Archive for September, 2017

Yesterday, we read that Daniel had been given the ability to interpret dreams and visions. Today we see it put to the ultimate test by King Nebuchadnezzar, who ruled absolutely, tolerating no insubordination; not hesitating to dispatch his opponents at the least provocation.

Despite realising that Daniel and his friends were “ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom” (1:20), it was to the old crew that Nebuchadnezzar turned when he began having dreams. The task of interpretation was tricky enough without having the threat of being cut into pieces and having their houses turned to rubble should they fail in the task. Nebuchadnezzar accuses the men of stalling for time – actually, it doesn’t read like that to me at all, though I don’t blame them if they were. It seems perfectly valid that they should be told the content of the dream before attempting to discern its meaning, but that would have been too simple! Very quickly, without having a chance to rise to the challenge, they were all executed, with Daniel and his friends about to meet the same fate since they were counted in with the wise men.

It seems interesting that Daniel did, in fact, ask for more time and was granted it, showing further illustration (as at the feast in chapter 1) that God favoured him. He turned to his friends and begged them to pray as they’d never prayed before, and God answered. In a dream-like vision of his own, Daniel received the heavenly download of all he needed to know. We don’t know whether this was the first use of Daniel’s gifting. About a year has passed since he received it, and it could be that he had tried it out, in small beginnings. Whether that was so or not, it took enormous faith to lean all his weight on what he believed God had revealed. Isn’t that the test of faith? Not only to believe we have been gifted and blessed and favoured, but to be able to trust God completely in every aspect of its use.

Without learning a single detail from the king himself, Daniel was able to describe the dream and offer the interpretation with accurate precision. No wonder the king was overwhelmed. This was beyond human ability. Only God, only God, could have done this. With the resultant dizzying promotion, Daniel’s future seems assured. But we need to read on…

 

 

 

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Lord, thank you for the gifts You have placed within me. I ask for both the faith and opportunity to be bold in using them for Your glory.

September 2017
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