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Bible Lesson: Daniel 2:31-49 — The Kingdom of God – Petersburg Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Bible Lesson: Daniel 2:31-49 — The Kingdom of God

by

Online Bible Study
4-5-20
“The Kingdom of God” Daniel 2:31-49

How to participate (if possible do this with others so that you can have some Spirit led discussion. If you are alone, it would be a good idea to write out your answer to the questions):


A. Pray and ask God to illuminate the Scripture for application in your life.


B. Read the selected text.


C. Click the streaming audio link. Pause the audio to give yourself time to reflect on any questions. 
[If you prefer you can read the lesson outline below. Just be aware it’s just a lesson plan and not written as an essay]


D. Email or text me if you have questions and/or comments and I will try to post them and my replies in the space below.


E. Do the homework over the coming week.

 

Lesson #3 Daniel 2:31-49 “The Kingdom of God”

Welcome

Review Homework: Did you incorporate Daniel’s doxology into your prayer life last week? I’d love to hear how that went and if God showed you anything!

Opportunity to develop our private relations with God.

I hope you have been joining with me to pray for mercy. As we saw last week, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah bound themselves together in prayer and God granted their petition for mercy.

 

Last week we noted that God gave Nebuchadnezzar the dream and Daniel the interpretation to impress upon the king that there is a God in heaven. This week we will look at the interpretation and what it reveals about this God the king doesn’t know.

 

  1. Daniel doesn’t just reveal the facts about the dream, Daniel reveals the king’s emotions
    1. Fact: great image/statue, strong and exceedingly bright
    2. Emotion: frightening
    3. God seeks relationship with us. Its more than knowing things. It’s also how we feel.
    4. If you want to soothe someone who is scared it’s wise to begin with validating the fear, then they can listen
    5. Daniel describes the dream in detail. The statue looks imposing and powerful, but the stone crushes it to dust! And then grows!
  2. Nebuchadnezzar described in flattering terms
    1. Not only the head of gold (and superior to all that follow) but “king of kings”
    2. What?
    3. But Daniel is revealing the source of the king’s dominion: “the God of heaven”
    4. And what does God give Nebuchadnezzar?
      1. Kingdom, power, might and glory
      2. Lord’s prayer, “for Thine is the kingdom, power and glory forever
      3. God has given Nebuchadnezzar dominion over, “the children of man, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the heavens, making you rule over them all”
        1. Echos of the Garden of Eden
    5. But the dream is not just about an individuals it’s about world empires
      1. We commonly understand these to mean Babylon (gold), Medes-Persians (silver), Greeks (bronze), Romans (iron)
      2. The question is always the iron and clay feet (iron and clay)
      3. The progression decreases in value and increase in hardness
  3. The star of the dream is the stone “not cut with human hands”
    1. In contrast to the image/idol
    2. “It struck the image on its feet”
    3. Earthly kingdoms, “became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that no trace of them could be found”
      1. What is God revealing here about human kingdoms?
        1. Powerful, frightening, and temporary
        2. Compared to God they are powerless, weak, disposable
      2. What does “no trace” mean? And what takes their place? 
        1. No remnant–God’s dominion will be absolute
        2. The stone becomes a mountain which fills the earth
        3. Mountains symbolize governments/kingdoms
      3. How does this relate to Jesus Christ?
  4. Jesus the stone from heaven
    1. Whose permission did Jesus need to come to earth? What was the response of earthly rulers to JEsus’ presence?
      1. Herod–tried to kill Him, Caesar–was oblivious to Him but his agent Pilate crucified Him
      2. Did Jesus set up a kingdom? What do we know about how this kingdom is supposed to work?
    2. Have all earthly kingdoms ceased?
    3. So, is the prophecy yet unfulfilled?
      1. Seems to me it is in part fulfilled. The stone has struck–the powers are defeated
        1. What did Jesus do with death? Defeated/conquered/
        2. Then why do we still die? Because we are in between–the fatal blow to sin and death and it’s final demise
      2. The mountain grows and will fill the earth
        1. The earthly life, death and resurrection of Jesus set up a new kingdom “that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people (replaced/supplanted/conquered)
        2. How is the kingdom of God different than human kingdoms?
          1. Jesus established a good/healthy/right way to relate to others
          2. Why is it important that we live according to God’s kingdom?
          3. In the face of fallen humanity we live out Eden
  5. King Nebuchadnezzar is humbled
    1. He responds in pagan ways (fell down, paid homage, commanded an offering and incense be offered to him)
    2. He says, “Truly, your God is God of god and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries…”
      1. Does he mean it? 
      2. Is it what Daniel had indicated God wanted the king to know? (ie There is a God in heaven and God knows all things/mysteries?
    3. Daniel gets promoted and honored–”ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon”
    4. How did Daniel arrive at this blessing? (exile, captivity, enslavement, threatened with execution, sought mercy (and received it), given what he needed by God, was careful and faithful with his ministry
    5. Daniel took the opportunity to put his believing friends in power (ruling over the area the Jews lived in)
    6. Daniel stayed close to the king

 

Homework

  1. Make a list of some of the significant “good” and “bad” circumstances that God has allowed in your life. How is God involved in those circumstances?
  2. List some ways that your life is lived in alignment with earthly kingdoms and some ways you live your life according to God’s kingdom. 
  3. Continue to pray for mercy
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