Sermon/Study Guide: Daniel: Revealer of Mysteries

Author: Steve Hixon

Table of Contents

Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
PDF version

Revealer of Mysteries
the book of Daniel
Lesson 2 Daniel 2

The book of Daniel has attracted attention for thousands of years not only because of its detailed prophecies, but also because those prophecies are set in the midst of a fascinating story with lively characters and a dramatic plot. It reads like an intriguing novel or a great screenplay! In this chapter, God begins to open the curtains of history. He reveals not only the parade of powerful rulers throughout the ancient world, but also the fact that His kingdom alone will remain after all others have run their courses.

In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his mind was troubled and he could not sleep. 2 So the king summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers to tell him what he had dreamed. When they came in and stood before the king, 3 he said to them, “I have had a dream that troubles me and I want to know what it means.”
4 Then the astrologers answered the king in Aramaic, “O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will interpret it.”
5 The king replied to the astrologers, “This is what I have firmly decided: If you do not tell me what my dream was and interpret it, I will have you cut into pieces and your houses turned into piles of rubble. 6 But if you tell me the dream and explain it, you will receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. So tell me the dream and interpret it for me.”

31 “You looked, O king, and there before you stood a large statue--an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. 32 The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. 34 While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him. 47 The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.”

The Pattern
Several of the stories in the first half of the book follow a similar pattern: a situation is created that is full of tension, a difficult decision must be made, and then God shows His power in solving the problem. How did this happen in chapter one?

The Problem

Does Nebuchadnezzar only ask for his dream to be interpreted?

Why does he ask for both the dream and its meaning?

(vs 5) On a scale of 1-10, how ruthless is this king?

(vs 10-11) How do the astrologers react to the king’s request?

Daniel’s Solution

How does Daniel find out about the problem? What is his response?

When God reveals the mystery, what does Daniel immediately do?

Have you ever composed a poem commemorating an answer to prayer?
What would you say were the 3 most important answers to prayer that you’ve ever experienced?




The Dream (31-35)

(vs 29) Who is the “revealer of mysteries”?

The Interpretation (36-43)

What kingdom did Nebuchadnezzar defeat?

What was Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom (gold)?

Which one followed his (“silver”)? (Hint: it’s hyphenated!)

Who was the bronze kingdom?

Who was the iron?

Note 1: These kingdoms can be identified because they stand out in the timeline of history, but also because if the “final kingdom” is Christ’s, and he lived during the reign of the Roman Empire, then that establishes the boundary and everything else falls into place.

Note 2: This dream is almost identical to Daniel’s own dream in chapter 7:4-7, where more detail is given about these four kingdoms.

The Final Kingdom (44-45)
What do these verses describe?

Note: When Old Testament prophets foresaw the coming of the Messiah and His kingdom, they were not able to distinguish between the 1st and 2nd comings of Jesus. He is seen as a conquering hero, but the idea of his suffering and the time of the church-age in which we live were unclear, except in passages like Isaiah 53.

The King’s Response (46-49)

Nebuchanezzar calls the God of Israel a “revealer of mysteries”.
What is the definition of a Biblical mystery, and how is it different than the way we usually think of mysteries?

What does the king do for Daniel and his friends?

Why do you think God reveals these mysteries to Nebuchadnezzar?
More importantly, why do you think he reveals them to Daniel?

Copyright © 2001 Steve Hixon - All Rights Reserved.