Dan. 4:1-18, Hold on to the eternal things-The dream story of a great …
Dan. 4:1-18, Hold on to the eternal things-The dream story of a great tree
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.
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.
7 When the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners came, I told them the dream, but they could not interpret it for me.
8 Finally, Daniel came into my presence and I told him the dream. (He is called Belteshazzar, after the name of my god, and the spirit of the holy gods is in him.)
9 I said, “Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you, and no mystery is too difficult for you. Here is my dream; interpret it for me.
10 These are the visions I saw while lying in bed: I looked, and there before me stood a tree in the middle of the land. Its height was enormous.
11 The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky; it was visible to the ends of the earth.
12 Its leaves were beautiful, its fruit abundant, and on it was food for all. Under it the wild animals found shelter, and the birds lived in its branches; from it every creature was fed.
13 “In the visions I saw while lying in bed, I looked, and there before me was a holy one, a messenger, coming down from heaven.
14 He called in a loud voice: ‘Cut down the tree and trim off its branches; strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the animals flee from under it and the birds from its branches.
15 But let the stump and its roots, bound with iron and bronze, remain in the ground, in the grass of the field. “ ‘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.’
18 “This is the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, had. Now, Belteshazzar, tell me what it means, for none of the wise men in my kingdom can interpret it for me. But you can, because the spirit of the holy gods is in you.”
In the book of Daniel we see that God rules over the world, saves His people, and gives wisdom. Daniel, who interpreted the dream of the image of the king well in chapter 2, was honored. In chapter 3, his three friends did not bow down to the golden image and were thrown into a scorching furnace, but came back to life, causing the king to proclaim the God of salvation.
Today's text tells us that through two events, the king praises the Most High God and sends a decree to the whole world (1), and it is delightful to announce the great God (2) (That's my pleasure!) (3) It is said to be joy, but we repent of whether we are preaching God with a happy heart. Let us also confess and practice, 'It is my pleasure to preach Jesus'.
One day (4) while relaxing in the palace, the king had a dream. Then he is afraid and falls into anguish (5). God is fair. If you have too much money or are in a high position, you don't want to have any anxiety or worries, but everyone in the world has hardships and pains. The amount of pain is the same for everyone.
Now the king called all the wise men of Babylon to tell him the dream. But the king is disappointed that no one can interpret the dream (6-7). Finally, he calls our protagonist Daniel and asks him to interpret the dream (9). The king tells Daniel about the dream. The great tree he saw in his dream (meaning the king himself, 22) grew up to reach the heavens and benefited all (10-12). Then a holy watcher from heaven announces the destruction of the tree (13-14). The stump remains and there is hope (Isa. 6:13, And though a tenth remains in the land, it will again be laid waste. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land.), but it says that he will spend time with the beasts in the field (15-18). This heralds that the king, the world's supreme ruler, will lose his power for a while. This dream shows that God either establishes or abolishes the authority of the world (17; 1 Sam.2:6-7, 6 “The Lord brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up. 7 The Lord sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts). It says that no one should think that he is standing (1 Cor. 10:12, So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!) and should worship and serve the Lord humbly.
Brothers and sisters, what we have and what is in the world are all finite. Don’t put hope in these and nor worry about anxiety and fear, but pray with hope in the eternal God and His Word (Phil. 4:6-7, 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus). I pray that you will become the precious people of the Lord who live by the life of Jesus. Amen.