The Book of Daniel, God Makes the Dream Known to Daniel, Daniel 2:17-24 - Lesson 8
Nebuchadnezzarís dream remains unknown but the actions against those who were ordered to tell and interpret the dream is taking place.
The wise men of Babylon are being gathered together by Arioch, the captain of the kingís bodyguard in order to carry out Nebuchadnezzarís edict to destroy them all.
They have failed the king, in that they are powerless to not only interpret his dream but to tell the dream.
They have admitted that only the gods can do what the king asks but this does not satisfy the king and his edict stands.
We have seen in our previous lesson that Daniel learned from Arioch the whys and wherefores of the kingís edict which moved Daniel to seek the kingís favor toward a delay in carrying out the execution.
Daniel 2:16, So Daniel went in and requested of the king that he would give him time, in order that he might declare the interpretation to the king.
Now the time that Daniel was given was not going to be used by Daniel in order to develop some scheme or deception or trick that would save him and his friends from death.
This was why the king had not allowed his wise men time for he knew that they would do such a thing.
But Daniel, as we see in Daniel 2:17-24, knew that he had no one to turn to other than the God of his fathers in order to find deliverance.
When you think about it this is a wonderful position to be in.
Your back is up against the wall and there is no one to turn to except God.
This was Danielís situation and he needed time to seek Godí face, so it was time to pray.
Daniel 2:17-24, Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the kingís matter. Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him; Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will show unto the king the interpretation.
We know from later accounts in the book of Daniel that he was a praying man.
He knew from where he could find help in time of need and what greater need was there than to stave off the executioner that Nebuchadnezzar had sent.
He knew that whenever he sought the help of God he was acting in faith for he understood that what was impossible in his eyes and in the eyes of the wise men of Babylon was possible for the God of Israel.
Do you understand that nothing is impossible for our God and that that omnipotence transfers to us who believe on Him.
The wise men had reason to tear their hair out and to pile ashes upon their heads and wail and moan for they had no power within their hand to deliver them.
The wise men had no where to go for a solution to their death dilemma but Daniel had a place to get answers from and that is where he and his three friends immediately went.
They knew that their God not only knew the future but was the architect of the future and this included the knowledge of a dream that was given to the king.
Their prayers were prayers seeking mercy concerning this secret.
Open our eyes Lord to this dream and the interpretation thereof.
That very night Daniel also had the dream but not only the dream but the interpretation thereof.
God gave Daniel the complete story.
Nebuchadnezzar the unbeliever, got some knowledge from God but it was necessary for Daniel the believer to give him the best knowledge.
This is the pattern that God uses with his children today.
A man of this world can know from what he sees around him that there is a Creator but it takes the telling of the best part from a believer, that of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the good news that each man, women, boy or girl can know God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is as if all men everywhere are given a dream but it takes a believer to tell the dream and the interpretation thereof.
God has so chosen to give us a part in this transaction between himself and men as he did Daniel with the king.
Just imagine the mind of Daniel upon waking.
He went to bed with a prayer on his lips and awoke with the answer ready to be announced from his lips.
But before that announcement was given, praise and thanksgiving were offered.
Danielís understanding of the superiority of God to the "gods" of Babylon was revealed in his prayer of praise.
The gods of Babylon were ordered by the stars and seasons but the God of heaven orders the stars and the seasons and can change them at will.
The wise men had no answer for the king but the God of heaven answered the sincere prayers of his faithful children.
We learn from verse 29 that before the king experienced his dream he was musing as to what the future held and this was the catalyst for his dream.
The revelation of God to Daniel gives us Godís answer to the kingís pondering.
The revelation was: Nebuchadnezzar, you may think that you are in charge and can determine your future but in this you are dead wrong.
I imagine that Nebuchadnezzar was musing about the glories of his kingdom and the future glories that his leadership would bring.
But the gist of the dream is that the future of kingdoms is in Godís hand and is not to be determined by kings.
Danielís prayer of praise includes this statement: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings:
Nebuchadnezzar, you are given a season to be a king but only a season and you are responsible to the God of heaven for what you do in that season.
Wisdom and power belong to God.
The king was looking to men for the answer to his dream dilemma but he should have been looking to the God of Israel for wisdom.
Danielís prayer of praise after the answer came from God was a clear recognition of Godís faithfulness to his people Israel.
Here were four young Hebrew men far from Israel but still attached to the God of their fathers who requested deliverance and their request was answered.
Even in captivity God does not forget His own.
I will never leave you nor forsake you, sayeth the Lord.
Daniel 2:25-30, Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation. The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof? Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, show unto the king; But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these; As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass. But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.
It seems that every event thus far in this book that we have studied reveals to us the character of Daniel to be one of great strength.
Again we see in this passage the character of a humble man who does not put himself first nor promote himself in any way but on the contrary lifts up his Great God as the benefactor of men.
Here is an example where the typical man would take great advantage to gain benefit for himself, but this is not the case with Daniel.
But we see a hint of that in the man named Arioch the executioner, who quickly makes haste to bring Daniel to the king.
We certainly see some good things in this man but we also see a self serving individual who claims to have found a man among the captives of Judah who will solve the dream problem of the king.
It appears from his claim for finderís recognition from the king that Arioch did not know of Danielís approval from Nebuchadnezzar for a space of time to tell and interpret the dream.
Certainly Arioch ought to be given credit for trusting in Daniel for had Daniel brought foolishness to the king it no doubt, would have resulted in the executioner himself being put to death.
But the contrast between the two is great.
One is promoting himself while the other one puts himself in the background while lifting up the God of Israel.
There is no indication of Arioch receiving anything from the king but there is certainly the opposite of that for Daniel is greatly lifted up.
Again we see a clear example of God exalting the humble.
There was no hesitation on Danielís part as to whom he was going to exalt and he quickly stated that it was his God who determines and reveals the future.
He could not reveal the future and Nebuchadnezzar already knew that his wise men also could not.
Daniel did accept the fact that he was simply an instrument in the hand of God and any trust and praise from Nebuchadnezzar must go to God and not Daniel.
He retells again to the king what the wise men had already told him.
And that was: what the king requested was beyond the reach of men and also impossible for Daniel.
28But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days.
This God in heaven was not from the gods of the wise men.
Daniel made it plain that the God who reveals secrets was the God of Israel, Danielís God.
He and He alone would make known to the king the dream and its meaning.
And Daniel was also quick to credit God with all credit and take none to himself as he said in Daniel 2:30.
30But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.
Daniel wanted Nebuchadnezzar to clearly understand that the God of heaven had revealed the interpretation to him and all praise should go to God.
The only reason God had made known that revelation was so the king would know the future of his kingdom.
And that he might know the things that were to come to pass in the far distant future Ė even until the consummation of the times of the Gentiles.
What a lesson this is for us as to the humility of the true servant of God.
Daniel could have basked in the glory of this moment and won great admiration and reward to himself but he could not have been clearer as to whom should go the glory.
So after this testimony of God to the king Daniel gets to what the king had been longing for, the dream and the interpretation thereof.
Daniel 2:31-35, Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. 32This imageís head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, 33His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. 34Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. 35Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
Before the details of the dream was told Daniel informed Nebuchadnezzar that the dream concerned what should come to pass hereafter.
Prior to his dream the king mused upon his bed as to what should come to pass in his kingdom but God answered his ponderings by telling him what should come to pass not only hereafter but far into the future, in fact the totality of the future of the Gentile kingdoms.
This knowledge was wrapped up in the great image that he was given to see.