Book of Daniel, part 6

Daniel 4: Four Moves

  1. Praise and Prologue (1-9)
  2. Dream: “I See a Tree” (10-18)
  3. Daniel’s Interpretation (19-27)
  4. Grazing in the Grass (28-37)

A Dream of a Tree

  1. The tree is a symbol of life and protection
  2. The tree reaches the sky and is highly visible
  3. A heavenly messenger orders the tree to be cut down and the stump bound
    1. Note that Nebuchadnezzar trusts Daniel’s interpretation. He even gives him reassurance to speak the truth of the dream
    2. The tree is a symbol of life and protection. It provides fruit and other food. It provides shelter and shade. The birds nest in it. The beast of the field shelter beneath it.
    3. The tree is tall and highly visible. It touches the sky. This is an image of the majestic and mighty.
    4. A heavenly messenger descends from much higher than the tree and orders the tree trimmed and cut down. The stump is bound and kept from re-growing until the cycle of sevens had passed.
    5. The presence of the heavenly messenger is important. Something is being said in a contrast about earthly power and heavenly power (compare to the statue dream).

Who’s In Charge?

"On the surface it appears my world is controlled by politicians and people of that kind.
But I have always believed this is God's world, and God is in charge.” – Desmond Tutu
  1. God elevated Nebuchadnezzar
  2. God humbles Nebuchadnezzar
  3. God will restore Nebuchadnezzar
hanging gardens ruins
Ruins of Hanging Gardens

One Year Later

Daniel proves himself the wise man by offering advice: “King Nebuchadnezzar, please accept my advice. Stop sinning and do what is right. Break from your wicked past and be merciful to the poor. Perhaps then you will continue to prosper.”
A year later, Nebuchadnezzar takes in his grand kingdom. He regards the city of Babylon as his personal residence and it is all for his glory.
That’s when he gets the message from heaven – “This message is for you!” You are no longer ruler of this kingdom. until you learn that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world and gives them to anyone he chooses.’

The King’s Madness

There is often too much attention to the seven times or seven seasons. Seven is the Hebrew number of completion. What is being said is that Nebuchadnezzar’s sentence of madness is definite. It will end at a time God has already chosen.

The effect of his madness is that he starts to behave like an animal. His hair and nails are unkempt. Worst of all, the shining star of human civilization is driven away to the fields of the earth. Whereas he was once high and mighty, now he is drenched in the dew of heaven.

Nebuchadnezzar’s Testimony

So What?

  1. What does God expect of those he has placed in power?
  2. What kingdom or nation will endure forever?

Chris Benjamin

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Evening Sermon, 17 June 2007

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