“You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.”
This is the money quote. Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar his dream. Bang! Instant credibility.
Imagine how you’d feel if someone detailed a dream you’d had, even though you hadn’t told it to anyone.
“Holy cow!” Blink. Blink.
Oh, how I wish I could pull rabbits like this out of my hat. Miracles get people’s attention. That’s the ultimate step toward getting someone to listen to you.
Not long ago, wearing “WWJD” bracelets was all the rage. When faced with a challenging situation, we were supposed to think, “What would Jesus do?”
But Jesus would do things like raise the dead or tell someone he just met their whole life history. That’s good to know but isn’t exactly the ideal guide for what I should do.
So, we get an important lesson from this passage — You’re not Jesus. You’re not even Daniel.
This goes somewhere. If I’m not Jesus (or even Daniel) how should respond to a challenging situation?
Act like them in any way I can but, and this is key, don’t try to act like them in the ways I can’t. That sounds obvious, but it isn’t always so simple. Think back. Who in this book pretended to be like Jesus?
The magicians and astrologers! Ask them a question and they’d never say, “I don’t know.” That’s why Nebuchadnezzar was so strict in his refusal to give them something they could spin a tale around.
We’re all taught in grade school that “I don’t know,” is a wrong answer. Reporters know this, so one of their standard tricks is to ask someone important a silly question like, “What was so-and-so thinking when …?” If they take the bait, they may say something newsworthy. That’s known in the business as “making news.” Politicians are trained to answer with something like, “I don’t know. Why don’t you ask them?”
But most adults still think the way they were trained to think in grade school. No matter how extreme the question, they’ll “try their best” to reply. That’s a fool’s errand that Christians should learn to avoid.
WWAD. Think, “What would astrologers do?” Then don’t do that.
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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.