Friday, September 26, 2014

Daniel Lesson 4 Nebuchadnezzar's Dream Interpreted

Many of our new ladies may not know that I a bit of a rock hound. It started when I taught Rocks and Minerals third grade. Our field trip to the gem mines. Each child picked up a rock and donated it to our rock fountain. That year as I worked on my National Board Certification I went to a conference over Christmas break at Western Carolina. This photo is the wall of frozen ice lining the highway. My love is to study nature and the natural gems our Lord created.
When CBS met at Lutheran Chapel we did a study of Revelation. A former ATD took glass marbles and made a tower of colors for the twelve foundation stones in New Jerusalem. It so inspired me that I searched for the twelve gemstones listed in the chapter. From that I fashioned a Revelation 21 bracelet and later a necklace using the stones from the text in the Bible. Hope you are looking forward to the study of Revelation and Daniel is giving us a foretaste tonight of the latter days and Christ’s reign. Prayer
Dream Interpretation    Lesson 4~Daniel 2:24-49
·        Omniscient God in Heaven
o   All knowing, He knows the end from the beginning from ancient times, what is still to come. (Isaiah 46:10). 
·        Jesus the Solid Rock
o   The Messiah, the promised one
Christ’s Kingdom is Forever
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.”  Contrast Arioch pride with the humility of Daniel.
First the King wanted to know if Daniel could tell him the dream and interpret it. Honestly Daniel reveals that no man could possibly know this.
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. Two of my favorite words in the Bible are “but God!”
Daniel gave the glory to God alone. “With absolute confidence and skill, Daniel unfolded the dream while informing the king that God in heaven has the whole world in His hands and that it is He who rules the future. Nebuchadnezzar might have been surprised at having his dream revealed, but Daniel knew that God was able to reveal mysteries.” Bob Conway from Decoding Daniel
Daniel slept well unlike King Nebuchadnezzar. He did not fear for his life for he trusted in God. Can we do less with our daily concerns and irrational fears?

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.
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.
Warren Weisbe in his book “Be Resolute” four things we know to be true
1.     God is in control and Christ’s kingdom will last forever. As we read last week in verse 21 “he removes kings and sets up kings;”
2.      Earthly rulers and human endeavors decline as time goes on
3.      The difficulty for things to hold together at the end of the age
4.      Jesus will return and destroy his enemies and establish his kingdom

Dr. Renald Showers, in his book 'The Most High God', writes 
'Babylon used gold extensively in its buildings, images and shrines. Even walls and buildings were overlaid with gold...  In ancient times silver signified money. Medo-Persia became noted for basing its power on money... (Ann’s comment-remember the thirteen pieces of silver paid Judas’ betrayal of Jesus.”)The Greeks developed this metal (bronze) highly and used it extensively... Ancient Rome was noted for its use of iron in its military weaponry.'
As we gaze at the statue starting at the top gold is the most value element but very soft and 10 times the atomic weight of  clay; silver five times heavier than clay. Moving in descending order the metals silver, bronze, iron are less costly but greater strength is depicted as we move down the statue. Wiersbe says the statue was actually top-heavy. “From age to age nations and kingdoms appear strong and durable but they're always in danger of falling over and crashing.
Each section of the image represents proportionally the duration of four empires from the shortest to the longest.
First, the head is the shortest duration: Gold - Babylonian Empire (606-539 BC)
Second, Silver Chest and Arms - Medes and Persian Empire (539-330 BC)
Third, belly Thighs of Bronze - Greek Empire (330-63 BC)
Fourth, Legs of Iron , which are the longest - Roman Empire (63 BC - 476 AD)
In A.D. 455, the Western Roman Empire fell to the Vandals, and in A.D. 1453, the Eastern Roman Empire fell to the Ottomans. Bob Conway from Decoding Daniel
Feet of Iron & Clay - Revised Roman Empire/European Union present until Jesus returns
Ladies, who was looking for a place to write in the fifth kingdom on the chart in your lesson?

I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Alexander the Great. New facts taught me as influential and as great a warrior as he was, he only reigned only 13 years, dying at age 32. He never lost a battle and was responsible for spreading the Greek language and culture through the land, may be the reason the New Testament was written in Greek. After his death his four generals divided the empire.
The feet of partly iron and partly clay symbolize the changing of rulers and empires.  The weakness was not located in the iron legs (Ancient Rome), but in the feet and toes.
But when Christ returns his Kingdom will last Forever
 Daniel 2:41 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 clay42 And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle43 As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage,[c] but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay.  (Makes me think of oil and water.)
Nebuchadnezzar kingdom was vast and wide. On the map you can see the green area marking the Babylonian Empire. The red trail shows the distance the Hebrews had to travel to their captivity. He was dazzle about the brilliance of the gold and precious metals that the image was standing on feet of iron and clay.

Representing the present through the time when Jesus returns the ten toes of mixed with iron and clay show the deterioration of sovereignty. WW p.41 “Clay robs iron its ability to hold things together. Society today is held together by treaties that can be broken, promises that can be ignored, traditions it can be forgotten, organizations that can be disbanded, and money making in a process that can fail--all of it iron mixed with Clay! Man at his best is Clay for God made them from the dust of the earth Genesis 1:26.”  
The difficulty for things to hold together at the end of the age will be covered later in Daniel 7:23–24 and Revelation 17:12-14

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 forever45 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.”
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.” 
Jesus will return and destroy his enemies and establish his kingdom.
Now we will talk about the Rock of my Salvation. Many songs of our faith about the rock. So many verses in the Bible are about stones and rocks. One author found 14 instances of in scripture referring to Jesus. Here are a few for you to check out.
The stone is an image of God messiah Jesus Christ son of God
His Kingdom lasts Forever
         Psalm 118:22
         Isaiah 8:14
         Isaiah 28:16,
         Matthew 21:44
         Luke 20:17-18
         Acts 4:11
         1 Corinthians 10:4
         1 Peter 2:4-8
I will give you a just a taste of these scripture for Jesus in the gospels and Peter in his letter combines many Old Testament scriptures.

Psalm 118:22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
Isaiah 8:14 And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Isaiah 28:16 therefore thus says the Lord God,
Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion,
    a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation:
    ‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’
Matthew 21: 44 And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” (Luke  20:18)
Acts 4:11 This Jesus[a] is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.
Jesus is a smitten stone representing the rock struck my Moses to bring forth water in Exodus 17:5-6
1 Corinthians 10: our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.
1 Peter 2:4-8(ESV)
As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and preciousyou yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:
6 “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,  a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,
“The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone,” (Matthew 21:42)
and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.”
King Nebuchadnezzar had to learn that the wealth and prosperity of his great kingdom meant nothing. It would be reduced to chaff and be blown away. The king had to learn that he must be looking to and living for the ‘stone’ that would become a everlasting kingdom over the entire earth! Christ’s Kingdom is Forever

Psalm 89:26 ‘You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’
Ladies we work and save to buy perishable things which have no earthly value. My home, my family heirlooms, my car; all will be left behind when I go to meet my sweet Jesus. I've heard it said there will be no U-Haul or armored car behind a hearse. That's why we lay up treasures in heaven.

We must remember that our entire lives will pass through a fire that will test our works. Only that which is built upon the foundation of the true stone, Jesus Christ, will remain. (1 Cor 3:10-15) JesusPlusNothing
Will you choose to join Jesus Christ in His eternal kingdom?

Warren Weisbe in his bookBe Resolute
 David Jeremiah in his book “Handwriting on the Wall”