Decoding Daniel - an in depth Bible study of the book of Daniel

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Daniel 4

Outline and Background

The King's Praise - Daniel 4:1-3

The King's Perplexity and Positiveness - Daniel 4:4-9

The King's Problem - Daniel 4:10-18

The King's Punishment - Daniel 4:19-26

The King's Procrastination - Daniel 4:27-29

The King's Pride and Perversion - Daniel 4:30-33

The King's Preservation - Daniel 4:34-37

Application and Typical Prophecies

The King's Procrastination - Daniel 4:27-29

The prophet understood God’s ways. Through the reading of his OT Scriptures, Daniel would have been familiar with the prophet Jonah’s testimony concerning God’s character, in particular His willingness to save even the Ninevites, a most despicable people.

I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity (Jonah 4:2).

Therefore, the decree of the Most High God, in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, is not fixed in stone. God’s character does not change; but His holiness and love necessitate a change in plans when man changes his heart. Therefore, Daniel warns the king that it is better to repent today rather than waiting until tomorrow.

Therefore, O king, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue.

“Renounce your sins by doing what is right,” literally reads, “break off your sins by righteousness.” Significantly, the word “break off” is the same word used later in the Targums and in the Syriac language to denote “redeem.”

In OT terms, Daniel advises the king to repent and receive God’s salvation. The king is to practice righteousness, the chief virtue of a good ruler. Faith and righteousness are manifested by good works. God’s fundamentals never change: “Faith without deeds is dead” (James 2:20-26).

Over the centuries, God’s prophets, apostles and preachers have urged people to repent and believe, not tomorrow—but today. For instance, Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 6:1-2:

As God's fellow-workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain. For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation.

The king took the hard road to humility. Like so many others, the stubborn-hearted king chose procrastination. Bad choice! When “the Hound of Heaven” picks up the scent and seeks, He is tenacious. God’s patience with Nebuchadnezzar ran out one year after the king dreamed the dream of a tree, heard its interpretation and Daniel’s call for repentance.

Bible Studies by Bob Conway

Unsealing Revelation

Experiencing Exodus

Book of James

Life and Passion of Christ

The Holy Spirit

How to Study the Bible

Romans Salvation

Life of the Apostle Paul

Other studies at Spreading Light Bible Studies

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