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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The King's Dream

We all know the story. King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream and didn’t remember it in the morning. He asks the impossible. Someone has to tell him what he dreamed and then interpret its meaning. Well, the wise men of the kingdom tell him it’s impossible, but he isn’t in the best humor. He announces he will kill them all!

Arioch is the king’s captain, and goes to round up all the wise men to kill them, and Daniel asks him what’s going on. Daniel asks for time, gathers his three friends who fear God, and they have a prayer meeting. Then, God gives Daniel the answer overnight. Daniel asks Arioch to arrange a meeting with the king, who introduces him: I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation (Daniel 2:25b).

King Nebuchadnezzar asks Daniel, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof? (2:26b)

What would you have answered? “But of course!” “Oh, yes, I’m your man.”

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, shew unto the king; But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be . . . . (2:27-28a) Daniel took absolutely no credit for himself. There is a God in heaven . . . . What a beautiful testimony!

Daniel didn’t deny his own goodness only once. Read the first part of verse 30: But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living. Daniel understood his total dependence on God.

So, Daniel tells King Nebuchadnezzar about the dream he had—a huge, mixed media sculpture of a man. Daniel then reveals to him the prophecy of future kingdoms and Nebuchadnezzar’s role.

Nebuchadnezzar’s response isn’t at all what we would expect. He falls on his face and begins to worship Daniel! He even commands his servants to offer an oblation to him and to start burning incense. (2:46) Can you imagine Daniel’s reaction?

Between verses 46 and 47, Daniel must have cleared up Who deserves the credit, because we read in verse 47, The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret. Now, finally, King Nebuchadnezzar gets it.

The king promotes Daniel to be “a great man.” (I think God promoted Daniel first. Don’t you?) He gives him gifts, makes him ruler of the province of Babylon—the capital city—and the chief over the governors and wise men. (I have a feeling that the Chaldean wise men were okay with Daniel’s promotion, since he was the one who saved their skins.)

Now, Daniel’s in a position to ask a favor of the king. Daniel asks him to appoint his God-fearing friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, to help him in the province of Babylon.

As in all Bible stories, this one is recorded in Scripture for our good. Here are some practical lessons from it:
  1. Always rely on God.
  2. Always give God the credit. Don’t even take partial credit.
  3. After God grants success, give Him the credit again. 
  4. If you are rewarded for what God does through you, be thankful, and do your job conscientiously. Any wealth should be managed carefully, pleasing the Lord.
  5. Surround yourself with godly people. 


  1. Very good lessons! It's hard sometimes when someone pays you a compliment to reflect the glory back to Christ (and sometimes trying to do so can sound over-pious), but Daniel provides a good example.

  2. Daniel is one of the most exemplary of the examples God gives us. I am always challenged by his consistent, godly life--all his life long.


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