We trust you are well and kept by the Grace of God. This week our Sunday School lesson is on “Daniel chapter 4 and a recap of chapters 1-3“. It is best to teach/tell the story in 2 Parts: Part 1 and Part 2. Please let your child/children take out their Bible and read the scriptures aloud and follow the story.
With Christian love and respect.
To recap: Chapters 1 to 3
In Chapter 1: We have learnt a lot of king Nebuchadnezzar. After 3 years when the Hebrew boys were brought in to stand before the king, the king found that they were ten times more wiser than the other wise men in his court.
In Chapter 2: King Nebuchadnezzar found that onlyDaniel could tell him his dream and the secret or mystery of his first dream, whereas his other wise men could not. He admitted that “Your God is the God of Gods.” He gave Daniel many gifts and made him Master of the wise men.
In Chapter 3: King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of Gold and made a law of forced worship. Yet he found the Hebrew boys faithful to their God and fireproof from the burning fiery furnace. The king praised the God of these men for delivering them. He himself did not become a worshipper of Almighty God. He then made a law that nobody was to speak against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and promoted them to high positions.
Now let us read Daniel Chapter 4 Daniel Chapter 4
(Parents, it is best to teach/tell the story in 2 Parts: Part 1 and Part 2
Please do allow the children to take out their Bibles and read Chapter 4: 1-27… For Part 1 of this story)
THE SECOND DREAM OF KING NEBUCHADNEZZAR
King Nebuchadnezzar who ruled over the large Babylonian empire was an idolatrous king. He believed in many gods, and did not believe in the one True and only God. There were many lands that he conquered. In Previous chapters we learnt that he conquered the land of Israel. Many able-bodied Israeli youth were brought captive to Babylon and into the royal courts to be trained to serve the king.
Now after many years, the king had an experience that he wanted all, everyone in his kingdom and in the entire world to know.
The Book of Daniel Chapter 4 is about the king himself telling of this great experience, which he has gone through.
Peoples of different languages and of all lands were called together to hear the king’s testimony. King Nebuchadnezzar testified to them the wonderful things God Almighty had done for him. He sang the praises of God and said that The Almighty’s kingdom is and will last forever. Before this time King Nebuchadnezzar could not give this testimony.
This is his account as to how he came to acknowledge God Almighty as The ruler above all kings.
THE KING HIMSELF, TELLS HIS DREAM
On a certain day while I, king Nebuchadnezzar was resting on my bed, and at ease in my luxurious palace; I realised that I was a great king and influential worldwide due to my power and wealth.
Full of Pride, I reflected on my great achievements and increasing riches and power. I thought that undoubtedly I was the greatest king and ruler in all the earth.
It was at that time that, I had a dream, and my thoughts about the dream made me extremely anxious and fearful. I couldn’t understand the dream.
Therefore as soon as it was morning, I called all the wise men of Babylon to appear before me to explain to me what the dream meant. All the magicians, the astrologers, the soothsayers and the Chaldeans came. Yet, when I told them the dream, none of them could tell me the meaning of the dream.
Daniel has an AUDIENCE WITH THE KING
Finally, Daniel who is called Belteshazzar after my god, came. Daniel I knew would be able to reveal the mystery of my dream, since the wisdom and spirit of the Holy Gods were in him.
O, Belteshazzar, Master of the Magicians, give me the interpretation of the visions of my dream.
THIS IS WHAT I SAW. I DREAMT OF A TREE.
I saw a tree in the middle of the earth. It was huge, very huge and strong. It grew so high that its top reached even to the sky, so that all the people on the earth could see this Great Tree.
The tree had beautiful leaves, lots of fruit; the animals lived around and under the tree and all the birds which roosted in it, fed from it. Every living creature on earth fed themselves from the tree.
A MESSENGER FROM HEAVEN
I then saw a messenger from heaven coming down… it was an angel, who cried loudly: “CUT DOWN THE TREE, cut off its branches, shake off its leaves and scatter the fruit and let the animals and the birds get away from the branches. But only let THE STUMP OF THE TREE WITH ITS ROOTS REMAIN IN THE EARTH. Let the tree be wet with the dew from heaven and let THE TREE HAVE ITS PLACE WITH THE ANIMALS AND LET HIS heart be changed from a man’s heart to an animal’s heart; and let seven times pass over him.
All these things that shall happen to the tree, and is a decree, for THE PURPOSE that
1) The living and all flesh may know that the most High rules in the affairs of man;
2) And that The Most High gives power to whomsoever He wills.
After Daniel heard my dream, he appeared very disturbed for some time. He seemed to feel some pain and sympathy for me. I told him not to let the dream or the explanation of it cause him to be so grievously worried.
THE MEANING OF THE DREAM
This is what Daniel told me, The Tree is you, O king! For you have become great and strong. Your greatness reaches to the ends of the whole earth and even to the sky.
DIVINE JUDGMENT: Daniel said and warned me that:
1.) like the tree was cut down: You shall be driven away from people and you shall live like an animal; eat grass until 7 times be passed over you Until you, O king know and honour God above you, for He gives the kingdom to whom He wishes.
