Daniel 2 Devotional
Pastor Mark Hudson
One of the themes of Daniel is God’s sovereign control over the universe. In Daniel, we find powerful kings who assume they are sovereign and no one or nothing can thwart their plans. After all, the way they see it, that is their life and their way is always THE way. This type of thinking is bound to place believers in a pickle. This type of thinking is Nebuchadnezzar’s and it put all the magicians, enchanters, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans in a pickle.
Notice Daniel’s response in chapter 2 to the King’s edict to kill all the wise men:
- Prudence and discretion characterizes Daniel’s question to Arioch in v. 14. Daniel politely asked for time. I imagine, this is not the first time Arioch and Daniel have spoken to each other. I also assume that Daniel had earned a good reputation from Arioch.
- Daniel prays for insight. He enlisted prayers from those who support Daniel and their prayers made a difference. This is one more example of Daniel recognizing his limitations and God’s limitless authority.
- Daniel praises God when he receives the vision in v. 19ff. Daniel knows he receives grace. He does not earn anything from God. Notice the same attitude in v. 27 ff when Daniel is speaking to the King.
- In his haste to tell the King his dream and interpretation, Daniel still remember to pleads for the life of the unbelieving group of wise men, astrologers, etc. He not only acts to protect his life and his countrymen but the lives of Gentile unbelievers. He also thinks of his three friends and asks for them to be elevated with him in v. 49. After all, they prayed for him to receive wisdom in vs. 17-18.
- In his conversation with the King, Daniel is direct, clear, and reminds the King at every turn where this information is coming from. See v. 27-30, 45. Daniel studiously avoids taking any credit for himself.
I remember reading what Chuck Colson said about bringing guests to the White House to see President Nixon. If the administration thought the guest might intend to confront the President, they made sure the person or people witnessed all the grandeur of the White House. Slowly the courage faded and the person humbly greeted the President, listened, and left saying, “Yes. Mr. President.” Not Daniel. He did not desire the accoutrements of the King (5:17) nor was he in awe of their power 5:22-23).
- Notice also the Daniel readily admits Nebuchadnezzar was a powerful King. Daniel calls him the “king of kings”. Daniel recognizes that this king was given “the kingdom, the power, the might, and the glory” and . . he rules over people and the natural world (37-38). In Daniel’s interpretation, Nebuchadnezzar “is the head of gold.” He faithfully relays the message and acknowledges Nebuchadnezzar’s authority.
- Yet, having said that, Daniel sees the world through the eyes of a sovereign God. Notice in v. 44ff. “. . . the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed (after telling Nebuchadnezzar that his kingdom would be vs. 34-35 – “. . . so that not a trace of them could be found”). “It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms (including this present one ) and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever . . . “
You might see in vs. 46ff that the King gave a full repentance and was converted. But keep reading the Bible (one of the best ways to interpret the Bible) and see that Nebuchadnezzar was an idolater at heart. In the next chapter, he tried to kill Daniel’s three friends for not bowing down to his idol.
Your faithful witness to the truth of the gospel may not usher in a society-changing revival. But God loves and rewards faithfulness – if not in this world, then the next. The Lord Jesus Christ loves to see you following Him in obedience whether that is at school, in retirement, making your home a pleasant place for your family, or whatever you do. I would not say be like Daniel (which is not bad advice), but have the vision of God that Daniel had and live your life in obedience to that great God like Daniel did, and Paul and Peter did. We need to remind ourselves that “we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses . . . and run with endurance the race that is set before us. . . .”