THE DAILY BLOG ON THE BOOK OF DANIEL – MAY 11, 2020

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We must recognize that the dream of Nebuchadnezzar and, as we will see, the interpretation, were for one specific purpose. That purpose was God’s, not Daniel’s. It was not about the deaths of wise men who were not wise at all in their occultism nor was it about saving the lives of Daniel and his friends. It is true, by their faithfulness they were saved. But the main point was that God’s plans and purposes would be revealed as to the “time of the Gentiles” and the prophetic timeline that those times would extend to. It would reveal who would be involved and what would happen after those times ended. That is why Daniel is heaping praise upon God in Daniel 2:19-23, “Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven; 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.” (NASB) The overall point of these verses is that Daniel did not immediately jump up and rush to the king. Rather, he praised the God of heaven first for revealing the interpretation of the dream. Notice Daniel never thanks God for saving his life in the text, although we should note he does say that God has made known to him “…what we requested of You”. No doubt Daniel and his friends would not have been remiss in giving thanks for their deliverance. Notice the subtle plural injection in that sentence of Daniel’s. When he says God had made known to him (singular) “what we (plural) requested of You”, he is acknowledging the part played by Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah as they all fervently were praying to God for deliverance.

We are told the method of God revealing the interpretation was by means of a night vision. Note, it was a vision during the night and not a dream. Any one of us are capable of having a dream but to receive a vision is something that is supernatural. In other words, it is a revelation experienced by a supernatural process that is beyond our own capabilities. The only question that can be asked of a vision is – who is the author? Sadly, many so-called Christians everyday proclaim that they have received a vision from God and then go on to say what the vision was and what it means (at least to them). You can often spot these false leaders, teachers and lay people by their elaborate titles and websites. Some, however, can be much more subtle. But, if you see descriptions such as “prophet”, “apostle”, “seer”, “prince” or worse, “king” or “queen” then you can be sure these people do not represent God. They may think they follow God but by their perceived honorary titles all they are doing is attempting to heap glory and praise upon themselves instead of where it belongs. These people ignore Scriptures like 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that tell us, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (NASB)

Deuteronomy 4:2, “You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.” (NASB)

Deuteronomy 12:32, “Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it.” (NASB)

Proverbs 30:5-6, “Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.” (NASB)

The Bible is complete. It is sealed shut for anything else that people claim has been revealed to them. Everything we need to know is already contained in the Holy Scriptures. In fact, only what God wishes to be revealed is contained in the pages of the Bible. He is not in the business of having to add further to what is His perfect plan and purpose. Before the books of the Bible were written or completed God did use many dreams and visions, via certain individuals whom He chose, in order for those plans and purposes to be revealed. Men, carried along by the Holy Spirit, were inspired to write the words from God’s mouth. Once that process was complete (by means of the completion of the Bible) no other prophecy was, or is, required. Anything coming out of the mouth of a person now has no origin from Scripture. You can have a mountain full of objections from those who say God gave them a special word and they are His apostle or prophet, but it does not change a thing. These people are all frauds. All that has been revealed by God is in His Word.

Let us not forget, aside from the office of overseer (pastor) or deacon, a true Christian (including such offices) has one title – Servant.

Returning to the text in Daniel 2:19-23, we must be careful not to miss the content of these verses by simply giving them a cursory view. To do so we could easily miss some important content they reveal. We have already spoken of Daniel blessing God for His deliverance by revealing the mystery to him. Now let us consider each of the points listed in the passage. Some have called this text a song or hymn to God.

Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

Here Daniel was highlighting the point that he served the God of heaven. Not the dumb, blind, and deaf false gods or religion of Babylon.

Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever.

As we have mentioned, Daniel did not go rushing off to the king announcing the interpretation. He took time to bless the name of God and, by so doing, showed that the priority was in giving God all the praise. It also shows the deep knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures, which clearly Daniel had a command of. This phrase of “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever” was well known to Hebrews who faithfully worshipped God and, only by a thorough knowledge of the Old Testament, would Daniel have been aware of this key phrase contained in the Psalms and many other books of the Bible.

Wisdom and power belong to Him.

Daniel here acknowledges that wisdom and power belong to God alone and only He could impart wisdom to those who faithfully follow Him. God’s power highlights His Omnipotence, whose force is unlimited.

He changes the times and the epochs.

An epoch is defined as a period of time in history, or a person’s life, typically one marked by notable events or particular characteristics. Here Daniel is voicing the fact that God is in control of everything. He is the one who directs what happens in time and space. He knows what events will occur in line with His plans and purposes. If you do not believe that God has control of such things as time then read the story of King Hezekiah in 2 Kings 20 who begged God to extend his life. As a sign of God granting another fifteen years to his life, Hezekiah asks that God causes the shadow of the sun to move back ten degrees, effectively reversing the movement of the sun itself across the sky [cf. Isaiah 38:8]. Or the account in the tenth chapter of Joshua that records Joshua asking God to stop the sun and moon.

He removes kings and establishes kings.

If you thought Nebuchadnezzar became king by his own power you would be wrong. It is God who allows kings to reign and it is He who removes them (cf. Romans 13:1-17; 1 Peter 2:13-17).

He gives wisdom to men and knowledge to men of understanding.

Here Daniel was acknowledging where wisdom comes from and knowledge that is given to men of understanding. This is clearly from God and the proof of Daniel’s acknowledgment can again be found in Daniel 1:27 where Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah all received knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom.

He reveals profound and hidden things.

Daniel knows in all of the previous three years training that only God had the answers to profound and hidden things. We have already noted that Scripture is silent as to how the four young Hebrews dealt with their training in the aspects of false religion and gods. But I cannot help but imagine that if they did not argue with their teachers they probably had a good laugh back in their room at what these so-called wise men thought was truth. They knew it was only God who could reveal such things.

He knows what is in the darkness and the light dwells in Him.

It is impossible for darkness to contain God. Daniel actually tells us this by saying the light dwells in Him. Here we see God’s Omniscience which means He is all-knowing. He sees all things. He knows all things. Nothing is, or ever could be, a surprise to Him. Psalm 36:9 speaks of this light in God which enables men to see light.

God of my fathers.

This was Daniel confirming that His God was the same God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

In his final praises to God, Daniel gives thanks and praise to God who has given him wisdom and power and it is He who has given him the knowledge of the interpretation of the dream.

Now, Daniel is ready to seek out Arioch.

 

Bible quotations are taken from the following versions of the Bible.

New American Standard Bible (NASB), Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.

 

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