Introduction: Have you ever wondered if someone was telling you the
truth? If so, did you take any steps to determine the truth? Have
you had times when you wondered whether God “is true?” Have you taken
any steps to find out? Or, is this just another one of those things
you can never be certain about? Daniel chapter 2 tells us the story
of a king who wanted to be sure he was being told the truth and four
men whose lives depended upon finding the truth. Let’s dive into our
study about the king’s dream and being honest!

  1. The Dream

    1. Read Daniel 2:1-3. Have you ever had a dream that bothered
      you? Has a dream caused you to lose sleep?

      1. Have you ever thought your dream was (or could be) a
        message from God?

      2. Why do you think Nebuchadnezzar was so troubled about
        his dream? (Kings know they are important.
        Therefore, their dreams must be important. The New
        Bible Commentary tells us that in the ancient Near
        East kings believed the gods gave them messages
        through dreams.)

        1. Would the true God give Nebuchadnezzar a message
          through a dream? (Read Daniel 2:37. God gave
          Nebuchadnezzar his power, why not give him a
          message, too?)

      3. Look at Daniel 2:1 again. How many dreams did
        Nebuchadnezzar have? (It was more than one. The text
        says that he had “dreams.”)

        1. What important fact does this suggest to you?
          (That this was a recurring dream. No wonder
          Nebuchadnezzar thought it was important.)

      4. What kind of experts did Nebuchadnezzar bring in to
        fix his dream problem?

      5. Read Deuteronomy 18:9-12. What is God’s opinion of
        these kinds of “experts?”

  2. The Problem

    1. Read Daniel 2:4-6. What kind of a boss was Nebuchadnezzar?

      1. Do you think this group of experts regretted what
        they said in verse 4?

    2. Read Daniel 2:7. Why did the resident experts say this to
      the king?

      1. Compare verse 5 with verse 7. Nebuchadnezzar says
        that he has “firmly decided” that he wants the
        experts to tell him the dream as well as the
        interpretation. In that context, why would the
        experts demand that the king tell them the dream?
        (I’ve learned that when a judge tells me that he had
        decided something, it does little good to pester the
        judge about it. These experts no doubt knew this,
        the problem was that they were desperate.)

        1. Why do you think they were desperate? (Because
          in the past they misrepresented their
          relationship with the gods. They may have been
          intelligent, but they could not tell the

    3. Why do you think Nebuchadnezzar insisted on his experts
      telling him the details of his dream? (Read Daniel 2:8-9.
      Nebuchadnezzar believed that they had been lying to him.
      If they could tell the future through a dream, it should
      be a small matter to describe the contents of his dream.
      This was a test of both their honesty and their ability to
      correctly interpret the dream. If they were not going to
      tell him the truth, what purpose was there in keeping them
      around? The problem with interpreting dreams was that they
      could tell him anything. Now Nebuchadnezzar had a solid
      way to test what he was being told.)

    4. Read Daniel 2:10-11. Analyze the arguments made by the
      experts to Nebuchadnezzar? (1. No person can do this. 2.No
      king should ask it of his subjects. 3. He should ask a god
      – and there is no god in the neighborhood.)

    5. Read Daniel 2:12. How does Nebuchadnezzar react to being
      told that he is unreasonable – that no proper king would
      ask such a thing?

      1. What lesson can you learn for the next time your boss
        asks you to do some difficult task? (Don’t blame your
        inability to get it done on the boss!)

  3. The Trial

    1. Read Daniel 2:13-15. How would you react if you heard the
      decree of the King? Would “wisdom and tact” be the way to
      describe your response?

      1. The magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers
        probably got their “comeuppance.” What do you think
        about this decree being applied to Daniel and his
        fellow Hebrew captives?

        1. Did Daniel and his friends ever boast they could
          interpret dreams?

    2. Read Daniel 2:16. How would you like to go before
      Nebuchadnezzar? What might happen to you? (The last report
      about the King was that he was “angry and furious” and
      that he had ordered Daniel (among the rest of the wise
      men)to be put to death. I would not want to show up. The
      King might not want to delay my execution if I said the
      wrong thing.)

