1. Daniel 4-5
Examples of God’s Sovereignty
Is God in control of history?
August 10, 2014
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
LITTLE FEET FALL CHILDREN’S CONSIGNMENT SALE FOR MISSIONS – August
CASTING CROWNS – August 21
LADIES CONNECTIONS DINNER – September 4
August Memory Verse
1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in
the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
THE BOOK OF DANIEL
• Theological Theme: God’s Sovereignty
21 … the Most High God is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and sets over
them anyone he wishes.
God controls the destinies of both pagan empires and His exiled people.
Daniel: God’s Pattern For The Future, A Study Guide by Charles R. Swindoll, 1992
Daniel: Lives of Integrity, Words of Prophecy by Beth Moore, 2006
Lessons In Daniel, YouTube Videos, Chuck Missler
Knowing God by J. I. Packer, InterVarsity Press, 1973
2. The Book of Daniel
• Chapters 1-6
– Historical narrative of experiences of Daniel and his friends in
• Chapters 7-12
– Apocalyptic (futuristic) visions and revelations of future events
Language: Daniel 1:1-2:4; 8-12 in Hebrew
Daniel 2:5-7:28 written in Aramaic
Chapters are not in chronological order.
Summary of Daniel 1 & 2
• Daniel 1 – Nebuchadnezzar becomes King of Babylon in 605 B.C.
– Daniel & friends deported to Babylon
– They become advisors to the King
• Daniel 2 – Daniel interprets dream of the King
– Dreamed of large statue struck by a rock and it crumbles
– God reveals the future of Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom and also
kingdoms to follow
Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream 604 B.C.
3. Summary of Daniel 3
• Daniel 3 – The fiery furnace episode
– Daniel is probably out of country
– Nebuchadnezzar makes a statue for all to bow down and worship
– Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego refuse to bow and God saves
them in the fire
– “They wouldn’t bend, they wouldn’t bow, they wouldn’t burn!”
(The Fourth Man In The Fire - The Statler Brothers)
• Written by King Nebuchadnezzar in Aramaic
• Affidavit – a written statement confirmed by oath or affirmation for use as
• Posted throughout the Babylonian world
• Is Daniel 4 a statement of Nebuchadnezzar’s faith?
• Did Nebuchadnezzar become a believer in Daniel’s God?
1 King Nebuchadnezzar,
To the nations and peoples of every language, who live in all the earth:
May you prosper greatly!
2 It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the
Most High God has performed for me.
3 How great are his signs,
how mighty his wonders!
His kingdom is an eternal kingdom;
his dominion endures from generation to generation.
(Words of Nebuchadnezzar about Daniel’s God)
4 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, contented and prosperous. 5 I
had a dream that made me afraid. As I was lying in bed, the images and visions
that passed through my mind terrified me. 6 So I commanded that all the wise
men of Babylon be brought before me to interpret the dream for me.
4. Summary of Daniel 4:7-15
• Daniel was called to interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream again
• Large beautiful fruit tree that touched the sky
• Animals & birds lived & fed from the tree
• Voice calls down from heaven for tree to be cut down & stump covered
with iron & bronze
• Voice announces a 7 year mental problem
Daniel 4:15-17 The Voice says…
15 …"'Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him live with the
animals among the plants of the earth. 16 Let his mind be changed from that of a
man and let him be given the mind of an animal, till seven times pass by for him.
17 "'The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict,
so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on
earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of
5. Summary of Daniel 4:18-24
• Daniel interprets the dream with hesitation
• The good news:
– The tree represents Nebuchadnezzar and his greatness and
dominion on the earth
• The bad news:
– “You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild
animals; you will eat grass like cattle and be drenched with
dew……for 7 years”
28 All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 Twelve months later, as the king
was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 he said, "Is not this the
great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for
the glory of my majesty?“
(The dream comes true immediately after this statement)
The great Babylon I have built…
6. Clinical Lycanthropy
• Clinical lycanthropy – a psychosis in which the patient has delusions of
being a wild animal (usually a wolf).
• Werewolf – (Human-wolf) – a mythological creature that can change from
a human form into a wolf-human form.
7. Daniel 4:34, 36-37
34 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven,
and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified
him who lives forever.
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.
Why Does God Hate Pride?
1. Pride makes us blind to the work of God.
2. We forget His sovereignty (supreme power).
3. Pride blinds us to our own need for a Savior, and we withhold grace from
those we feel do not deserve it.
4. Charles Spurgeon: “None are more unjust in their judgments of others than
those who have a high opinion of themselves.”
Comments on Daniel 4
• Daniel is reported to have been the care giver for Nebuchadnezzar for
those 7 years.
• Daniel lived out his faith in God by serving his captor.
The time between Daniel 4 and 5
• Nebuchadnezzar dies in 562 B.C.
– Served as King of Babylon 43 years
– 3 sons; 1 daughter
• Evil-Merodach (Amel-Marduk) 562-560 B.C.
• Nergal-shar-usur 560-556 B.C.
• Nabonidus 556-539 B.C.
– Very unpopular and lived outside Babylon
– Allowed his son Belshazzar to rule Babylon as King in his place.
