SERIES: Living As Exiles: A Study in Daniel
TEXT: Daniel 2:24-49
MESSAGE: “Seeing the already, not yet”
“Nebuchadnezzar had everything a person could dream of possessing: power, fame, influence. Not only so, but he was in the process of creating an empire that would memorialize him…and a city whose gardens (the hanging gardens) would be known as one of the wonders of the ancient world. Why, then, should a mere dream fill him with such anxiety? The answer is that Nebuchadnezzar was a man whose heart was set on goals that would in the long run prove to be mirages in the desert. He lived exclusively for this world; thus the horizons of his ambition always moved with the change and decay of this world.” — Sinclair Ferguson
“Success is of central importance to this generation. Most teens tell us their top goals are to complete their education and to land a ‘great-paying job’ where they can ‘make a difference.” Dave Kinnaman and Mark Matlock “Faith for Exiles”
“These men didn’t isolate themselves from the kingdom of this world as they waited for God to establish His Kingdom; rather they poured themselves into seeking the welfare of their temporary home in Babylon (Jeremiah 29:5-7). This attitude of seeking the peace of their present city, even though it was not their home, and certainly not yet the city of God, is exactly the attitude Jeremiah urged the exiles in Babylon to adopt…One of the major challenges in the Christian life is keeping these to emphases in balance.” — Iain Duguid
Q: And so, how did Daniel faithfully living for God impact this powerful, successful, yet troubled king?
TEXT: Daniel 2:24-49
“…Daniel was presumably graduated into the company of wise men and statesmen…But we need to remember that he was still only about eighteen or nineteen years of age and that there were undoubtedly many among those men who were far greater and far more influential than he was…so Daniel had no power or negligible influence…we find that when the wise men were unable to tell the king what his dream was and the king threatened to kill them all, Daniel, who was not even consulted and whose influence in ancient Babylon did not amount to a hill of beans at the time…although his gifts were disregarded, and although he was now under sentence of death…the crisis became the occasion through which God brought him to the forefront of leadership…in the story we see the overriding sovereignty of God in this young man’s affairs.” — James Boice
Q: How does the progression of the king’s vision help Daniel to live in the already, not yet? It’s by noticing three phases he uses…(1. You saw, O king  2. stone was cut out  3. The God of heaven will set up a Kingdom)
  1. “You saw, O king…” (v. 31)
“You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening.”
  1. “A stone was cut out…” (v. 34-35)
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. 35 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.”
  1. “The God of heaven will set up a Kingdom…” (v. 44-46)
And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, 45 just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.”
TAKEAWAYS: How does Daniel live in the already, not yet? By believing these three truths…
  • I am not, but God is. So I will trust Him.
  • I can’t, but God can. So I will obey Him.
  • I didn’t, but God did. So I will glorify Him.
And he began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and let it out to tenants and went into another country for a long while. 10 When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, so that they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 And he sent another servant. But they also beat and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. 12 And he sent yet a third. This one also they wounded and cast out. 13 Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ 14 But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.’ 15 And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “Surely not!” 17 But he looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’? 18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” — Luke 20:9-18

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