    3. Read Daniel 2:17-18. Apparently Daniel was promised more
      time by the King. Why did Daniel need to have his friends
      pray about this trial? (Daniel must have believed that
      having a group pray is better.)

      1. Do you agree that group prayer is better?

      2. Read Matthew 18:19-20. Why do you think that God
        requires two or three for His presence? (The entire
        tenor of these verses is that discussing something
        with others gives better results. It discourages
        selfish requests to God.)

    4. Read Daniel 2:19. God comes through! What does Daniel do
      after God reveals the mystery? (He praises God!)

      1. Consider your prayers for a moment. Compare how
        intensely you pray for help with how intensely you
        pray praises thereafter?

    5. Read the praise Daniel gives to God in Daniel 2:20-23.
      Look especially at verses 21-22. If Daniel truly believed
      in the God of Heaven, did he need to fear Nebuchadnezzar?
      (No. Nebuchadnezzar might have had Daniel and his friends
      in his power, but the great God of Heaven had
      Nebuchadnezzar in His power.)

      1. How could Daniel know that revealing Nebuchadnezzar’s
        dream was a possibility? (Because Daniel believed
        (v.22) that God knows even the deep, dark, hidden

    6. Read Daniel 2:24. Why should Daniel be concerned about
      these other “wise men?” Don’t they deserve their
      sentence? Wouldn’t his life be better if they just had
      four (Daniel and his friends) wise men left in the
      Kingdom? (I suspect there were other “innocents” like
      Daniel who were about to be slaughtered.)

      1. What authority did Daniel have to countermand King
        Nebuchadnezzar? (My guess is that this command was
        unpopular and Arioch was not anxious to do his duty.)

  4. The Victory

    1. Read Daniel 2:25-26. How would you have answered the King?

      1. What do you think about what Arioch says? (He did
        nothing of the sort – Daniel went to him. Arioch is
        trying to take partial credit for the

    2. Read Daniel 2:27-28. Notice that Daniel does not mention
      his own name even once. He says nothing about his role in
      this revelation. Why?

      1. Compare this with your “victories” at work and in the
        church. How much do you mention your role in these

    3. Read Daniel 2:29-30. Finally, Daniel mentions his own role
      in things. Study Daniel’s words in these verses. How does
      he explain his role, the King’s role and God’s role in
      this process?

      1. If you substitute King Nebuchadnezzar for your
        employer, you can learn a great deal from Daniel on
        how to handle problems at work which God solves for

      2. Look at verse 30 – Did God reveal the dream to Daniel
        to save his life (and that of his friends) or to
        satisfy Nebuchadnezzar’s troubled mind? (I think what
        Daniel says to King Nebuchadnezzar is not “flattery,”
        but the truth. While I may think that life is “about
        me,” it is not. It’s not about you and its not about
        me. It is about God and His will.)

    4. Read Daniel 2:31-45. I am not going to spend time on the
      dream and its interpretation, except to ask you: What is
      the “bottom line” on the history of the world? (The great
      God of Heaven will triumph in history and will set up a
      kingdom that will endure forever.)

    5. Read Daniel 2:46-47. Did Nebuchadnezzar get the message
      about who this was all about? (Not exactly. Not only does
      the King fall down before Daniel, but he says “you were
      able to reveal this mystery.” However, Nebuchadnezzar does
      get the message that the great God of Heaven is the “God
      of gods and the Lord of kings.”)

      1. Consider how matters have progressed. Last
        week(Daniel 1, the City of Satan conquered the City
        of God. The gold articles for the worship of God were
        taken to be used in the temple of Bel. God seemed
        defeated. Where is God now in the scheme of things?

        1. What did it take to get God “back on top” in the
          eyes of the world? (Four faithful guys praying
          and one giving God the glory!)

    6. Read Daniel 2:48-49. Remember that the original plan was
      that the captives from Judah would be trained and then go
      back to administer their old country? What do Daniel and
      his friends end up administering? (The City of Satan! Talk
      about a bloodless change in leadership!)

    7. Friend, consider what God can do through you if you
      determine to rely on Him, to pray, to be faithful and to
      give Him the glory!

  5. Next week: The Fiery Furnace.