This week we will be whizzing through the book of Daniel simply because it fits so well sandwiched between Revelation. Daniel and his friends are taken to Babylon and Daniel after 3 years begins a ministry of being the Lord's interpreter of dreams, similar to Joseph before him.
Daniel 1: Daniel Taken to Babylon
1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.
2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God. And he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and placed the vessels in the treasury of his god.
3 Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family and of the nobility,
4 youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king's palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans.
5 The king assigned them a daily portion of the food that the king ate, and of the wine that he drank. They were to be educated for three years, and at the end of that time they were to stand before the king.
6 Among these were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah of the tribe of Judah.
7 And the chief of the eunuchs gave them names: Daniel he called Belteshazzar, Hananiah he called Shadrach, Mishael he called Meshach, and Azariah he called Abednego.
8 But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king's food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself.
9 And God gave Daniel favour and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs,
10 and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, "I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king."
11 Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
12 "Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink.
13 Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king's food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see."
14 So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days.
15 At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king's food.
16 So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.
17 As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
18 At the end of the time, when the king had commanded that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
19 And the king spoke with them, and among all of them none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Therefore they stood before the king.
20 And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom.
21 And Daniel was there until the first year of King Cyrus.
Daniel 2: Nebuchadnezzar's Dream
1 In the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his spirit was troubled, and his sleep left him.
2 Then the king commanded that the magicians, the enchanters, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans be summoned to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king.
3 And the king said to them, "I had a dream, and my spirit is troubled to know the dream."
4 Then the Chaldeans said to the king in Aramaic, "O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation."
5 The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, "The word from 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.
6 But if you show the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts and rewards and great honour. Therefore show me the dream and its interpretation."
7 They answered a second time and said, "Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show its interpretation."
8 The king answered and said, "I know with certainty that you are trying to gain time, because you see that the word from me is firm---
9 if you do not make the dream known to me, there is but one sentence for you. You have agreed to speak lying and corrupt words before me till the times change. Therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can show me its interpretation."
10 The Chaldeans answered the king and said, "There is not a man on earth who can meet the king's demand, for no great and powerful king has asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or Chaldean.
11 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."
12 Because of this the king was angry and very furious, and commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be destroyed.
13 So the decree went out, and the wise men were about to be killed; and they sought Daniel and his companions, to kill them.
14 Then Daniel replied with prudence and discretion to Arioch, the captain of the king's guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon.
15 He declared to Arioch, the king's captain, "Why is the decree of the king so urgent?" Then Arioch made the matter known to Daniel.
16 And Daniel went in and requested the king to appoint him a time, that he might show the interpretation to the king.
God Reveals Nebuchadnezzar's Dream
17 Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions,
18 and told them 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.
19 Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
20 Daniel answered and said: "Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might.
21 He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding;
22 he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.
23 To you, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of you, for you have made known to us the king's matter."
24 Therefore Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He went and said thus to him: "Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon; bring me in before the king, and I will show the king the interpretation."
25 Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste and said thus to him: "I have found among the exiles from Judah a man who will make known to the king the interpretation."
26 The king declared to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, "Are you able to make known to me the dream that I have seen and its interpretation?"
27 Daniel answered the king and said, "No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked,
28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed are these:
29 To you, O king, as you lay in bed came thoughts of what would be after this, and he who reveals mysteries made known to you what is to be.
30 But as for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because of any wisdom that I have more than all the living, but in order that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your mind.
Daniel Interprets the Dream
31 "You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening.
32 The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze,
33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.
34 As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.
35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
36 "This was the dream. Now we will tell the king its interpretation.
37 You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory,
38 and into whose hand he has given, wherever they dwell, the children of man, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the heavens, making you rule over them all---you are the head of gold.
39 Another kingdom inferior to you shall arise after you, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth.
40 And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things. And like iron that crushes, it shall break and crush all these.
41 And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the soft clay.
42 And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle.
43 As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay.
44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever,
45 just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure."
Daniel Is Promoted
46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and paid homage to Daniel, and commanded that an offering and incense be offered up to him.
47 The king answered and said to Daniel, "Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery."
48 Then the king gave Daniel high honours and many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon.
49 Daniel made a request of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego over the affairs of the province of Babylon. But Daniel remained at the king's court.
Things to think about…
1.Daniel and his three friends were taken from Jerusalem in the third year of king Jehoiakim, vs 1. This was in 605BC. It also says Nebuchadnezzar took some of the vessels from the house of the Lord, this may have included the ark of the covenant, but we are not told. Daniel and his friends were likely to have been in their early teens. Their parents were likely killed, but were certainly taken from them. The Babylonians gave them new names, Dan 1:7 to remove their old identity and give them a new identity that matched Babylon. These young men remained faithful to the God of Israel.
