Daniel is a book that I have gone back to many times. When I have finished a reading plan, or met a goal, and don’t have direction on where to go next, I turn there. I love his faithfulness. I love his fearlessness.I have been reading devotions for the last six months or so, instead of just straight bible. The author presents a point, breaks it down and presents a prayer and a verse. A few days ago I decided that I was not getting as much as I wanted to from the devotions and opened my bible (NKJV, naturally in my opinion, a variant of the only acceptable version) to Daniel. I was so pleased with the depth of the content; go read it, you will see.
A condensed version:
Daniel is standing before the king of Babylon, who has captured Jerusalem; where Daniel and the people that he cares about live. The king has declared that Daniel and all of the other “wise men” in the kingdom be killed because a group of them could not tell the king what his dream was, and then interpret it. So Daniel has taken it upon himself to see what he can do about resolving the situation.
The king’s lead enforcer had shown up to kill Daniel, and explained why he was about to be eliminated. Daniel asks for time to seek answers from his God. It is easy to seek God’s direction when life is in crisis mode, but this was a lifestyle for Daniel, and with good reason: God answered Daniels prayers. Repeatedly. So Daniel does what he knows works best. He prays.
So here stands Daniel. I imagine the king slouching grumpily in a huge throne; the dreams that he had were giving him some pretty extreme anxiety, and with no resolution. His highness is probably on the verge of ordering the death of this Jew, and then Daniel opens his mouth.
“The secret which the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the king. But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets…” Daniel goes on to describe the dream; nails it. The interpretation: clearly divinely revealed.
I don’t think the king was expecting this. I think he had given up hope and expected to be haunted by what he had seen; waiting for calamity. To have the foreigner stroll into his court and so easily give him what he needed rocked him. He falls on his face before Daniel, it sounds a bit like the worship that people in the bible give angels when they appear, and declares, “Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets…”
Glory is given to God by Daniel before he gives his interpretation, and then by the king when he is amazed by what has happened. This is consistent with the pattern in this book. Daniel seeks God, God works through Daniel, glory is given to God. He is a great model for our lives; I want to be like Daniel.
Daniel was clear that it was God who had revealed the secret. It was God who had put the king in power. It was God who had given the king the dreams. It was all about God when Daniel made his presentation to the king. Daniel gave credit where it was due, and didn’t attempt to sell himself as the wise one.
Chelsea asked me to write this. Not specifically this, but something to use on the Valley Life page. She is all the way across the country and is still doing a great job running the church’s social media. Kudos to you, Miss Hite. I love that you are seeking God, trying to do what He tells you and giving Him the glory.
When she asked me to contribute something, I was blank. The next morning I read this chapter and it really stood out to me. As much as the story should be read and studied and applied to our lives, we (I mainly) need to see this as a reminder that God’s word is powerful, it is inspirational, and it is much better instruction than man can give in his own wisdom. Go read it and see.
Written by Gary Love