The Troubled King
King Nebuchadnezzar suffered from insomnia during the second year of his reign due to some troubling dreams. Sleep deprivation took its toll on the King until he finally sought help. The king summoned the magicians, the enchanters, and the astrologers to interpret his dreams. This distinguished group gathered before the king, and he explained his trouble and suffering. King Nebuchadnezzar's servants are eager to help their leader, and they assure him that they will be able to explain it to him after he discloses the details of the dreams. The King stuns the group when he declares that they must make the dream known and its interpretation or they will be torn limb from limb and their houses destroyed. Alternatively, if they can show the dream and its interpretation, they will be handsomely rewarded. The group stalls and they ask the king to disclose his dreams a second time. King Nebuchadnezzar is in no mood for their tactics. He is exhausted and anxious, and his anger began to burn announcing that there is only one sentence that will be executed. The men begin to implore the king to change his mind declaring that no one can do what he has asked of them. They believed that only the gods could do such a thing. At this, the king lost it, and his fury ordered the execution of all the wise men of Babylon. The decree went out, and so did the soldiers. They could see the anger of the king, and they would not delay in carrying out their orders lest they too suffer an awful fate. When they sought Daniel and his friends, Daniel inquired about the death sentence, and when Arioch explained the situation, Daniel asked for an audience with the king to show and interpret the dream. God had given Daniel the ability to understand visions and dreams, but evidently, this gift was not well known to King Nebuchadnezzar or the other leaders.
Seek Mercy From The God Of Heaven
Daniel went to his house, gathered his friends, and held a prayer meeting. Their prayers were answered that night when God revealed the mystery to Daniel in a vision. Daniel did not go straight to the king. Instead, he blessed the God of heaven. He praised the Lord for his wisdom, power, sovereignty, generosity, revelation, and knowledge. Daniel worshiped the Lord offering thanks and praise for his mercy and his revelation. God had answered the prayers of Daniela and his friends. Daniel adjured Arch to stay the executions and take him tot he king so that he could give the king the answers that he sought. Arioch brought Daniel to the king, and he must have had confidence in Daniel because he took credit for finding him and declared to the king that he would provide the interpretation that he sought. King Nebuchadnezzar asked Daniel if he was able to do as Arioch claimed. Daniel would not rob God of his glory, and he would take no credit for the revelation that he was to share with the king. The God in heaven is the revealer of mysteries, and he had made the dream known to Daniel.
Daniel gave specific details about the king's dream. The king's dream revolved around a great statue that was bright and awesome. The head was gold, the chest and arms were silver, the torso was bronze, and the legs were iron. The feet were partly iron and partly clay. King Nebuchadnezzar watches as a stone was cut out without the use of human hands and it struck the statue on the feet, and the entire statue collapsed. The metals were smashed into dust, and the wind carried them away until there was no trace. The stone became a great mountain and covered the whole earth. Nebuchadnezzar was the king that God had given sovereignty over the world and the golden head symbolized Babylon. The silver represented an inferior kingdom that would arise, the Medo-Persian empire. The third kingdom, represented by the bronze would be the Greek Empire. The iron would be Rome, and the feet would be the decline of Rome. The stone would be the eternal kingdom that the God of heaven sets up. The great God had revealed these things to King Nebuchadnezzar through Daniel, and these things were inevitable because God is faithful and he cannot lie. In what must have seemed surreal scene, King Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face before Daniel and demanded that an offering and incense be offered to him. Daniel must have understood these offerings to be for the God of heaven, or he most certainly would not have allowed this worship to continue. King Nebuchadnezzar declares that the God of Daniel was the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries. He acknowledged the supremacy of Daniel's God but did not bow the knee or surrender to him as the one and only God. King Nebuchadnezzar honored Daniel, gave him gifts, and elevated him above all the wise men in the kingdom. Daniel did not forget his friends, and he asked that they be appointed to administrative positions in the kingdom. Daniel remained the king's court, in the king's service.
Things To Consider:
- Does God still use dreams? Why or why not?
- Should dreams be interpreted? If so, how? If not, why?
- What are superstitious ways that people try to understand their circumstances or make decisions?
- How can one be wise toward those who are angry?
- Why do you think Daniel is so confident?
- Who does Daniel turn to?
- Why do you think God revealed the interpretation to Daniel in a dream?
- What was the last prayer that God answered for you?
- When was the last time you praised God for an extended period that was not in a corporate gathering?
- How do we rob God of his glory?
- How can we avoid taking credit for what God has done?
- Are there any friends that you have forgotten?
- Will you reach out to them today?