We begin this week by studying Daniel 4:1-17
When we are submissive and obedient to G-d’s truth we are blessed. When we don’t live in a righteous manner, we are going to find that G-d moves against us. This is a lesson very clearly revealed in this fourth chapter.
v1-3 Revelation, as already seen, leads to worship. G-d revealed Himself to Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar received the revelation and, rightly so, he wanted to share it with the world (all those who were under his authority).
v4: ‘Rest’ and ‘flourishing’ carry with them spiritual overtones in the original language. ‘Palace’ can also be translated ‘sanctuary’ – alluding to the fact that Nebuchadnezzar, despite many revelations about the true G-d up to this point, is probably back in his pagan temples.
v5-7: This time, Nebuchadnezzar remembers his dream, so only desires to know the interpretation of it. Surprisingly, Nebuchadnezzar doesn’t call Daniel initially (despite the fact that Daniel is still ‘chief of the magicians’ -4:9). Another indication that he has slipped back into his pagan ways?
· Despite having previously said that if they knew the dream they would be able to give an interpretation (2:4), we find here that they had lied – they are men of deception. Here they are given the dream but are unable (unwilling?) to interpret it.
v8 This verse provides proof that Daniel was named after a pagan god.
V10-17: Nebuchadnezzar reveals to Daniel what the dream was about.
· v10: ‘Earth’ reveals to us that this dream (like the other) has global implications.
· v11: ‘Reached to the heavens’ – reveals to us that this is a kingdom that has spiritual ramifications. “It could be seen to the ends of all the earth” – this empires rule, its administration, covered the entire world.
· v12: This empire (which is going to be related to the last days empire, as we are going to see) was exceedingly prosperous, materialistically successful and provides nourishment for everyone – man and beast fall under its “protective” umbrella.
· v13: A ‘watcher’ is another name for an angel or messenger (one who is sent with a message). ‘Holy’ has to do with purpose. This one was watching. He saw something which he responded to, by coming down from heaven and pronouncing judgement upon this empire.
· v15: When this judgement falls, the stump and roots of this empire are spared. They remain intact and are preserved. This is important as it foreshadows a restoration.
· v16: His heart – ie the heart of the ruler of this empire was changed into that of the heart of a beast. Seven times – probably speaking about seven years (This is a very important number of years in the last days, as we will see in chapter 9).
· v17: The primary message we can learn from this verse is that no matter how crazy things seem G-d is Sovereign, and He is in control!