm of the gods with a small G now I don't know about you but I sympathize with their predicament.

Another same time. I admire their courage. I wish that some of our more modern-day wizards and astrologers will be here prepared to admit their complete inability as well. But that's for another time. In verse 11. Of course they were partially correct. These issues belong to the realm of divinity and eternity.

Their polytheism stands in the way of discovering the truth which is going to, suite C, through Daniel himself.

As a result of that verse 12 the agitation of the king reaches its high point. He's angry is very furious and he commands all the wise men of Babylon to be destroyed.

Let's just kill the whole lot of them is in heaven that you live in a tough, tough talking me that you had a problem with leadership try this for size. Fast-forward in your mind through the years and see another king upon his throne infuriated by the wise men and ordering the slaughter of the innocent children in Bethlehem. Both Nebuchadnezzar 600 BC inherited the so-called great in the first century depict the often vicious reaction of man Quay man when he senses that is position in the universe is not a secure, as he actually believed it to be and in recognizing this, it quickly becomes apparent that Nebuchadnezzar doesn't stand alone on the stage of human history. He, in his kingship here is a prototype of others who have risen on the stage of history and have been marked by a deep-seated hostility against God.

The reaction of his humanity in the face of divinity is akin to that expressed by the great godless nature when he said if there is a God.

How can I bear not to be that God if there is a God.

It probably should be me or Reinhold Niebuhr in his book the nature and destiny of man sees this insecurity. What he refers to as this anxiety contemplates the root of much of our modern political tyranny that the lust for power is prompted by a darkly unconscious or conscious realization of man's insecurity. The insecurity of his very existence over your students of history would establish that on Sunday morning. I know, and so you can go you can run through your history books as you like.

Can you explain a little man like Hitler, apart from the demonic response of humanity bringing his fist in the face of divinity, of the deep-seated insecurity in his own personal existence that manifests itself in that way.

Could you explain the clown in South Korea and North Korea at the moment who's attending said political machinations include bringing some of our brightest and best basketball players to act as the ambassadors of sanity and stability in political effectiveness.

This is not simply an interesting perspective on world affairs. Because let's be honest no matter whether you have the corner office earlier on the fourth floor or you head up the children's wing or whatever else it is, are you the pastor of a church these things to get a hold on each of us. We didn't miss the fact that Nebuchadnezzar's behavior and is on the uneasy dreams speak into our personal worlds, our own insecurities and facilities are not exclusive to the mighty what's wrong with me and my angry outbursts that are often irrational. Where does this horrible sense of one upmanship emerge in the fabric of local churches, or in the gatherings of pastors, for we in the feebleness of our flash confronted by our own sense of insecurity creating our own peculiar identity are seeing these matters until we find our identity in our union with Christ and our security in the work of Christ and then our union with one another in Christ is marked in such a way that it speaks to this kind of world Wallace in his commentary says at this point.

Why is it that even in our moments of triumph, there comes the strange disturbing thought that even this may be the material of tragedy, why it's so much that is good and beautiful marked so deeply. And in that end indelibly with clear signs of instability and frailty are easily like Nebuchadnezzar before us, need not simply to be further provided with an interpretation of our predicament we need to be brought face-to-face with our problem is agitation. His sleeplessness responded to by the best of human wisdom could not fix him what he needed was a word from above. Enter Daniel verse 13, so the degree without all the fellas were about to be killed and they start Daniel and his companions to kill them take the knock on the door. Well, Daniel.

The boys and there was your yes were here on a special mission you're going to be slaughtered all thanks for letting us know. Let me get my shoes are just that I need I need to be right out in just a moment.

Now, let me know and I think I've six things in my notes here.

I want to expand on them. But I'll give them to you noticing how Daniel approaches this number one. He was tactful. He was tactful as a lesson that almost goes without saying that is not I think is a good time for it that you don't get your answer wrong at this point we're here to kill you all. Verse 14 then Daniel replied with prudence, and discretion as super in the ESV with prudence and discretion, he doesn't overreact. Despite the fact that his personal prospects are not bright, then go stark raving nuts, but he does take the initiative again as they say all well must be the will of God were all going to die.

