The God Of Dreams – sermon notes – Dreams are usually taken lightly by us. The Bible takes them very seriously. God created us with the ability to dream. Why? Are dreams to wake us up in the middle of the night? Are they to give us something to do when we sleep? No, we dream for a purpose. Nebuchadnezzar was a dreamer. Many of us are dreamers.
DANIEL AND TROUBLE
By Delbert Young
THE GOD OF DREAMS (Daniel chapter 2)
The God Of Dreams
Scriptures: Luke 14:34, Daniel 2:1, Job 33:14, Job 33:15, Daniel 2:14-15, Daniel 2:17-19
Luke 14:34 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? (35) It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
What is the enemy to exceptional? Ordinary. All that is required to neutralize the Believer from being exceptional and able to salt is to become ordinary. Our purpose is not to fit. Our purpose is to flavor. Salt says nothing. However, its ability to change the flavor of what it contacts is magnificent.
Daniel 2:1-31, 48, 49
NEBUCHADNEZZAR DREAMED DREAMS
Daniel 2:1 And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.
Dreams are usually taken lightly by us. The Bible takes them very seriously. God created us with the ability to dream. Why? Are dreams to wake us up in the middle of the night? Are they to give us something to do when we sleep? No, we dream for a purpose. Nebuchadnezzar was a dreamer. Many of us are dreamers.
Of course there are meaningless and empty dreams ((Ecc 5:7; Isa 29:7), but there are meaningful dreams. Dreams can give us personal warning and direction (Mat 2:13, 22). Dreams can be of a miscellaneous nature such as Jacob’s ladder (Gen 28:12) that cause an encounter with God. Dreams can come when we have a lot on our minds (Ecc 5:3). Dreams can give needed information and direction such as Jacob with the cattle that were ringstraked, speckled, and grisled (Gen 31:10). Joseph married Mary because of a dream (Mat 1:20). A major purpose of dreams in the scriptures was for prophetic insight. When people needed a Word from the Lord, they contacted the dreamers. King Saul so desperately needed a word from the Lord and could not get a dreamer to help him so he had the witch at Endor bring up Samuel (1Sa 28:15). Many of the dreams of the Bible are about prophetic events both personal and for others (Gen 37:5, 8; 40:9, 17). National leaders should dream dreams for the welfare of their nation (Gen 41; Jud 7:13; Dan 2:1; 7:1). Dreams so spoke to people that the false prophets used this to take people into error (Jer 23:25-32; 27:9; 29:8; Zec 10:2).
Dreams do and should get our attention (Job 7:14) and no one is exempt from dreams. Dreams are powerful! They can wake us from sound sleep. They can trouble us deeply. They can make our hearts pound and our breathing accelerates. Beyond that, dreams reside in the sub consciousness, forgotten perhaps by the consciousness. Still, they are there and there for a purpose.
Job 33:14 For God does speak – now one way, now another – though man may not perceive it.
Job 33:15 In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men as they slumber in their beds (NIV)
Nebuchadnezzar was in his guarded palace. He was in his own bed, behind locked doors, with guards outside and his army and empire all around him. He was hidden from everyone. He was hidden from everyone but God. God walked into his palace, past his guards, through the locked door, and into the mind of Nebuchadnezzar. God will find a way to speak to anyone! He will try now one way, now another, but he will speak and if necessary he will trouble us with a dream.
We do not understand dreams. We do not understand that God speaks to us through dreams. Some understand that God can speak through prophecy, or prayer, or his Word, or through preaching. Few today understand that God speaks through dreams. We don’t perceive it. To most today, dreams are like tongues. To most, tongues are a nuisance. It’s not until one comes into understanding of the benefit of tongues in prayer and tongues in praise and tongues corporate meetings that we desire tongues. It’s not until we understand that God speaks to us through dreams that we understand the benefit of dreams. Dreams will get us out of trouble. It was a night vision, a dream that Daniel had that brought the answer (2:19). Sometimes the answer to our trouble is in a dream.
THE THING IS GONE FROM ME
Dreams cause trouble. Joseph found himself in trouble because of his own dreams. Daniel was in trouble because someone else had a dream. Daniel was in trouble and many others were in trouble because someone had a dream. Dreams can cause trouble for ourselves and for others.
Nebuchadnezzar had an unpleasant dream. It woke him in the middle of the night. Immediately he called his magicians and the astrologers and the sorcerers to tell him the dream and the interpretation. They told Nebuchadnezzar to rehearse the dream and they would give him the interpretation. Nebuchadnezzar said, The thing is gone from me . . .