2.) Whereas the stump with roots were to remain in the ground, means that your kingdom would not completely be destroyed but will be returned to you after you have made known that the Almighty , God of Heaven do rule.
A prophet’s ADVICE to the King. Daniel then continued by saying, Therefore, O King, I beg that you would accept my advice. Turn from your proud and selfish ways and start giving to the poor and needy, (so that The Most High God might not make the sentence concerning you so harsh).
So the king knew:
1.) That he would become like an animal and live like an animal until he confesses that God is The True Ruler of man and all kingdoms.
2.) Secondly His kingdom would be restored to him after He broadcast to the entire world that he had discovered that Almighty God from Heaven rules.
3.) Lastly as advised by Daniel, The Prophet: He should be kind to the poor and needy, so God Almighty may lessen the severity of his sentence.
The king had much wealth, but evidently the king never thought of being kind to the needy or poor people.
Let’s find out if the king of Babylon took the advice of Daniel, the prophet who told him the meaning of his dream.
(Please allow children to read Daniel 4: from verse 28)
VERSES 28-29 THE DREAM COMES TRUE (THE FULFILLMENT OF THE DREAM)
THE KING WHO BECAME AN ANIMAL
Now we will hear how THE PRIDE of King Nebuchadnezzar brought him grief and his downfall.
After 12 months, or a year later the king’s dream came true. King Nebuchadnezzar was walking on the roof of his beautiful palace.
He looked out over the vast and grand gardens of the magnificent palace, and said, “Look what I have done!” All this I have built successfully with my own hands and strength.
Suddenly the king heard a voice from heaven saying, King Nebuchadnezzar You will be driven away from man and you will live with wild animals and eat grass until you acknowledge that God rules over everything.
King Nebuchadnezzar was driven away from people; he ate grass; his hair grew like eagles feathers and his nails grew as bird’s claws. After seven years the king looked at the sky and praised God. After the king made known to the world that God rules over everything and that the Almighty is the real king, King Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom was restored to him.
The king then gave all the glory and praises to Almighty God. All this was his testimony concerning what had happened to him.
What really happened to King Nebuchadnezzar?
1.) During his rule, King Nebuchadnezzar didn’t recognise or acknowledge The Almighty God as ruler over all.
2.) The king became very arrogant or prideful.
3.) He thought, He had achieved the great Babylonian Empire and conquered many lands by His own power and strength. He boasted that he himself was the mighty king who built this vast empire.
4.) By a decree: The king lost his mind or reason. (He became mad) He then lived like an animal… like an ox (a wild cow).
5.) His Hair became like eagle’s hair and his nails like a bird’s long and claw- like. He became DEMON-POSSESSED.
6.) Finally, in the end, after 7 years of judgment over him, King Nebuchadnezzar recognized that God is above all powers.
That the Almighty God IS RULER OF ALL LIFE. He, The God of Heaven alone is The Great King.
7.) At the end of 7 years : The king says, when he recognised God in His greatness, and that all man are small and as nothing, and that God is above and over the affairs of men, he came into his right mental state and blessed the God of Heaven. Then his officers in his kingdom looked for him and restored him to his rightful place as king.
8.) The Conclusion: (Daniel 4:37)
NOW I NEBUCHADNEZZAR PRAISE AND EXTOL AND HONOUR THE KING OF HEAVEN, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and THOSE THAT WALK IN PRIDE HE IS ABLE TO ABASE.
1.) Nebuchadnezzar was a great man, but because he got haughty, God give him the spirit of an ox and let him eat grass for seven years. And his fingernails growed out like some of these women do around here. That’s right. And he got demon possessed. WMB 55-0724 ENTICING.SPIRITS
2.) The king dreamed a dream. And oh, how I would like to have time to go in. I preached on this one time here at the Tabernacle for weeks after weeks after weeks, many years ago, some fifteen, maybe twenty years ago. How that in this issuing in of the Gentile day, when God turned to the Gentiles there, and showed favor to King Nebuchadnezzar and give him a great throne… The first thing happened, the king got exalted in his heart. That just runs in the nature of Gentiles to do that: Get puffed up, we’re some big person. WMB 56-0902 THE.HANDWRITING.ON.THE.WALL
3.) And then, when we see this king then, King Nebuchadnezzar, how he got exalted in his heart, and God had to make him eat grass like an ox for several years, how his hair growed out like eagle feathers and his–his fingernails like claws of a bird. And how he had to… Till the king recognized in his heart that he was nothing. And it was the God of heaven who set up who He wanted to and taken down who He wants to.
And many times we may not have our hair to grow out like eagle’s feathers, and our–our fingernails may not grow out like eagle’s claws, neither may we eat grass like an ox; but sometime God has to put affliction on us to let us know that He’s still the Ruler of our life. And we’re only here because He permits us to be here, and it’s His grace that we are here. And we must serve Him. WMB THE.HANDWRITING.ON.THE.WALL