20 June, 2024

June 9 Study | Deep and Hidden Things

by | 3 June, 2024 | 0 comments

Unit: Daniel 
Theme: Revealer of Mysteries
Lesson Text: Daniel 2:1-3, 17-23, 26-30, 47-49 
Supplemental Texts: Daniel 2:4-16, 24-25, 31-46; Proverbs 2:6; James 1:5 
Aim: Look to God for wisdom in all things. 

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Download a PDF of this week’s lesson material (the study by Mark Scott, the Application by David Faust, and Discovery Questions): LOOKOUT_June9_2024.

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By Mark Scott

Scholars speak of an apophatic view of God. This sometimes is called negative theology. The idea is that what cannot be known about God is far greater than what can be known. God is so far beyond human understanding that he is indescribable and inconceivable (Romans 11:33-36; 1 Timothy 1:17). Mere human beings should probably not even concern themselves with the deep things of God. Instead, they should be like a weaned child with its mother (Psalm 131). 

Some secret things belong to the Lord exclusively (Deuteronomy 29:29). But God has revealed himself. According to Moses, God’s specific commands can, in fact, be understood. They are not far off in the heavens or beyond the sea. They are near (Deuteronomy 30:11-14). The prophet Daniel believed that if God revealed the deep and hidden things, then they could be understood.  

Troublesome Dreams 
Daniel 2:1-3 

In the book of Daniel, as with other prophetic sections of Scripture (e.g., Ezra 4:7-16), certain events might seem out of order. Daniel 1:5 says that Daniel was trained for three years for the king’s service. But Daniel 2:1 says it was the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign when the king had his dream and Daniel interpreted it. How can this be? Nebopalassar, Nebuchadnezzar’s father, most likely was still king of Babylon when Nebuchadnezzar invaded Jerusalem.  

Regardless, early in his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams (visions with prophetic significance). The king’s mind was troubled (beaten or disturbed) to the point of insomnia. The king gathered his wise men (magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers—all terms dealing more with the spirit world than modern science). The “catch-22” was that the king wanted these wise men to tell the king his dream and its interpretation. Of course, the wise men objected vigorously to such a request and stalled for time. But the king was resolute to the point that it even endangered the lives of Daniel and his friends. 

Mysteries Revealed 
Daniel 2:17-23, 26-30 

Daniel informed his friends of the king’s request. The four held an earnest prayer meeting. They pleaded for mercy (or compassion) about the king’s dream. God answered the prayer during the night. Before Daniel rushed off to tell the king his dream and its interpretation, they praised the real king of the universe for revealing the deep and hidden things.  

The praise chorus for God acknowledged his wisdom and power in addition to his sovereignty over seasons and kings. As God brought light out of darkness in creation (Genesis 1:3), so he did in revealing Nebuchadnezzar’s secret dream. Notice that verse 21 is stated in first person. Daniel’s praise is personal.  

Daniel approached Arioch before the commander of the king’s guard could kill the wise men of Babylon, and then Daniel was brought to the king. Arioch vetted Daniel while Nebuchadnezzar questioned him. Daniel told the king that no wise man of his kingdom could do what the king wanted done. But God in heaven could reveal the mysteries (secrets). The mysteries had to do with the future.  

Verses 31-45 contain the content of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. The imposing figure in the dream was that of a huge statue. The head was made of gold, the chest and arms were made of silver, the middle and thighs were made of bronze, and the feet were made of a combination of iron and clay. It looked powerful. But then a strange and unique stone slammed into the statue at its feet and smashed it. The statue blew away like chaff in the wind. The stone that had smashed into the statue grew into a huge mountain that filled the earth. Daniel interpreted the dream saying that the various parts of the statue represented the earthly kingdoms of Babylonia, Persia, Greece, and Rome. During the time of the Roman Empire, the kingdom of God would come.  

Servants Honored 
Daniel 2:47-49 

King Nebuchadnezzar was undone by Daniel’s knowledge of the dream and its interpretation. He fell down and paid homage to Daniel. Then the great pagan king acknowledged God by proclaiming God’s exclusivity. He is God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries

Daniel was awarded a high position in the government. He also received many gifts and was given rulership of the Babylonian province. He was placed in charge of all the wise men, and the king appointed his three friends to positions as administrators. Daniel and his friends knew that God’s thoughts and ways were higher and deeper than those of people (Isaiah 55:8-9).  

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