Most of us get a “big kick” out of that. We ask, “How could something so awakening be forgotten so quickly?” Actually, if we intelligibly think, we will understand exactly how this happened. From time to time I have dreams that both frighten me and awake me. I have had dreams that awoke the entire house. It seems that when this type dream begins that I will experience several of them before they stop. I will jump out of bed, sometimes yell, now and then grab the bed post and literally move the bed. Indubitably my wife wakes and in turn wakes me. She knows I had a dream and asks, “What were you dreaming?” I begin to tell her, but within a few moments the thing is gone from me . . . I can’t even remember the thing long enough to explain why I was so terrified. Though my heart is still pounding, I can’t remember. I can remember bits and pieces. If someone was to tell me at that moment what I had dreamed, I would be able to say, “Yes” to what they said I dreamed. By morning I have forgotten most of those bits and pieces. I remember that I had a bad dream, but can’t recollect much. By nightfall I have nearly forgotten that I even had a dream. Of course, a few days later . . . forget it.
Nebuchadnezzar said, The thing is gone from me . . . It had gone from his consciousness, but where did it go? It was still in his sub consciousness because he said that if someone could tell him the dream he would recognize it. It was still in there.
It is this aspect of dreams that we do not comprehend. They are still in there influencing our lives. We conclude we had an idea from nowhere. It came from somewhere. An example is that for some reason we refuse to take a certain road to a certain place. Though it is the way we always go, we divert only to find later a bad accident took place. Why did we detour? Was there a warning from a dream in our subconscious? For some reason we have a weird feeling about allowing a child to go someplace. We find later some terrible event happened at that place. Had our child gone, he or she would have been involved. We have a “weird” feeling about letting a child go someplace in an automobile with someone. Why? Where did that warning come from? A preacher gets a revelation about a scripture passage. A person comes up with an invention. A person falls in love at “first sigh.” We have a great business idea. Where does this stuff come from? Could it be from God speaking to us in dreams?
We have all thought “déjà vu.” We are certain we have already experienced something that we are actually experiencing for the first time. Where did that come from? We do not understand the power of dreams.
Nebuchadnezzar said the thing is gone from me . . . , but if you tell me the dream then I will recognize it. He remembered bits and pieces. If someone could tell him the dream quickly, he would be able to know if that was what he dreamed. He realized that the longer he waited to hear the dream and the interpretation, the less he would remember. If he waited more than a few hours he could easily be deceived by his own “prophets.” Nebuchadnezzar knew the dream was too important to merely forget. He applied pressure. The way he would know they had the interpretation was if they could tell him the dream. If they could not tell him the dream, Nebuchadnezzar said all the wise men would be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill. Not only were the “wise men” in trouble, but their wives, children, and grandchildren were in trouble.
This is serious trouble. This is trouble that will take you out. This is trouble that will not only take you out, but take your entire house out! This is trouble that not only will take you and your house out. This is trouble that must be corrected soon — within a few hours. Also this is trouble like no one has ever had before.
On the upside, it is trouble that, if someone could fix, would be the superstar. If you can give the solution, you are instantly wealthy, powerful, and famous. Nebuchadnezzar said, if ye shew the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour. Isn’t it interesting that trouble that can make us wealthy, powerful, and famous is also trouble that can take us out?
ACQUIRING THE ANSWER
Daniel 2:14 Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king’s guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon:
Daniel 2:15 He answered and said to Arioch the king’s captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel.
Daniel 2:16 Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation.
The NIV Bible says,
Daniel 2:14 When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact.
- Wisdom and tact
Daniel did not know of the decree to slay the wise men of Babylon. Obviously Daniel had not been invited or included with those who had been summoned in the middle of the night. The reason is Daniel had only been in Babylon one a year. Daniel was still a very young man. This was in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar (2:1). Daniel was not to go before Nebuchadnezzar until the end of three years. Daniel was in “wise man” school, or we would say “grad school.” Daniel was training for his career as a “wise man.” He was to go before the king at the end of three years (1:5) and be set into a wise man position. This dream of Nebuchadnezzar changed all that. As a very young man, Daniel was about to skip a few years and go to the top of the class as the richest and most powerful of all the wise men.
The King James Version says, “counsel and wisdom.” We don’t need to be old before we are able to use wisdom and tact. The first things Daniel drew upon were his wisdom and tact. When we find ourselves in trouble that can take us out, we must use wisdom and tact. For those who have had teaching on temperaments and personalities, I am a Choleric according to Hippocrates theory (“D” in the “DISC” acronym, Lion face in Ezekiel 1:10). That simply means that I do not use much wisdom and tact. My answer is to fight my way through the problem or yell my way through. Daniel used wisdom and tact.
We are told in Daniel 1:17 that God had given Daniel understanding in all visions and dreams, but until now Daniel had not used that understanding. It doesn’t appear that Daniel knew yet that he could do this. Yet, Daniel approached it with wisdom and tact. My paraphrase of this is Daniel approached this as if he knew what he was doing. The next section of Daniel chapter 2 shows this.
Daniel went to the king and told the king that he would shew the king the interpretation. Daniel didn’t have the interpretation, but he sold the king the idea that he could get it. It is interesting that Daniel was able to sell the king something that all the other “wise men” could not sell him and that was giving them more time. I am reminded of the story about Bill Gates, the CEO of Microsoft and the richest man in the world. Before Gates had anything, Bill Gates sold IBM a computer program that he did not have. Gates was wise enough and had understanding enough to convince IBM that he had the program that he sold them. Gates, after selling the program to IBM, went and bought the program from an individual. If my numbers are correct, he sold the program to IBM for $500,000 and then went and bought the program for $50,000. Gates didn’t have the program, but he knew who did. Daniel didn’t have the interpretation, but he knew who did have it.
