Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Daniel- Chapter 2

Daniel 2


-In the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, the king had dreams that were puzzling and terrifying to the point of robbing his majesty of sleep. Apparently, con artists and deception were known to have been common place in the Babylonian realm, which necessitated an opportunity for the genuine article to come front and center with Daniel and the true Living God. Nebuchadnezzar enforced strict rules that his dream must be declared to him along with its proper interpretation, or he would have the imposters “torn limb from limb” and have their houses “be made a rubbish heap (Daniel 2:1-5).” Great gifts, reward, and honor were promised to the one who could tell the king his dream and interpret it though (Daniel 2:6). It got to the point where Arioch, the captain of the king’s bodyguard, was going out to find and kill the wisemen of Babylon before Daniel became aware and begged for more time to seek the LORD on the matter of this mystery (Daniel 2:7-16). Immediately Daniel went to his house and informed his friends (Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah) about the matter that “they might request compassion from the God of Heaven” to avoid being destroyed (Daniel 2:17-18).

-“Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of Heaven (Daniel 2:19).” Daniel declared His wisdom and power forever and ever as the One who could change the times and the epochs raising up kings and removing them. The LORD is the One who gives all wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding. He is the Revealer of the profound and hidden things because He knows what is in the darkness and Light dwells with Him. Daniel further praised the God of his fathers for the wisdom, discernment, and revelation for the king’s matter (Daniel 2:20-23).

-Daniel went in haste to Arioch with the word not to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He wanted to go straight into the king’s presence with the boldness of his interpretation given to him by the LORD. He made it clearly known that it was not him, but God, that had provided this wisdom for interpretation, and then he presented the dream and its meaning unto Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2:24-30). In the dream, the king saw a single great statue, which was large and extraordinary in splendor with an awesome appearance. The head was of gold, which Daniel interpreted to be Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian Empire [606-539 B.C.] (Daniel 2:31-32a, 36-38). The statue’s breast and arms were of silver, which was the succeeding kingdom of the Medo-Persian Empire [539-331 B.C.] that was somewhat inferior to the grandeur of the Babylonian time (Daniel 2:32b, 39a). The statue’s belly and thighs were made of bronze reflecting the Greek Empire [331-146 B.C.], which was the third kingdom that ruled the known earth under Alexander the Great (Daniel 2:32c, 39b). The statue had legs of iron with feet partly of iron mixed with clay. This was the Roman Empire [146 B.C.-A.D. 476] that existed during the time of the coming of the Messiah. It was as strong as iron crushing and shattering all who opposed them, but then it crumbled from within with some strong parts and some very weak spots. The empire was dismantled because it did not adhere well to its components, just as Daniel saw and interpreted (Daniel 2:33, 40-43).

-The Divine Kingdom is most worth noting from this dream and its interpretation. The Stone that struck this statue, or these kingdoms, down became a great mountain and filled the whole earth (Daniel 2:35, Matthew 24:14). This Kingdom is not left for another people to conquer. It will eventually crush and put an end to all other kingdoms and endure forever. So, “The dream is true,” Daniel says, “and its interpretation is trustworthy (Daniel 2:44-45).” This is none other than the first incarnation of Jesus Christ and His dominance through this church age filling Heaven with the glory of all the nations coming to the truth of His saving grace for eternal life (Matthew 21:33-44, Mark 12:1-11, Luke 20:9-18).

-When Nebuchadnezzar realized that Daniel had given him the dream as well as a brilliant interpretation that was beneficial to him, he fell on his face and paid homage to the prophet of God and gave him offerings and fragrant incense. He acknowledged the God of the universe as God of gods and Lord of kings, and the Revealer of mysteries (Daniel 2:46-47). Daniel was promoted to the king’s court and given many great gifts. He was the ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of the land. Daniel had his faithful friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego (Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah) promoted as well over the administration of the province of Babylon at Daniel’s request of the king (Daniel 2:48-49).  

-*Application* There is much we can grab from this narrative that applies directly to our lives in the here and now. God knows the mind, every part of it, and can observe it and explain it to the minutest detail. Only God can interpret dreams and give understanding to the things that puzzle us. Beware of those trying to gain credit and a big name for themselves with so called interpretations of wisdom based on human knowledge that has nothing to do with the LORD. God should always get the glory in your life. Rely on Him and His understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6). Further, we are privileged to be living in the fulfillment of the Divine Kingdom expansion. This church age has a commission to heed (Matthew 28:18-20) and a commandment to follow (Matthew 22:36-40). The Kingdom of Jesus Christ will never be thwarted or undermined. It is established with an Eternal King and will not be overthrown. God has the victory! Finally, grab hold of good and faithful friends and employ them in the ministry God has equipped you for. Kingdom work is never a one person show.


Verses to Memorize: Daniel 2:35, 44

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