Scripture: Dan 2
3 main characters that we want to learn from today:
A. The Nightmarish Dream
1 In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his mind was troubled and he could not sleep. 2 So the king summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers to tell him what he had dreamed. When they came in and stood before the king, 3 he said to them, “I have had a dream that troubles me and I want to know what it means.” (Dan 2:1-3)
As for you, O king, while on your bed your thoughts turned to what would take place in the future … (Dan 2:29a)
B. The Impossible Demand
5 The king replied to the astrologers, “This is what I have firmly decided: If you do not tell me what my dream was and interpret it, I will have you cut into pieces and your houses turned into piles of rubble. 6 But if you tell me the dream and explain it, you will receive from me gifts and rewards and great honour. So tell me the dream and interpret it for me.” (Dan 2:5-6)
9 If you do not tell me the dream, there is only one penalty for you. You have conspired to tell me misleading and wicked things, hoping the situation will change. So then, tell me the dream, and I will know that you can interpret it for me.” (Dan 2:9)
What can we learn?
Power - Wisdom = Doubt & Despotism
- Nebuchadnezzar was enveloped by fear arising from his doubt, which resulted in his tyrannical demands and decrees.
- Today, we have more power than ever before: viral videos and messages can build up or destroy lives and livelihoods in an instant.
- “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” (Pr 18:21a)
- Do not let rumours, gossip and slander perpetuate and cause division and destruction.
II. The Wise Men
- Magicians: scribes, learned men
- Enchanters: mediums, necromancers
- Sorcerers: those who practice witchcraft
- Astrologers: those who study heavenly bodies
A. The Attempted Negotiation
4 Then the astrologers answered the king, “May the king live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will interpret it.” (Dan 2:4)
7 Once more they replied, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will interpret it.” (Dan 2:7)
B. The Eventual Admission
10 The astrologers answered the king, “There is no one on earth who can do what the king asks! No king, however great and mighty, has ever asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or astrologer. 11 What the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among humans.” (Dan 2:10-11)
What Can We Learn?
- The wise men had the all the wisdom of the world, but had neither ability to connect with the gods, nor power to interpret dreams.
- Without power, all their wisdom and experience of interpretation was useless and had to remain dormant.
- The wise men instead deluded themselves and their king about their supernatural abilities.
Wisdom - Power = Dormancy & Delusion
Wisdom without Power leads us to illusions and delusions that have no value or impact.
A. The Faith-Filled Request
14 When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact. 15 He asked the king’s officer, “Why did the king issue such a harsh decree?” Arioch then explained the matter to Daniel. 16 At this, Daniel went in to the king and asked for time, so that he might interpret the dream for him. (Dan 2:14-16)
B. The Answered Petition
17 Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 18 He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven 20 and said: “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. 21 He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. 22 He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him. 23 I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors: You have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you, you have made known to us the dream of the king.” (Dan 2:17-23)
What Can We Learn
- Omniscience governing omnipotence, infinite power ruled by infinite wisdom. This is a basic biblical description of the divine character of God.
- "His wisdom is profound, his power is vast" (Job 9:4)
- "To God belong wisdom and power" (Job 12:13)
- "... great power and mighty strength... ” (Isa 40:26)
- “He will not grow tired and weary, and his understanding no one can fathom" (Isa. 40:28)
God's Power + Wisdom = Dependence & Deliverance
22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. (1 Cor 1:22-25)
- Power - Wisdom = Doubt & Despotism
- Wisdom - Power = Dormancy & Delusion
- God's Power + Wisdom = Dependence & Deliverance
By standing strong on the power and the wisdom of God,
- We are ANOINTED
- We are EQUIPPED
- We are EMPOWERED
- We are ENABLED