“The Gospel According to Daniel”
Lesson 2 – Proximity to the Divine
An elusive dream. An impossible request. A death decree. These phrases could be components in a drama in a play or a movie, yet in the case of Daniel, they were a part of the next trial he faced in his life of exile in Babylon.
Let’s turn to Daniel 2:1-28 and read together.
King Nebuchadnezzar had a recurring dream that he could not seem to remember, but felt that it was of great importance. This dream seems to be a great paradox. How can Nebuchadnezzar perceive the importance of a dream if he forgot its contents? Perhaps the dream was so psychologically overwhelming that Nebuchadnezzar repressed the dream because he was afraid of what the dream told.
While this may be true, Nebuchadnezzar’s forgetfulness of this dream may have an even greater supernatural significance. In Babylonian lore, the forgetting of one’s dream may indicate that the dream had a divine origin (verses 10-11). What if God caused Nebuchadnezzar to be unable to remember his dream?
When Nebuchadnezzar asked his wise men to tell him the contents of his dream and his interpretation, he was making his apparent amnesia an objective standard to determine the truth. We have learned from previous lessons that truth is specific, unique, and exclusive. Nebuchadnezzar was seeking truth, not the opinions or conjectures of men.
When the magicians, astrologers, sorcerers, and Chaldeans could not divulge the contents of the dream and its interpretation to Nebuchadnezzar, he responded in rage by ordering the execution of all the wise men.
Note that when Daniel and his friends were sought out to be executed with the rest of the wise men, he answered tactfully (verses 14-15). Just as in chapter 1 with the steward, Daniel had a good relationship with Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard. Daniel was able to talk to Arioch then go to Nebuchadnezzar to ask for some time to fulfill the king’s request.
Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah prayed together and asked God for help (verses 17-18). God answered their prayers by giving Daniel a night vision (verse 19).
How were Daniel and his friends able to succeed where the wise men of Babylon failed? The difference is a relationship with Jesus. The wise men acknowledged the existence of gods, but believed the gods to be far removed from the affairs of men (verse 11). Yet for Daniel and his friends, God was only a prayer away (Matthew 18:20).
Daniel and his friends not only have a relationship to Jesus, they were obedient to Him (John 9:31). We have seen that they loved and honored God through their actions in Daniel chapter 1 (John 14:15).
Daniel could have used this opportunity to advance himself and his friends in the eyes of Nebuchadnezzar, yet he did not. Daniel asked Nebuchadnezzar to spare the wise men of Babylon – men who looked down upon Daniel and his fellow exiles and men who would not have done the same for Daniel and his friends. Daniel took no glory for himself in telling Nebuchadnezzar his dream and its interpretation, but gave all glory to God (verses 20-23, 27-28).
Friend, Jesus in His time on earth, kept a close relationship with God the Father. He prayed constantly to keep that relationship strong. He was obedient all the way to the cross. In all things Jesus gave glory to God the Father.
Daniel 2:1-28 reminds us of our need to be in relationship with God. Will you keep a close relationship with Jesus through prayer and obedience and give all glory to Him?