(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Tim Keller entitled, Counterfeit Gods.
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
He had all the power. He wanted all the glory.
After all he was the king.
He was the most powerful king of his day. He had an army to back him up and a ruthless judgment against those who would rise against him or displease him.
So why would a dream unsettle him? A dream he couldn’t even remember?
Because it challenged his power and disputed his glory.
He was the head of gold, but eventually a boulder cut out of the mountain would crush not only the head of gold, but the chest of silver, the thighs of bronze, the legs of iron and the feet of iron and clay mixture.
Each material represented a kingdom, although weaker, that would overthrow the one above it, until the boulder would crush them all.
How do we know?
Daniel was given the power to interpret the dream of Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar was going to kill all the wisemen in the land, including the Jewish wise men taken captive from Babylon, because a) they couldn’t interpret the dream he had because b) they couldn’t tell the King the dream he had. (afterall, who could do that?)
Daniel 2:9-11 So then, tell me the dream, and I will know that you can interpret it for me.” 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.”
What the other wisemen couldn’t do, Daniel could because the God of all power was with him. Here’s what he said to King Nebuchadnezzar:
Daniel 2:27 Daniel replied, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, 28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come.
Daniel 2:46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him. 47 The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.”
When Nebuchadnezzar was confronted with the power of God who was more powerful than he, he had to fall in humility before the Lord. Two other times he acknowledges the Lord…
…after throwing Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego into the firery furnace and they survive:
Daniel 2:46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him.47 The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.”
…after a period of insanity:
Daniel 4:36 At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.
The God of all power and glory humbled a powerful king who wanted all the glory for himself so he could see the God of all power and glory and realize all the power and glory of the Babylonian kingdom paled in comparison to the power and glory of God.
It’s true for us too. All the power and glory of our “kingdom” we seek to build for ourselves is a far distant second to the POWER and the GLORY God has. So seek his power and give him glory and you will find the strength of God’s Power and give HIM the glory he deserves!
Apply: What is your “kingdom” that you think you have power and control over? Describe what you feel when you humbly acknowledge the power you think you have pales in comparison to the power God has.
Prayer: Father, YOURS is the kingdom AND the power AND the glory, forever and ever. Amen
Prayers to share – September 2017
Please pray for our synod’s ministry work… (www.wels.net)
Hurricane Harvey –
Ministerial Education – Lord Jesus, you have called us to send workers into the harvest field of the earth to make disciples of all nations, and we know you go with us. Thank you for blessing our ministerial education schools – two preparatory high schools, a college of ministry, and a seminary – so that our church body has the pastors, teachers, staff ministers, and missionaries needed to serve us and others. Amen.
Atlanta, Ga., Mission – Lord God, as Christians gather to start a new congregation in the city of Atlanta, we pray that you would use this church to welcome the community to the wonders of your gospel. We ask that you would unite the members in Atlanta for the work you have given them and embolden them to proclaim the truth of your salvation, that there may be a resurgence of believers there. Amen.
India – Almighty Father, you have graciously entrusted us with your Holy Word and commanded us to go out into all the world to make disciples of all nations. Bless our efforts as we proclaim the gospel in India and address the needs of the people there. Let this also be an opportunity for us outside of India to reflect on the things we take for granted and to be reminded that you are truly the “one thing needful.” Amen.
Chattanooga, Tenn., Mission – Lord Jesus, in recent years you have worked to grow a community of believers in Chattanooga. Please bless the work of this body as they prepare to incorporate as a congregation, and watch over them in the years to come as they proclaim the gospel to their neighborhoods. If it is your will, let this congregation grow and prosper, that it may serve as an anchor point for many more congregations in the years to come. Amen.