Needing a revelation from God
READ Daniel 2
The court advisers and astrologers may have found Nebuchadnezzar’s request unreasonable (10), but perhaps he expresses something quite common to humankind. People have burning questions and concerns to which they desperately desire answers or explanations, but they have grown suspicious of the responses they get from well-meaning family members, friends, counselors or peddlers of various self-help methods or religions. These ‘answers’ may seem more calculated to protect the person’s feelings or to serve the interest of the advisor. People have an ‘answer’ for everything. Nebuchadnezzar stands for all those both outside and inside the community of faith who need a trustworthy answer to some pressing concern.
Daniel, of course, also needs an answer – in order to save his life and the lies of his friends! Through fervent prayer he seeks – and finds – God’s answer to both Nebuchadnezzar’s and his own need (18-23). Paul speaks of a ‘message of knowledge’ and ‘message of wisdom’ among the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:8; 14:24,25), and Daniel shows us how such a gift may work to bring relief and direction to one in need (3) as well as bring that person to a deeper reverence for God (47). Out of compassion (never self-aggrandizement), we too may seek to exercise this ministry, and listen not only for God’s answers but also for the deep concerns of our neighbors, and so become channels through which God may speak a much needed word.
It is worth nothing that, had Daniel not accepted the risk involved in honoring his relationship with God in chapter 1, he would have been executed in chapter 2.
PRAY Thank God that He reveals to us His wisdom which set us free from the tyranny of magic, superstition or astrology. Bring to Him any special situation where you need His guidance today.