THE DAILY BLOG ON THE BOOK OF DANIEL – MAY 12, 2020

Posted by on May 12, 2020 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on THE DAILY BLOG ON THE BOOK OF DANIEL – MAY 12, 2020

Arioch, you will recall, was Nebuchadnezzar’s captain of the bodyguard. After giving praises and blessings to God we now see Daniel on his way to meet Arioch. Daniel 2:24-25 tells us, “Therefore, Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon; he went and spoke to him as follows: “Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon! Take me into the king’s presence, and I will declare the interpretation to the king.” Then Arioch hurriedly brought Daniel into the king’s presence and spoke to him as follows: “I have found a man among the exiles from Judah who can make the interpretation known to the king!” (NASB) Verse twenty-four is the verse that I, and others, believe indicates that the wise men had not yet been executed.

Simply reading these two verses without taking serious notice loses the impact and the scene before us. Daniel appears to have had free access to approach Arioch. This, again, could indicate that Daniel already had some form of relationship with Arioch. That relationship was likely based on the respect Daniel had obtained over the past three years. It is very interesting when we read that Daniel tells Arioch not to destroy the wise men. Here I believe is another example of the two knowing each other. Remember, Arioch is tasked not just to arrest all of the wise men, but it is he who is to carry out their executions. Full compliance with the king’s order was not a choice but was expected, or he himself would face death. Had Daniel not had any relationship with Arioch one would be able to argue that Arioch would have thought “who is this young upstart telling me (in effect) what to do in countermanding the king’s orders?”  But Daniel’s confidence tells us something else. It tells us that Daniel knew the interpretation was accurate and had complete confidence in God. Daniel had no fear of telling Arioch, in effect, to stop the king’s order immediately. Daniel by then knew that he had been chosen by God. He did not know that by revealing the interpretation, not only would that save their lives but also the wise men under sentence of death and in so doing would be rewarded for revealing the dream and the interpretation. He and his three fellow Hebrews had one simple desire which was to faithfully serve their God. Whoever taught them in the first place in their homeland had taught them well. Little did their teachers know how well, until events unfolded.

Daniel then tells Arioch to take him into the king’s presence in order for him to reveal the interpretation. This sentence not only shows the urgency but the order from Daniel. This is not so much of a request but more of a demand. Daniel speaks confidently this way not only because it is going to glorify God, but Daniel, evidently, was also acutely interested in not wanting any of the wise men destroyed. They may have been occultists and steeped in idolatry but that did not stop Daniel showing compassion toward them. That should be a lesson for us today. How many of us can honestly admit that we have compassion for those who ignore, reject, or blaspheme God? How many of us feel angry or, dare I say, hatred for those who claim they are Christians but vilify God by their heresies? Thankfully, in general, we live in a time period of relative freedom as to our Christian beliefs but during the establishment of the Protestant Reformation things were quite different and atrocities were carried out by many sides. But Daniel was truly honoring and obeying what Jesus would later refer to as the second greatest commandment. Jesus had, in fact, been asked what the most important commandment was. In Mark 12:29-31, “Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (NASB) As Christians, we should NEVER look upon those who are lost with anger, hatred, or contempt. Rather, we are to love such ones, however difficult that may seem.

Verse twenty-five is interesting in its explanation of Arioch’s actions. Many, if not all, of us, have displayed the same action of wanting to be acknowledged when perhaps we were not the real recipient of such honor. Arioch hurriedly brought Daniel into the presence of the king. This would imply that Arioch had no desire to execute any of those whom Nebuchadnezzar had ordered to be put to death either, but neither does he side with the wise men. In fact, he specifically tells the king that it is one of the Judeans who can reveal the interpretation thus disassociating himself from suggesting he received any information from those whom Nebuchadnezzar had dismissed as frauds. But here is where Arioch exaggerates the facts. He tells Nebuchadnezzar that he has found a man among the exiles of Judah who can reveal the interpretation of the dream. We were told in the previous verse that Daniel went to him, not the other way around! Now he appears to be trying to take the credit for saving the wise men and finding Daniel who could reveal the interpretation. Perhaps Arioch thought a promotion would be in order if he could convince the king he played a crucial role in finding an answer to the dream. I think the silence of Daniel is significant for he does not batter an eyelid. He is only interested in glorifying and honoring God, not in his own interests.

 

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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