Book of Daniel – Daniel’s True Power Source

Posted by on Aug 22, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Book of Daniel – Daniel’s True Power Source

Daniel’s True Power Source

Nebuchadnezzar tells us what he says to Daniel upon his entrance to the court in Daniel 4:9 saying, “O Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, since I know that a spirit of the holy gods is in you and no mystery baffles you, tell me the visions of my dream which I have seen, along with its interpretation.” (NASB) Once again we need to look at this verse to answer some of the points mentioned by the king with regard to Daniel and his abilities.

Again, Nebuchadnezzar uses Daniel’s Babylonian name Belteshazzar. Some suggest, and I think there is some merit in their conclusions, that despite Daniel chapter four is a declaration made by the king, two things may be highlighted as to why the king addressed Daniel by his Babylonian name. The first idea is that Nebuchadnezzar was being complimentary by pointing out that he had named Daniel in honor of the pagan king’s god Bel. This, however, would not have made Daniel feel grateful nor pleased in any way. On the contrary, the second idea is that by addressing him this way, it was a constant reminder of the exile his people still suffered and, more importantly, he would have been blatantly aware of the insult to his true God. This again confirms Nebuchadnezzar’s continued polytheism. Again, remember this is a running narrative to the events of chapter four. At this point in the narrative,  Nebuchadnezzar still has not been humbled.

Now we come to what Nebuchadnezzar meant by saying Daniel was the chief of the magicians. Nebuchadnezzar had never experienced the might and power of God until that first dream interpretation. His whole life was full of pagan rites and mythology. Despite acknowledging that Daniel’s God was “A great God” (Daniel 2:45) and further declared to Daniel that his God was “God of gods, and Lord of kings” (Daniel 2:47), Nebuchadnezzar had clearly and conveniently forgotten or, worse, ignored the true power and authority of the Most High. We saw him again refuse to accept God’s authority after the miraculous delivery of Daniel’s friends in the fiery furnace. On both occasions, the king saw fit to promote the four young Hebrews into positions of authority but clearly only paid “lip service” to the one true God. His mention of Daniel as being the chief of the magicians does not reflect Daniel involving himself in divination. The fact is that Daniel and his three friends studied and knew the whole field of Babylonian astrology and its religion and their knowledge far exceeded others. What Nebuchadnezzar was actually acknowledging in this statement was the fact that he did know that Daniel’s source of power came from something far higher and more powerful than anything he had ever experienced.

This leads to our final point. Nebuchadnezzar mentions that Daniel had a spirit of the holy gods in him. You may recall Nebuchadnezzar’s advisors, whom he had called to tell him what his first dream was about and then interpret it,  claimed that no spirit lived in flesh but only in the gods (see Daniel 2:11).  On that occasion, Nebuchadnezzar experienced the power of the Spirit of God in using Daniel as His messenger. Daniel 4:9 is in acknowledgment of that fact and shows that Nebuchadnezzar trusted Daniel in knowing that he would tell the king the truth. Interestingly, the word used for “gods” in this verse is the word elohiym or Elohim as we refer to it. Despite several meanings, the overall meaning is God. In fact, out of the 2598 references to this word used in the Old Testament, 2346 are ascribed to the word God. Although the verse appears to speak in plural terms, it is clear that Nebuchadnezzar was making reference that the Spirit of the Holy God, Daniel’s God, was in Daniel. As a result, Nebuchadnezzar could confidently state that no mystery could baffle or confuse Daniel. As a result of the king’s confidence in Daniel and knowing that the Spirit of God was within him, he proceeded to ask Daniel to interpret the dream.