In this type of trouble wisdom and tact must be summoned. Wisdom and tact will get us out of trouble that no one else will get through.
Daniel 2:17 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:
Daniel 2:18 That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
- Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions
Daniel took the situation to his house. He then spoke it to those close to him. Daniel did not go and get all the Jews brought from Judah to pray. He did not have a corporate meeting with all the wise men. He was careful of whom he told the problem. He was careful of whom he had to pray about the problem. Daniel knew his buddies had a relationship with the Lord and was interested in the wellbeing of the group.
Too often we tell the wrong people about our trouble. We need to bring it first to our house. The house is our literal house or we can see this as our church house. But even in our literal house we need to be careful who we tell our trouble. Children can’t handle trouble, especially young children. Sometimes old children cannot handle trouble. Even in church we need to be cautious about whom we ask to pray about our trouble. I have heard people pray some of the most horrific prayers spoken over a person’s trouble.
People will argue with me till the cows come home, but we all need people around us that we can talk to about our trouble. These are our companions. Getting the companions together for prayer will get us out of trouble.
Daniel 2:19 Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
- he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding
Daniel knew that dreams were of God. Daniel knew that God would give wisdom, but knew also that God gives wisdom unto the wise. He does not give wisdom to the foolish. God gives knowledge to them that know understanding. In one way this seems backwards to how it should work. It seems that the Lord should give wisdom to those who do not have wisdom and knowledge to those who are ignorant. However, that is not how it works. It is the whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more principle (Mat 13:12). He will give more wisdom to those who use the wisdom they are already given. Someone would say, “Well, James 1:5 says, ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not.'” That is exactly what I am saying. Once we use up the wisdom we have been given, then we ask for more and God will give it liberally.
We desire to be wise without study. We want to understand things without gaining knowledge. It simply will not work that way. Daniel had applied himself to being wise. Daniel had applied himself to gaining knowledge. Therefore, wisdom and knowledge were given.
Why do intelligent people get more intelligent? Why do some preachers preach the same o message and never get deeper while another preacher is always going deeper and deeper and seeing things others don’t see? My elders used to get upset with me because I would preach what the Lord was showing me. They would say, “Delbert, you don’t have to say everything you know.” Yes I do! If I stop saying it, the Lord will stop giving it. He gives wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding.
Wisdom and knowledge will take us out of trouble. God will reveal deep and secret things if we apply ourselves to gaining wisdom and understanding.
- the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision
The thought of night vision is a little different from that of a dream. This night vision gave the answer. In the night vision Daniel saw what Nebuchadnezzar saw, but also what it all meant.
Daniel expected God to deliver him. Daniel expected God to give him the dream and interpretation. Daniel had exhausted his own wisdom and understanding. He knew now he could pull on God’s wisdom. He did and God responded.
Paul said having done all, to stand (Eph 6:13). We do all we know to do. We use our wisdom and tact. We pray with our companions. We allow God to give us wisdom and knowledge. Then we expect God to deliver us. He may give you a night vision. He may answer through prayer, or his Word, or prophecy, or preaching. But he will deliver you. Ask Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
AFTER THE ANSWER CAME
- thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God
Daniel was now ready to thank and praise God. He said, I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king’s matter.
Daniel thanked God. We may say, “Well, I guess so. Look what God did for him.” He will do the same for us. I have been in trouble that looked like would take me out, take my family out, take this ministry out. But God moved.
- Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said . . . there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets
In the face of the thing that was going to destroy Daniel, Daniel said . . . there is a God in heaven. Daniel said you thought it couldn’t be done. You thought I was down for the count. You thought I was history, but there is a God in heaven and I know him. I know him well enough that he delivered me. He told me secret things about you. He told me about your head on your pillow.
After Daniel had salted the king with the kingdom, Nebuchadnezzar blessed Daniel with great gifts. Daniel was made a great man. The thing that was going to destroy Daniel made Daniel great and wealthy. Daniel was made the ruler over the whole province of Babylon. He was also make chief of the governors of the wise men. Daniel was a young man, but blessed. The trouble that threatened to take Daniel out was the very thing that made him great! Had Daniel been ordinary, he would have died with the ordinary wise men. Because Daniel was exceptional, he became great.
So it is with us. The thing that will take most people out is the very thing that can make you great. It was in one of the worst times of trouble I have ever been in that God delivered me. It was at that very time we payed off our building. We paved our parking lot. Don’t think people did not realize that. Trouble will make us bitter or better. Trouble can take us out or make us great. Trouble can make us ordinary or exceptional. We can be disciples and used to flavor for the kingdom, or not be fit for the dunghill. It is all determined by how we handle trouble.
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