"if nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies"

Friday, March 1, 2013

"What's in a dream" (part 4)


 “You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.  As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.   Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.” Daniel 2:31-35

Remember in our last “Just a thought...” we learned that Daniel, after praying with his friends, received the answer from God on what the dream was and what the dream meant.  After receiving the word from the dream, praise God, Daniel did just that; praised God with this prayer:
“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
to whom belong wisdom and might.
He changes times and seasons;
he removes kings and sets up kings;
he gives wisdom to the wise 
and knowledge to those who have understanding;
he reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what is in the darkness,
and light dwells with him.
To you, O God of my fathers,
I give thanks and praise,
for you have given me wisdom and might,
and have now made known to me what we asked of you,
for you have made known to us the king’s matter.”


Can I just be real for a minute here?  When was the last time that you received an answer to prayer?  One that you have been in close contact with God requesting an answer and He spoke?  Did you praise Him?  Honestly, did you stop and worship Him for who He is and what He is capable of?  I am guilty here, how many times have I prayed for an answer and upon receiving it, I probably threw a “thank You God” out there and went along my day.  By the way my stomach feels as I write this, I am guessing more times than I care to admit.  I have to give props to Daniel.  He stopped and did not move forward until he took some time to praise the One who delivered the prayer.  
Let’s also remember that the king wanted to tear him into pieces, can you imagine receiving the answer that will save your life and being calm enough to stop and give proper thanks to God.  Go Daniel!
So then Daniel goes to the king and after giving God the credit, he tells him the dream.  He explains the dream to Nebuchadnezzar.  He tells him that there was a great image.  A mighty image exceeding in brightness.  He explains the different parts of the image and what they represent.  He tells Nebuchadnezzar that he is the head of gold.  
Daniel tells him that God put him in the position of authority.  He says that another kingdom will rise up, represented by the silver chest and arms.  The third kingdom, which is the middle and thighs of bronze will rise up and rule over all the earth.  He said there will be a fourth kingdom, as strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things.  He said the feet and toes, partly of clay and partly of iron, will be a divided kingdom, with firmness of iron standing in it.  Daniel goes on to say that God will then set up a kingdom that can never be destroyed and will not be left to a person.  He said it will break the other kingdoms and bring them to an end.  The rock, not cut out by human hands is that kingdom.
Ok, so what does all this mean, well if you are like me and didn’t pay attention in history class, here’s the run down.
Head of fine gold Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom
Chest and arms of silver Medo-Persian Empire 
Middle and thighs of bronze Greek Empire
Legs of iron Roman Empire
Feet partly of iron and clay to be determined
rock cut out not by human hands Jesus “eternal kingdom”

Once again, Daniel gives all glory to God before Nebuchadnezzar and calls the interpretation trustworthy.  Can you imagine standing before someone that has asked a question that you have the answer to?  What if that question was hard to answer?  Daniel had to tell this king that another kingdom would rise up.  I am sure these are not words that Nebuchadnezzar wanted to hear.  So Daniel, I am sure, waits with bated breath to see how the king will react to his pungent words.  In true Godly fashion, the reply is unexpected.
Daniel 2:46-47 says “Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him. 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.”
Can I get an Amen?  This is our very purpose in this world, to direct others to our amazing God.  Crazy part is that He is God, He doesn’t need to use us.  Maybe we should all just stop here and spend a few minutes in prayer thanking God for using us.  If you are anything like me, you are a hot mess, so the fact that He uses us to show others His glory and magnitude is so unexpected that other’s cant deny Him.  
Daniel 2:4-49 says “Then the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men. Moreover, at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego administrators over the province of Babylon, while Daniel himself remained at the royal court.”
Did you catch that?  “at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego administrators over the province of Babylon” v 49.  He never forgot his buddies.  The ones who hit their knees along side of him, Daniel mentioned to the king to be promoted as well.  Let’s pray:

“Heavenly Father, thank You for the lessons in Daniel.  This walk has been delayed for a bit as you have been chipping away at this sinner.  Though the chipping process is painful, the fruit is overwhelming so we thank You for the process in our lives.  Lord, thank You for this example of Daniel.  How true it is that we should be more like him, going to You in prayer, praising You for answers, giving You glory, and finally, remembering those who were in the pits with us and helped us out.  All too often, Lord, we are lifted out of the pit only to put our garment of pride back on, heading toward the next pitfall.  Help us Lord to “be still” and have awareness that besides You, there is no other.  Thank You for knowing all.  Thank You for loving all.  It is in Jesus name that we pray~Amen.”

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