Let's all just have a prayer meeting is going to have a prayer meeting but that's not what is going to be praying about how he can die know this is no fatalism is no strange sentence.

This is no case arouse or whatever will be will be.

His confidence in God did not make them indolent. His confidence in God propelled him into action. Consider how many opportunities that we have missed by her striking like of initiative. I weave often abuse the opportunity by Blustering heavy handedness that was nowhere close to prudence and to discretion.

The characteristic that is greatly needed in our day is that it's not the same as zeal. It has to do with understanding the ways of God. Learning what kind of action is appropriate in any given set of circumstances. That's why we need each other. That's why you need why you need country music's why you need is why you gotta know when to hold and when to fold them and when to walk away and when the running you never count your money when you said the he was. It was tactful secondly was practical in verse in verse 17 then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to have Anaya and he told them to make sure that we pray to God.

Verse 18 to seek nurses from heaven concerning this mystery and and so that so that hidden applause that will have a prayer meeting so that we don't get killed is pretty practical so that we don't get executed.

How much prayer how much of self-preservation was involved in this. I will have to wait to find out. But in actual fact, you will notice the practicality and spirituality are quite happy to share the same bed.

Three. Tactful.

He's practical. Thirdly, he's prayerful.

The explanation of verse 17 was fueled for his intercession and the implication in verse 19 seems to be that this season of prayer may actually have been prolonged during the night. He was not only prayerful, but he was thankful again where in verse 19 and the ministry was revealed to Daniel in the vision of the night and Daniel blessed the God of heaven, and he thanked him how God desires from is a thankful heart. There was no possible way out. And yet, like others before and after he'd acted in supreme confidence that God would supply away if it was necessary and he was purposeful again in keeping with the purpose established in chapter 1 is prayer doesn't remove them from the realm of action.

Rather, as we see in verse 24, Daniel went to Eric who the king is appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He went and said, thus to him, not destroy the wise men of Babylon. Okay is very straightforward. Do not destroy them. Please do not execute them take me to the King and I will interpret the dream will learn about what happened.

Daniel came before King Nebuchadnezzar tomorrow important to this message on Truth for Life with Alister bag. It's interesting that King Nebuchadnezzar seemed to have everything an expansive kingdom, strong military great power, wealth, respect, and yet his nightmare revealed his deep rooted insecurity Daniel on the other hand, faced imminent danger with relative confidence in his. Alister pointed out Daniels stability was grounded in the essential truths that God is sovereignly in control and his kingdom will prevail. The theme of God's sovereignty is central to a new book were offering. The book is titled brave by faith God -sized confidence in a post-Christian world and the book is written by Alister in this new release.

Alister draws from the book of Daniel to highlight the remarkable similarities that exist between the world.

Daniel lived in and our world today. In both settings, living according to God's commands was and is countercultural. So how does somebody stay faithful to God. Alister walks through the book of Daniel in this book brave by faith and encourages us he shows us how God delivered Daniel and his friends.

Time and again, and he reminds us that while it may be tempting to put Daniel on a pedestal for his unwavering trust in God. It's actually God's faithfulness to his people, that is at the heart of the story. The book brave by faith reminds us that Daniels God is our God, he will always remain faithful to his people request a copy of brave by faith today when you donate to Truth for Life you'll find the book on her mobile app or online at or you can request it when you call us at 888-588-7884 where we have been digging deep into the book of Daniel throughout this week and the reason is because a Truth for Life teaching God's word is at the heart of all we do. Our mission is simple to teach the Bible with clarity and relevance. We believe that God's word is infallible, that it's instruction is the guidepost for our lives.

That's why we teach it every day, with the expectation that God will work through his word to convert unbelievers to establish believers and to strengthen local churches in the process. We hope that this is been your experience as you listen each day and Bob Lapine. Thanks for joining us tomorrow will find out why certain portions of Scripture give us a taste of how God's future kingdom will look at the Bible teaching of Alister bag is furnished by Truth for Life for the learning is prolific

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