“The most High is ruler over the realm of mankind” I. Personal history of Daniel – Chapter 1 II. Prophetic history of the Gentiles during the times of the Gentiles – Chapters 2-7 III. The prophetic history of Israel during the times of the Gentiles – Chapters 8-12 Who’s the Boss? Six Stories with great endings 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Eat your vegetables – Ch. 1 You rule them, I rule you – Ch. 2 Fire? What fire? – Ch. 3 Keep off the grass – Ch. 4 Give him a hand – Ch. 5 God is King and I ain’t lion – Ch. 6 Chapter 1 - Eat your vegetables 17 As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. 18 Now at the end of the days, when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. Chapter 1 - Eat your vegetables 19 Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king. 20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm. Chapter 2 - You rule them, but I rule you 46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, prostrate before Daniel, and commanded that they should present an offering and incense to him. 47 The king answered Daniel, and said, “Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret.” Chapter 2 - You rule them, but I rule you 48 Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts; and he made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief administrator over all the wise men of Babylon. 49 Also Daniel petitioned the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego over the affairs of the province of Babylon; but Daniel sat in the gate of the king. Chapter 3 - Fire? What fire? 26 Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire. Chapter 3 - Fire? What fire? 27 And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them. Chapter 3 - Fire? What fire? 28 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God! Chapter 3 - Fire? What fire? 29 Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.” 30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon. Chapter 4 – Keep off the grass 34 And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation. Chapter 4 - Keep off the grass 35 All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, “What have You done?” Chapter 4 - Keep off the grass 36 At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me. Chapter 4 - Keep off the grass 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down. Chapter 5 - Give him a hand 21 Then he was driven from the sons of men, his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. They fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till he knew that the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He chooses. Chapter 5 - Give him a hand 22 “But you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, although you knew all this. Chapter 5 - Give him a hand 23 And you have lifted yourself up against the Lord of heaven. They have brought the vessels of His house before you, and you and your lords, your wives and your concubines, have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, which do not see or hear or know; and the God who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways, you have not glorified. Chapter 5 - Give him a hand 24 Then the fingers of the hand were sent from Him, and this writing was written. 25 “And this is the inscription that was written: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. Chapter 5 - Give him a hand 26 This is the interpretation of each word. MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; 27 TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; 28 PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” Chapter 5 - Give him a hand 25 “And this is the inscription that was written: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. 26 This is the interpretation of each word. MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; 27 TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; 28 PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” Chapter 5 - Give him a hand 30 That very night Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain. 31 And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old. Chapter 6 - God is King and I ain’t lion 25 Then King Darius wrote: To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: Chapter 6 - God is King and I ain’t lion 26 I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the living God, And steadfast forever; His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, And His dominion shall endure to the end. Chapter 6 - God is King and I ain’t lion 28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian. “The most High is ruler over the realm of mankind” Six stories. Each has a happy ending. Each has unique points. Each has a common point. Story #1 God is faithful to the faithful. Daniel and his friends were hundreds of miles from home. They were the enemy. They kept the Covenant with God. Story #1 = Eat your vegetables God is faithful to the faithful! Daniel and his friends were hundreds of miles from home. They were the enemy. They honored God by keeping the Covenant with God and He exalted them in captivity. Key verse = 8 Story #2- You rule them, I rule you God is faithful to the faithful! Daniel looks to the Lord and His faithfulness privately and publicly to give him insight so that their lives and those of others would be spared. Key verses = 17-23, 28 Story #3 - Fire? What fire? God is faithful to the faithful! These are men who faithfully served the King. However, now his command cuts to the heart of who they are. Key verses = 17-18 Story #4 - Keep off the grass God is faithful to the faithful! Daniel is again given insight into the King’s life. But this time the focal point is the humbling of one of the great rulers in world history. Key verse = 25 Story #5 - Give him a hand God is faithful to the faithful! Daniel, a captive, bravely rebukes a key ruler just prior to his defeat. Once again, a proud ruler is unseated by God. Key verses = 22-23 Story #6 - God is King and I ain’t lion God is faithful to the faithful! Though his life is on the line, Daniel refuses to compromise his worship of the real King. Key verses = 21-22 God is faithful to the faithful! The opening chapters of Daniel teach us that: 1. God will is still on the throne no matter what situation we might face. 2. Honoring whoever our rulers are is important. 3. No matter who governs us, some principles can never be compromised God is faithful to the faithful! The opening chapters of Daniel teach us that: 4. No matter who things may look, it is God who controls nations and who governs them. 5. God is able to humble and change leaders. 6. Daniel honored the Lord first, was courageous, and was a man of prayer. He was loved for it! So will we be. 7. God is faithful to the faithful.