08 August 10, 2014, Daniel 4-5, God's Control of History
Examples of God’s Sovereignty
Is God in control of history?
August 10, 2014
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
• LITTLE FEET FALL CHILDREN’S CONSIGNMENT
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• CASTING CROWNS – August 21
• LADIES CONNECTIONS DINNER – September 4
August Memory Verse
1 Corinthians 15:58 NKJV
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
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
Knowing God by J. I. Packer, InterVarsity Press,
The Book of Daniel
• Chapters 1-6
– Historical narrative of experiences of Daniel and his
friends in Babylon
• Chapters 7-12
– Apocalyptic (futuristic) visions and revelations of future
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
– God reveals the future of Nebuchadnezzar’s
kingdom and also kingdoms to follow
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
(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 evidence
• Posted throughout the Babylonian world
• Is Daniel 4 a statement of Nebuchadnezzar’s
• Did Nebuchadnezzar become a believer in
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
(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.
Summary of Daniel 4:7-15
• Daniel was called to interpret
Nebuchadnezzar’s dream again
• Large beautiful fruit tree that touched the
• Animals & birds lived & fed from the tree
• Voice calls down from heaven for tree to be
cut down & stump covered with iron &
• 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 people.
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
• 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.
Daniel 4:34, 36
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
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
Sayings from Daniel 5
• “Your number is up!”
• “Saw the handwriting on the wall!”
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
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.
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 Belshazzar’s grandmother
• Daniel preaches a sermon to Belshazzar before
interpreting the encrypted handwriting
– “You are no King Nebuchadnezzar like your
– “You have set yourself up against the Lord of
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 the kingdom.
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.
• 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 Babylon
• 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 (Throne names?)
• Nebuchadnezzar’s statue – Head of gold
kingdom ended; Silver next (Medo-Persians)
Daniel Meets Cyrus The Great
• Daniel presented Cyrus with a scroll of Isaiah
44 and 45 showing fulfillment of prophecy
• 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
Isaiah 44:24; 27-28
24 ….I am the Lord, the Maker of all things, who
stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the
earth by myself,…
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
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
• 40,000 Jewish captives allowed to return to
• 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 years later)
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
Evidence of Knowing God
2. Those who know God have great thoughts
28 …but there is a God in heaven who
reveals mysteries. He has shown King
Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days
Evidence of Knowing God
3. Those who know God show great boldness
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego
replied to him, "King Nebuchadnezzar, we
do not need to defend ourselves before
you in this matter.
Evidence of Knowing God
4. Those who know God have great contentment in
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 chooses.“
21 …the Most High God rules in the kingdom of
men, and appoints over it whomever He
The Plan of Hope & Salvation
Romans 3:23 NKJV
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of
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.
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
Romans 6:23b NKJV
23b but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus
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
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