Friday, June 26, 2009

Bible Study: Taking A Stand - Daniel - Chapter 4

570 BC or earlier. (Blueprint – Arthur)

Scholars say these events occurred 30 years after the fiery furnace incident. But the text was written by Nebuchadnezzar after the 7 years of his illness and a period of recovery. (Daniel – Beth Moore) He is sharing a testimony of God’s sovereignty.

4:1 – Why would Nebuchadnezzar address this letter to “all people, nations, languages…”? It was possibly a formal public record kept in the king’s annals.

4:2-3 – Nebuchadnezzar praises God again, but still doesn’t submit to Him. Do your beliefs match your obedience? (Life App SB)

4:4 – contented – seleh – at ease, at rest – conveys both contentment and security. Prosperous – ra’anan – luxuriant – fat and sassy, napping in the lap of luxury – used to describe flourishing trees. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

4:4, 27 – being kind – chanan – “to be favorable; be kind; be gracious; to pity; have mercy; to bestow; to complain; to make lovely.” Don’t lose touch with the poor as King Nebuchadnezzar did. Show mercy. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

See Isaiah 58:10-11.

4:6 – Why would Nebuchadnezzar summon all of the wise men of Babylon, again? Why didn’t he go directly to Daniel? Was Daniel attending to other business? Maybe he wanted to see if his wise men had grown a backbone or if they were still “yes” men. Perhaps it was protocol – he had to ask them, first. Maybe Daniel wasn’t available and he wanted an answer right away.

4:7 – Nebuchadnezzar mellowed with age. He didn’t threaten to cut up the wise men who couldn’t interpret the dream this time. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

4:8 – Why didn’t King Nebuchadnezzar seek out Daniel for an interpretation?

King Nebuchadnezzar thought he honored God by proclaiming him God of gods. But he didn’t let go of the other gods. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

4:10-12 – See Daniel 2:37-38. The only reason King Nebuchadnezzar flourished was because of God’s will. The king seemed to recall the “king of kings” part, but not the “God of heaven” part. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

4:13 – looked – “expresses great surprise and might be rendered more emphatically, “look!” Messenger – “one who is awake”. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

4:15 – “let the stump remain” implies that the tree will be revived later. (NIV SB)

God wants to regrow him without the poison that he will eliminate by pruning.

4:15, 23 – He left the stump – God’s discipline sets limits. During our chastisement, He is protecting us. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

4:19 – Why was Daniel troubled about the king’s dream? Hadn’t the king kidnapped Daniel and destroyed his home? Daniel had forgiven Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel served God by serving Nebuchadnezzar to the best of his ability. Because Daniel forgave, God was able to use him in a powerful way in the king’s life. (Life App SB) Maybe he simply didn’t want to be the bearer of bad news. Perhaps it made him sad at his advanced age that fulfillment of this prophecy would negatively affect his own life and ministry?

4:22 – see 2 Samuel 12:5-7. Daniel confronts king Nebuchadnezzar as Nathan confronted King David.

4:25 – seven times = seven years.

Seven “sets of seasons”. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

4:27 – renounce – peruq – “break off thy sins” (KJV)

4:27-33 – God gave the king 12 months to repent and change his behavior. At the end of that time, the unrepentant king’s dream was fulfilled.

4:30 – I – emphatic Aramaic meaning, “I myself”. This is really self-absorbed! (Daniel – Beth Moore)

See Matthew 5:3 – Don’t lose touch with poverty of spirit. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

4:31-33 – possible diagnoses for King Nebuchadnezzar’s condition: lycanthropy - a delusion in which one imagines oneself to be a wolf or other wild animal (dictionary.com); boanthropy - is a mental disorder where the victim believes he or she is an ox. The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar is one of history's few documented sufferers (reference.com). (Daniel – Beth Moore)

4:37 – Those who walk in pride He is able to humble. See 1 Peter 5:5-6 – we should purposefully clothe ourselves in humility. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

No comments: