At Crossfire Ranch Fellowship we’ve been going through a study of the book of Daniel. In our last session we saw the beginnings of Daniel’s time as a slave or servant of the Babylonian King. Chapter one saw Daniel respond to an impossible situation (where most of us would have given up) by simply living out his faith in the midst of a pagan world and he was blessed as a result.
In this session we’ll be checking out Daniel 2:1-23 – which focuses on the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and his initial response. If you haven’t already, take a few minutes to read through Daniel 2:1-23.
While appreciation for visions and dreams is not really a part of the mainstream church today (although the Lord certainly still communicates in this manner), there is no doubt that dreams are a frequent means of communication between the Lord and both followers of the Lord and pagan leaders. In this part of the chapter we don’t see a lot of the detail of the dream that Nebuchadnezzar received but one thing is for sure – Nebuchadnezzar was freaked out by what he saw.
As was common at the time, Nebuchadnezzar summoned his court of advisors (mainly sorcerers, magicians, and astrologers) and asked for an interpretation. Nebuchadnezzar’s condition to these advisors is that they must interpret the vision correctly or be counted as frauds and put to death. Wanting to buy a little time, Nebuchadnezzar’s advisors ask him to lay out the dream in great detail so that they might have all of the facts before rendering an interpretation.
2:8-9 states, “The king replied, “I know for certain that you are bargaining for time, inasmuch as you have seen that the command from me is firm, that if you do not make the dream known to me, there is only one decree for you. For you have agreed together to speak lying and corrupt words before me until the situation is changed; therefore tell me the dream, that I may know that you can declare to me its interpretation.”
Sensing his advisors hesitation, Nebuchadnezzar orders his magic men to deliver and interpretation of the vision without hearing the vision. This is one of the few instances in the Old Testament where a pagan king would doubt the advice of magicians and astrologers. It seems clear that the Lord was already setting the stage for Daniel and, more importantly, the Lord’s truth to shine brightly in contrast to the king’s usual advisors.
Of course the advisors refuse to interpret the dream without first hearing it and so the king orders all of this advisory court to be put to death. Unfortunately this includes Daniel and his three friends. Upon learning of his fate and the king’s reason for declaring the death penalty on the advisors, Daniel requests and is granted a time to pray to the Lord with his friends and seek the Lord’s answer to the king’s vision dilemma. The end result…Daniel receives the vision and the meaning of the vision from the Lord and has what he needs to share it with Nebuchadnezzar.
Now that was a short summary of verses 2:1-19. The real gem of this passage is found in 2:20-23. Here we see Daniel’s response to the Lord giving him the answer to the king’s riddle and it is truly inspiring.
Let’s read Daniel 2:20-23…
- Daniel said,
- “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
- For wisdom and power belong to Him.
- “It is He who changes the times and the epochs;
- He removes kings and establishes kings;
- He gives wisdom to wise men
- And knowledge to men of understanding.
- “It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things;
- He knows what is in the darkness,
- And the light dwells with Him.
- “To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise,
- For You have given me wisdom and power;
- Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You,
- For You have made known to us the king’s matter.”
Daniel’s proclamation (in the presence of only his friends) shows us four major points that would be good for us to remember in times of trial (like Daniel’s) or simply in times of blessing:
1. Daniel praised the Lord for he knew that wisdom and power come only from the Lord.
2. Daniel acknowledged that the Lord is in control of everything (seasons, time, kings and kingdoms).
3. Daniel remembered that the Lord gives wisdom and knowledge, reveals deep and hidden things, knows what lies in the darkness, and is our source of light (in contrast to the dark would around us).
4. As a result of all that Daniel mentioned…Daniel simply thanks the Lord for His provision.
I encourage you to take a few minutes to review Daniel’s testimony in 2:20-23 and dwell on the points above. No matter what situation we find ourselves in…God is in control and we should thank Him!
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