Daniel 4:19, 24-27 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was dismayed for a while, and his thoughts alarmed him. The king answered and said, “Belteshazzar, let not the dream or the interpretation alarm you.” Belteshazzar answered and said, “My lord, may the dream be for those who hate you and its interpretation for your enemies! this is the interpretation, O king: It is a decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king, that you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will…Heaven rules. Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity.”
The most powerful human king on the earth could not be reached by anyone. He commanded the world’s most crushing military lived behind a walled city, in a palace filled with soldiers. But God got to him. In a dream, the King of Heaven revealed the doomed fate of this earthly king. Unable to interpret it’s meaning, the Spirit-filled slave Daniel was brought in to give understanding.
After faithfully loving and serving his enemies in Babylon for 30 years, Daniel loves the lost king so much that his face falls with the revelation of Nebuchadnezzar’s fall. From this interaction we learn four things:
- The Fake Jesus Principle: Only one person never needs to repent of their sin and change their ways. Apart from Jesus, we each need to regularly do the one thing Jesus never did – repent. This is God’s word through Daniel to the king and to us.
- God Warns and Waits Principle: God warns us of the future, and then waits patiently for us to repent. In this case, God waited a year for the king to change his ways to no avail. For most of us, God has waited even longer.
- Forgive First Principle: As Daniel brings the Word from God to the king, it includes a call to repent and stop oppressing and harming people. Daniel, the castrated slave, would easily fit in this category. The fact that Daniel served the king, cared for his well-being, and does not make the matter personal reveals that he has forgiven from the heart.
- Connect Before Correct Principle: The fact that Daniel’s concern for his enemy shows on his face explains why the king receives the word without getting angry. Although the words are hard, the heart of the man speaking them is soft. For some 30 years, Daniel had been connecting with the king, and now was going to correct him. The principle is simple – we too need to connect before we correct if we want to win a person and not just win an argument.
Which of these four things is most important for you in this season?
In addition to this introduction to and overview of Daniel, you can find the corresponding sermons, daily devotions, men’s ministry resources, and hundreds of additional sermons and Bible teaching resources for free at markdriscoll.org or on the Mark Driscoll Ministries app.
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