2.We see the first blessing being placed on these young Jews. Vegies don't generally fatten you up over a meat diet, but here they do. Daniel though longing to go back to Jerusalem ends up staying in Babylon until the first year of king Cyrus – 536BC – 70years. This is the entire length of Jerusalem's period of captivity. Is this how you feel about this life on earth? You are called to serve, but it is not your home. Even though Daniel had much earthly wealth and fame, his heart was for Jerusalem and his obedience came at great personal cost. Jesus says we must count the cost of following Him. What has it cost you?
3.In Daniel 2 we see that King Neb has a dream. The magicians complain when they are told to reveal and interpret the dream. They say no king has ever asked this before, 2:10. Is this true? We know that Pharaoh asked this same thing of his magicians after he had a dream. Daniel is a type of Joseph and ends up being promoted to the highest levels of authority as a result. Can you think of any in our day who through their Christian witness have been elevated to the highest levels of secular power? I must confess I am struggling to list any. While we praise God for a Christian Prime Minister he was not elevated because of his Christian witness as he was already a politician. Pray for him and pray the Holy Spirit pours out over the church where it is elevated because it is faithful to His Word and Spirit.
4.In Dan 2:17-20 Daniel gives praise to the God of heaven who has revealed the dream to him. Look at Daniel's humility. No glory comes to him, he deflects it back where it belongs.
5.The dream is interpreted, Dan 2:31-45. Do you know the meaning of the dream? King Neb (Babylon) is the head of gold, the silver bust is Cyrus and the Medo/Persian kingdom that comes after him, the legs of bronze is the Greek kingdom under Alexander the Great – Daniel has more to say about him later. The Legs of Iron is the Roman kingdom. The feet or iron and clay is a current/future divided kingdom. It is this final one that the 'God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed', vs 44. This of course is Christ's kingdom. Jesus said, "I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it". You are a part of this kingdom. Rejoice! Christ will reign in the Millennial kingdom over all the earth.
6.Look at King Neb's response – his face was in the dust, Dan 2:46. An appropriate response to revealed truth. Daniel is exalted, like Joseph before him, to rule over the people and wise men, vs 48. Daniel doesn't forget his three friends and appoints positions for them.
CBC's Vision :- To be a growing biblical church community, significantly influencing our city and beyond, through intentional outreach, fulfilling our mission.
The reading was from Rev 7. The sermon was called "Every tribe, nation and language"
1.How do you understand the tribulation period? Do you think Christians will be raptured before, during or after the tribulation?
2.Andrew Otte mentioned 7 "P's" in his sermon. Do you recall what any of them were?
3.Andrew also mentioned the "until's". Do you remember what they refer to?
4. Pray for Israel and Ipswich that they would come and embrace the gospel.
1.Pray for continued follow up rain
2.Pray for those who have recently come to CBC that they settle into the fellowship.
3.The loss of 2 lives at Rappville in NSW. Pray for these families and the loss of properties in this rural community.
4.Pray for our help and response to Stanthorpe community.
5.Ministries this term 4 – PlayPatch, Kids@Church, Recharge youth.
6.Pastor Andrew Otte as he preaches this Sunday night on Rev 16-18.
7.More Sunday school and RI teachers
8.Our outreach initiatives as well as the Axiom podcast.
9.Sunday's messages. "The making of a King – Daniel 4"– "The bowls, the beast and Babylon"" Rev 16-18 Andrew Otte – Sunday night.
10.Finish "Bean Redeemed" coffee shop and podcast area.
11.Church finances to meet our expenses.
12.Our City and Country – Pray for revival over our city and the leadership of our country.
13.Ray of Hope Trivia night – this Saturday 7pm and Members meeting 3rd Nov.
1.Andrew Otte's preaching ministry on Sunday.
2.Praise the Lord for rain that has fallen already in Qld and NSW.
3.More new people on Sunday – Praise the Lord.
4.Those who serve on our worship teams and ministry teams.
5.Unity, peace and Christ's love over our church.
6.A number considering baptism.
1.Willey group - Hosting morning tea on Sunday morning.
2.Playpatch – Returns this Friday morning.
3.Recharge Youth – Friday night 7pm – High Schoolers.
4.Kids at Church – Primary school aged children Sunday mornings.
5.Andrew Otte preaching 13th Oct AM and 20th Oct PM.
6.Ray of Hope orphanage trivia night dinner to raise money for the orphanage, this Saturday 19th Oct 6pm.
7.Members Meeting 3rd November after morning service.
This month's catechism question...
Q. 5. How many petitions are there in The Lord's Prayer?
"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known" Jer 33:3