(No Aramaic word for grandfather)
The Setting For Daniel 5
• Belshazzar is serving as King of Babylon
• The date is October 12, 539 B.C.
• Persian army is on the move and conquered areas around Babylon led by
Cyrus the Great
• Belshazzar throws a party with 1000 nobles
• Gold & Silver goblets brought from Temple in Jerusalem & used as
expression of pride
8. Sayings from Daniel 5
• “Your number is up!”
• “Saw the handwriting on the wall!”
Belshazzar’s Wine Festival
Daniel 5:5-6 NIV
5 Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of
the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as
it wrote. 6 His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his legs became
weak and his knees were knocking.
Daniel 5:5-6 NKJV
5 In the same hour the fingers of a man's hand appeared and wrote opposite the
lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king's palace; and the king saw the
part of the hand that wrote. 6 Then the king's countenance changed, and his
thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his hips were loosened and his knees
knocked against each other.
Daniel 5:5-6 ISV
5 While the king watched the back of the hand as it was writing, his facial
expression changed. 6 Utterly frightened, he lost control of his own bowels and
his knees knocked together.
9. Rembrandt Painting of Handwriting
Summary of Daniel 5:7-24
• Wise men could not interpret the handwriting
• Daniel is called in to read the writing at the recommendation of
• Daniel preaches a sermon to Belshazzar before interpreting the encrypted
– “You are no King Nebuchadnezzar like your grandfather.”
– “You have set yourself up against the Lord of heaven.”
25 "This is the inscription that was written:
MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN
26 "Here is what these words mean:
Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end.
27 Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.
28 Peres: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians."
29 Then at Belshazzar's command, Daniel was clothed in purple, a gold chain
was placed around his neck, and he was proclaimed the third highest ruler in
30 That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians, was slain, 31 and Darius the
Mede took over the kingdom, at the age of sixty-two.
10. • The historical events around this night……
That very night, Belshazzar was slain
• King Cyrus diverts the Euphrates River upstream to drop the water level in
• The Medo-Persian army waded through the moat and under the city walls
to conquer it
• Darius the Mede, Cyrus the Great and Gubaru may be the same person
• Nebuchadnezzar’s statue – Head of gold kingdom ended; Silver next
October 12, 539 B.C. Cyrus The Great Enters Babylon
Daniel Meets Cyrus The Great
• Daniel presented Cyrus with a scroll of Isaiah 44 and 45 showing fulfillment
• The prophecy was written almost 150 years earlier (681 B.C) and
described events precisely and called him by name – Cyrus!
• It was a letter from God to Cyrus written 150 years earlier
Isaiah 44:24; 27-28
I am the Lord,
the Maker of all things,
who stretches out the heavens,
who spreads out the earth by myself,…
11. 27 who says to the watery deep, 'Be dry,
and I will dry up your streams,‘
28 who says of Cyrus, 'He is my shepherd
and will accomplish all that I please;
he will say of Jerusalem, "Let it be rebuilt,“
and of the temple, "Let its foundations be laid."'
Isaiah 45:1, 4
1 "This is what the Lord says to his anointed,
to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of
to subdue nations before him
and to strip kings of their armor,
to open doors before him
so that gates will not be shut:
4 For the sake of Jacob my servant,
of Israel my chosen,
I summon you by name
and bestow on you a title of honor,
though you do not acknowledge me.
• 40,000 Jewish captives allowed to return to Judah
• Gave significant finances to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem
• Allowed Temple objects taken by Nebuchadnezzar to be returned.
• Alexander the Great conquered Medo-Persian empire in 331 B.C. (208
12. Lessons From Daniel
What evidence do you see in a person who knows their God?
Evidence of Knowing God
1. Those who know God have great energy & motivation for God.
- Daniel & friends resolve not to defile themselves with royal food and wine
- Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s & Belshazzar’s dreams at risk of rage
from the king of delivering bad news
- Daniel scolds Belshazzar about his pride
2. Those who know God have great thoughts of God.
28 …but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown
King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come.
3. Those who know God show great boldness for God.
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, "King
Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this
4. Those who know God have great contentment in God.
17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to
deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty's hand. 18 But
even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not
serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."
Is God in control of history?
32 … the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He
21 …the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it
whomever He chooses.
13. The Plan of Hope & Salvation
Romans 3:23 NKJV
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 6:23a NKJV
23a For the wages of sin is death,
Death in this life (the first death) is 100%. Even Jesus, the only one who
doesn’t deserve death, died in this life to pay the penalty for our sins. The
death referred to in Romans 6:23a is the second death explained in
Revelation 21:8 NKJV
8 “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually
immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake
which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Romans 6:23b NKJV
23b but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 5:8 NKJV
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still
sinners, Christ died for us.
Revelation 21:7 NKJV
7 “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he
shall be My son.”
Romans 10:9-10 explains to us how to accept Jesus as our Savior.
Romans 10:9-10 NKJV
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your
heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with
the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession
is made unto salvation.
Romans 10:13 NKJV
13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
If you have questions or would like to know more.
Please, contact First Baptist Church Jackson at
601-979-1900 or http://firstbaptistjackson.org/contact/