Desperate times can bear fruit.

Daniel 2:17–23

Then Daniel went to his house, and made the decision known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, that they might seek mercies from the God of heaven concerning this secret, so that Daniel and his companions might not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. So Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

Daniel answered and said:

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
For wisdom and might are His.
And He changes the times and the seasons;
He removes kings and raises up kings;
He gives wisdom to the wise
And knowledge to those who have understanding.
He reveals deep and secret things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
And light dwells with Him.

“I thank You and praise You,
O God of my fathers;
You have given me wisdom and might,
And have now made known to me what we asked of You,
For You have made known to us the king’s demand.”

So, what does Daniel do the minute he finds out about this?

Round up all his prayer buds to seek mercies from the God of heaven concerning this secret.

Next comes a magnificent plot twist—the king’s high-pressure management tactic actually works. It does shake the one true apple out of the tree. It’s fair to say that without the extreme decree by the king, Daniel wouldn’t have gotten involved.

Remember, Nebuchadnezzar is desperate. He needs to understand his nightmares. They’re terrifying him to the point of insomnia. So he takes an outrageous action, which dooms his entire cadre of psychics—unless there’s a real one.

He needs one thing, and one thing only, and he’s going all out to get it.

Now he will.

The wise men catch a break too. They get to live.

They just need to find a job.

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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. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.