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Let me just say on behalf of all CB that Andrew Webb did an amazing job walking us through Daniel 2 at Biblestudy! We were immensly blessed and beholden at his insight and passion as we take each step through this otherwise hard passage and put it to work in our lives. Praise the Lord for Andrew!
Daniel 2 opens us up to a whole ‘nother scene, unfolding from the beginning chapter, introducing us to the world and the lives of Daniel and his companions, who set themselves apart in search of the will and the righteousness of God. In this second chapter, the king of Babylon, where the Jews are exiled (King Nebuchadnezzar- pronounced (mouthful): Neb- uh- kuh- nez- er) has a dream.
Now in the land of the Babylonians during this day, they believed communion with their gods came in the form of communicating through spirits, through witchcraft and sorcery, through astrology and mysticism, through prophecy and oracles, and through dreams.
It says in Daniel 2:1-3 “In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his mind was troubled and he could not sleep[. So the king summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers to tell him what he had dreamed. When they came in and stood before the king, he said to them, “I have had a dream that troubles me and I want to know what it means.”"
He then commands his wise men to tell him the dreams FIRST, so that he knows that they have the ability to interpret it. This they could not do, saying, “There is not a man on earth who can do what the king asks! No king, however great and mighty, has ever asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or astrologer. What the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among men.”
This made the king so angry that he ordered the execution of all the wise men, including Daniel and his companions, who were away in their own cities. When the men who were to execute Daniel came to him to kill him, he asked them why he was being executed. When they told him about the dream the king had, and how the wise men couldn’t interpret it. And then Daniel went to the king, and asked for time, so that he could interpret the dream for him.
When I look on these words, I will admit my imagination goes wild. I have a vivid imagination- I can picture it like a movie screen: A writhing dream awaking the king at night, pulling him into a troubled sweat… he calls for his wise men in the middle of the night, and they come running, their padded foot-falls echoing in the great arches of the palace corridors. The Royal Chambers are dim, with tall, thick candles standing lit over a scribes table and chair, the king pacing before it in his long purple and burgandy robe draped over his night shirt, his bare feet clasping the cold ground in firm, determined steps.
He turns to his wise men, the ones he had put above all others to give him the words and the will of the gods, and his heart is too troubled to rely in their mortality. This dream was too vivid, too real, too painfully close for him to merely trust in their judgement- what if they lied to him? What if they were frauds? What if they twisted the words of the gods to make themselves sound better? These questions pounded against his sweat-slick temple. He devised a quick plan, as he pivoted on his sole, and tilted his head up to their quizzical stares.
But they could not do the thing he asked of them. They were all frauds, the whole lot of them! How dare they parade their lowly, haggard selves before the king, claiming to know the right and the understanding of the gods! He grabbed the base of the man-sized candle and threw it after their heels, as they scattered. They were all to die.
But there was one, one who was not present in this, although he is a wise man. The men who were to execute him came up the steps and pounded on his door. He opened it, and when they siezed him, he asked them “Why?!”.
When they told him, he pleaded with them to let him see the king. When they released him, he went before the king and bowed low. “Let your servant have time to interpret your dream, my king,” He replied. The king waved his hand, desperate and curious enough to allow his fury to subside. What could this one man do that the others could not?
Daniel stood, shakingly leaning against the wall of his home for support. What was he to do? Surely he could not learn the king’s dream AND interpret it in one night!? There was a quiet knock on the door, and he mustered his strength to clambor over to it and let his friends in- Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. He told them, his voice trembling, what the king had said, and urged them to bow with him before their LORD, the God of Israel, for mercy concerning the mystery of the king’s dream.
Tears of pain and fear overwhelmed their eyes and they kneeled in prayer. As they cried out to God together they felt a washing over them the peace of heart and clarity of mind that could come from no other but their Almighty. That night they slept in trust that, somehow, someway, their God had it under control.
I can picture Daniel opening his eyes and throwing back the covers of his bed, gasping aloud at his delight. In the night the Lord had revealed to him the dream! Could this be true? Was he fooling himself? Nonetheless, he would trust the Lord. Daniel threw his hands up to the heavens and opened his mouth, words of praise, of delight, of thankfulness to the Lord flowing out in heaps. His friends awoke and celebrated with him, their eyes lifted to the Lord- for it is only He who could do such a miracle.
Daniel is eager to see the king, and the king is eager to see Daniel. “No wise man, enchanter, magician, or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, but there is a God in heaven who reveals myseteries.” Daniel replies, and he goes on to explain the dream and interpret it, according to what the Lord had told him.
When I percieve and think about the things that Daniel had to go through, I am convicted of how little I follow his footsteps. Andrew was explaining that the first things that Daniel does when he is faced by Death is gather around him his friends and petition the Lord. Have you ever been asked the question, “What would you do if you knew you would die tomorrow?” What do we answer?
Daniel threw himself on his knees with his friends and prayed to the Lord. That’s ultimate trust. That’s ultimate surrender. That’s EPIC.
When I am faced by adversity, Daniel is a great role model. We as the body of Christ need to realize that 1) We CAN NEVER do it on our own! and 2) The power of prayer and petitioning of the Lord WORKS!
Andrew said, “This week, probably more than any other week that I know, I had more people asking me for help, for prayer, saying ‘Andrew, I have this problem, Andrew, I have this pain…’, almost to being overwhelmed. It’s in those times, when we speak to eachother about those things, and we come to our knees about those things, that we truely make a difference. We NEED EACHOTHER.”
Yes Lord! Once again, my prayer for this week is for Him to make us into Daniels! That we may band together, praying with eachther in the hard times, building eachother up and working against the enemy as a fortress- Lord! Yes, Lord!