THE DAILY BLOG ON THE BOOK OF DANIEL – MAY 8, 2020

Posted by on May 8, 2020 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on THE DAILY BLOG ON THE BOOK OF DANIEL – MAY 8, 2020

You can imagine the relief that Daniel had after gaining Nebuchadnezzar’s agreement to give him time to declare the interpretation of the dream. Without any delay Daniel 2:17-18 tells us, “Then Daniel went to his house and informed his friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, about the matter, so that they might request compassion from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his friends would not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.” (NASB)

We have all experienced having to complete something on time. Whether it is a test paper, or catching a particular mode of transport whose time factor is beyond our control. We are not told in the text how long Nebuchadnezzar gave Daniel to return with the interpretation. It is unlikely that it would have been of any great length and could very well have been within a twenty-four-hour period. What is of note is why Daniel thought he could influence the king. Of course, one specific human motive he had was to not be executed. But the Scriptures show us that Daniel certainly had the courage of his convictions because those convictions were laid on the foundation of God. Although we read in Daniel 1:17b that, “Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams” (NASB), he did not know the content of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, nor its interpretation, at that time. His ability to understand all kinds of visions and dreams was confirmation that he was a prophet of God, which is confirmed in the prophecies contained in the book of Daniel. He did not know it yet, but the very interpretation of the king’s dream would be the beginning of that process.

It may appear confusing when we are told in Daniel 2:16 that Daniel requested an audience with the king “in order that he might declare the interpretation” but that is not ambiguous. Daniel knew how the king could receive the interpretation of his dream because of what we read in Daniel 1:17-18. That is why he immediately asked Arioch for an audience with the king. He had one hope which was in God. While he acted in faith he may still have not known this was his clarion call, his moment, to step into the role that God had foreordained him to do. Daniel’s courage and trust is an example for every one of us today that we can be confident, no matter the crisis, that, if we are engaged in the will and work of God, He will provide us with the same courage and confidence anchored to the authority of His Word.

Here we see Daniel standing outside of his own knowledge and trusting in God. He arrives back at his house where he informs his friends of the king’s decision. Notice the Scripture gives their Hebrew names and not the ones given by the Babylonians. The purpose of discussing the matter with Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah is not to see if one has a better idea than the other. It comes down to one decision that all four of them know is essential to their future and the success in returning with a positive answer to Nebuchadnezzar.

Prayer

Notice the four young Hebrew’s prayer was to request God’s compassion in providing Daniel with the interpretation of the dream.

The second point is in the address to God as the God of heaven. There is a contrast here which, again, shows the faithfulness of Daniel and his three friends. Addressing the God of heaven is in stark contrast to the Babylonians religious superstitions in worshipping the stars. Daniel would have known that Abraham used this term [for the first time in Scripture] in Genesis 24:7 and its frequent use elsewhere.

Their prayer was for God to be compassionate in providing them with the answer to the mystery [the dream and its interpretation]. The specific purpose of their request was for God to save their lives and not be among the other wise men who were under the condemnation of death or who had already been slain. As we move along in the narrative we see that Daniel does request that these other wise men are not put to death which could signify that, up to that point, executions had not begun.

While this portion of study refers to the run up to Nebuchadnezzar having his dream interpreted, it also speaks of faithful obedience and the power of prayer. None of us know if we will be called on to pray to the God of heaven for mercy in saving our own lives. But if we are, then we are given the example of Daniel and his friends who, instead of panicking, turned to God in prayer. Daniel never expected to receive the interpretation of the dream without prayer. Without that prayer, the outcome could have been so different.

As Paul rightly admonished the Philippians in Philippians 4:6, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication and with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (NASB)

 

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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