God’s Faithful Witness

June 9, 2024

Series: Our God Reigns

Book: Daniel

God's Faithful Witness

Big Idea: God is gracious to provide a witness.

God has testified about himself (Rom. 1:18-20).

God sent Daniel to Babylon to be a witness to his glory before the king (Ps. 96:3)

  • A Faithful Witness Cares—

Dan 4:19-27 (ESV) Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was dismayed for a while, and his thoughts alarmed him. The king answered and said, “Belteshazzar, let not the dream or the interpretation alarm you.” Belteshazzar answered and said, “My lord, may the dream be for those who hate you and its interpretation for your enemies!

Daniel was dismayed by the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar. He had served the king for 30 years now. He cared about the king and what happened to him.

  • A Faithful Witness Keeps on Telling—

 Daniel had been telling the king about the Lord from the moment he got to Babylon. Why wouldn’t he eat the king’s food? Because he didn’t want to dishonor his God by eating food that wasn’t prescribed or had possibly been offered up on worship to a false God. Could he tell the king his dream? No, but there was a God in heaven who reveals mysteries and he is able to tell the king what is going to happen before it happens. For over 30 years now, Daniel has been telling King Nebuchadnezzar about the Most High God. He never knew whether or not the king would believe in and bow his life to the Lord. That was not Daniel’s responsibility. Daniel’s responsibility was to be faithful to display the glory of God to Nebuchadnezzar. To care enough to share. To tell the whole truth to him, both the good and bad news of the reality of Nebuchadnezzar’s heart before a holy, sovereign God.

  • A Faithful Witness Tells the Truth—

 [20] The tree you saw, which grew and became strong, so that its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth, [21] whose leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in which was food for all, under which beasts of the field found shade, and in whose branches the birds of the heavens lived— [22] it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong. Your greatness has grown and reaches to heaven, and your dominion to the ends of the earth. [23] And because the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, in the tender grass of the field, and let him be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven periods of time pass over him,’ [24] this is the interpretation, O king: It is a decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king, [25] that you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will. [26] And as it was commanded to leave the stump of the roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be confirmed for you from the time that you know that Heaven rules. [27] Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity.

Daniel had a responsibility before the Lord to tell the king the truth. He faithfully gave the interpretation of the dream. He told the whole truth. He explained the good news of the greatness that he saw. He explained the bad news of the coming judgment that he saw. The point of sharing was to lead the king to a place of repentance.

Repentance toward God leads us to the righteousness of God.

  • Break off your sins by practicing righteousness.
  • We have no righteousness of our own.
  • In repentance the Lord cleanses us of sin and replaces our sinfulness with his righteousness.

Repentance leads to a change of character and in turn a change of action.

  • and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed

Daniel hoped that in repentance, God would be gracious and extend the prosperity of the king rather than bringing the judgment that had been decreed.

God was gracious to provide a warning and a witness. Why?

He wanted King Nebuchadnezzar to repent.

Rom 2:3-4 (ESV) Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? [4] Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?