Lent 2016: Trusting God In a World That Doesn’t – Part 2

The King who appoints kings Daniel 2:1-49 February 21st, 2016


I. The STORY LINE of chapter 2. (v.1-23)
A. A POWERFUL but TROUBLED King. (v.1-13)
B. His ADVISORS in CRISIS. (v.4-13)
C. Daniel literally PRAYS for his LIFE. (v.14-23)

Chapter 2 is a long chapter. It starts with a powerful, yet threatened King, Nebuchadnezzar. He needs to understand the dream, most likely because he has a fear that his kingdom is in danger. He seeks the interpretation through the only way that he knows; intimidation and fear. But Daniel will seek more than an interpretation. He seeks God and God tells him what he needs to know.

1. Have you ever had a dream that unsettled you? A dream that you felt God was using to tell you something?
2. How do you react under stress? Do you take charge or withdraw? How can you draw nearer to God in times of stress?
3. When have you had an experience where you prayed in desperation? As you look back, what was God doing in that situation? In you through that situation?

II. The DREAM and the INTERPRETATION. (v.24-49)
A. A HUMBLE messenger of things to COME. (v.27-30)
B. FOUR temporary KINGDOMS. (v.36-43)
D. that CRUSHES and FILLS. (v.45)

The dream is actually pretty straightforward, although people still seem to disagree about the details. Good news for Nebuchadnezzar is that for now he doesnt need to worry. But a time is coming when all the Kingdoms of the world will be replaced by an eternal kingdom. A King is coming who will rule forever.

4. What stands out to you specifically from this story? What might God be saying to your through that?
5. Have you heard other interpretations of the dream that are different than what Jeff explained today? What are your thoughts now?
6. What is the Kingdom of God? Is is now or later? How do I live in it, practically, day to day?
7. What does Matthew 28:18 tells us about the beginning of the Kingdom of God? How does that shape the way we need to live today?

III. Daniels LESSONS for LENT.
A. HUMILITY is greater than POWER and CONTROL. (v.12-13,26-30; Mk. 10:42-44)
B. Human HISTORY finds MEANING in Jesus. (v.44-45; Mark 1:14-15)
C. TODAYS kingdoms are ILLUSIONS. (v.20-22,44; Jn 19:10-11; Heb 2:7-9; II Cor. 4:16-18)

Our world today says that we need to seek power and control if we are going to be okay. We need to get the right people in power or we are in trouble. Lent reminds us of our weakness and brokenness and Daniel points us in another direction. Lets live in humble dependence upon the One True King. Lets centre all of life around Jesus and live visibly in light of the Kingdom that is mostly invisible.

8. When have you feared your own failure or humiliation? How did you respond?
9. How does this dream of Nebuchadnezzar change or amplify your understanding of
the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus?
10.What does it mean that todays kingdoms are illusions? And how does that impact life in the real world?