Daniel 2 (3)
The wise men among the Chaldeans looked to Nebuchadnezzar to reveal his dream to them. Then they would consult with one another to figure out what it meant, and bring to the king what they hoped would be a favorable interpretation. They were looking in all the wrong places. Daniel, meanwhile, like Joseph before him, understood where dreams come from, but also interpretations of dreams and wisdom, too. He counted on the mercies of God, not merely to answer the king’s demand, but to save His faithful servants.
Review Genesis 41.14-37.
Read Daniel 2.14-23.
Think it Through
1. By now we know God was at work in the situation involving Daniel and his three companions. But just how was God working? Compare Daniel 2.16 with verses 7 and 8 of this same chapter. What’s the difference? How can we account for this difference (Prov. 21.1)? Do you believe God can soften the hearts of even the most recalcitrant of unbelievers? How should that encourage us? Should we pray that He will do so? Explain.
2. Daniel didn’t pester Nebuchadnezzar about the dream, nor try to coax the content of it out of him. Daniel knew where dreams come from, because he undoubtedly knew the story of Joseph. Daniel had the gift of understanding visions and dreams, but he did not rely only on himself for the right use of that gift. He enlisted his friends to seek the Lord with him concerning this matter (vv. 17, 18). Do you think it’s typically the case that we need others to support us as we carry out our callings or exercise the gifts God has given us? Explain. Note also Daniel’s prayer of thanks and praise to God (vv. 20-23). How many different ways did Daniel acknowledge the sovereignty of God? Is He still sovereign in all these ways? Explain.
“And through the testimony of blessed Daniel, we see the beloved youth given straightaway the revelation concerning the dream, not because of his calculations but simply because it was [the] proper time to hand [it] over to the one who prays. He alone was of great courage, but at the same time his companions jointly took up the prayer. For none had abandoned the hope.” Theodoret of Cyr (393-466 AD)
For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us, you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift grantedto us through many. 2 Corinthians 1.8-11
Lord Jesus, many faithful and gifted men and women serve You in our church, and I want to uphold them in prayer as they use their gifts. Today I remember…
Pray Psalm 83.13-18.
Psalm 83.13-18 (St. Chrysostom: We Have Not Known Thee As We Ought)
Make them like whirling dust, O God! Scatter them like the windblown chaff!
Rage like a fire consuming a wood, like flames that burn a mountain pass!
Blow like a tempest, bring them to harm, and terrify them with Your storm!
Fill with dishonor every face that they may seek Your Name, O Lord.
Bring them to shame, dismay, and disgrace, and let them perish under Your Word,
That they may learn Your infinite worth, O God Most High of all the earth!
T. M Moore
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006.