Daniel_Interpreting_Nebuchadnezzar's_Dream

Daniel Interpreting Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream. Image source.

by Brian Shilhavy

Read Daniel Chapter 2

Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him. To you, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of you…” (Daniel 2:20-23)

In Daniel chapter 1 we read how Daniel and his friends determined to not let the Babylonian culture defile them, and how they were more concerned about pleasing their Creator and fulfilling their purpose in life by serving him, than they were in conforming to Babylonian culture. The result was that God blessed them with wisdom “ten times better” than all the other wise men serving the king of Babylon:

As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” (Daniel 1:17)

In Daniel Chapter 2 we see how that wisdom was used by God to start to shape the character of the king of Babylon, and how it saved the lives of Daniel and his three friends, and also many other lives.

God gave the king a disturbing dream, and he desperately wanted to know its meaning. So he called all his wise men to him and asked them to interpret the dream to him, without him telling them what the dream was. Their reply was:

There is not a man on earth who can meet the king’s demand, for no great and powerful king has asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or Chaldean. The thing that the king asks is difficult, and no one can show it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

So the king became angry and ordered that all the wise men should be executed, and this included Daniel and his three friends, who apparently had not been called in on this matter (maybe they were still too young?)

When Daniel found out about the matter, he asked for some time so that he could ask God to reveal the dream to him. What followed was apparently Daniel’s first meeting with the king:

Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste and said thus to him: “I have found among the exiles from Judah a man who will make known to the king the interpretation.”

The king declared to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream that I have seen and its interpretation?”

Daniel answered the king and said, “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed are these: To you, O king, as you lay in bed came thoughts of what would be after this, and he who reveals mysteries made known to you what is to be. But as for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because of any wisdom that I have more than all the living, but in order that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your mind.”

While Daniel was able to interpret the king’s dream which had been told to no one, he takes no credit for it. He clearly states that it was not a result of his wisdom, but that it had been revealed to him by God.

The king’s response:

Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.”

Then the king gave Daniel high honors and many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. Daniel made a request of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego over the affairs of the province of Babylon. But Daniel remained at the king’s court.

Wisdom that does not come from Human Knowledge

As we see illustrated here, there is a wisdom that does not come from human knowledge. It is not obtained by observation, or by using scientific methods. It is revealed by God, who is the Creator of the universe and stands outside of his creation, and therefore has much more wisdom than can be observed from within the creation.

There was no science or academic book knowledge that could have revealed the king’s dream in such a way, and saved the lives of those whom the king was angry with. This kind of wisdom is extremely valuable and powerful. It started with Daniel deciding to not defile himself with the culture around him, but to instead keep himself pure spiritually so that God’s Spirit can dwell within him.

Solomon, from whom more than likely Daniel was a descendant, also knew the value and power of this kind of wisdom, and wrote about it extensively in the book of Proverbs, particularly in chapter 8, where wisdom is personified.

If you are a member of the Kingdom of Light, you have access to this same wisdom because of your relationship with Jesus, your king. We become members of the Kingdom of Light through spiritual rebirth. We too can access the value and power of this wisdom: 

But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”– these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.

For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.(1 Corinthians 2:7-14)

We must seek out this wisdom from God, who will reveal everything to us that we need to know to live our lives successfully during our short stay here on earth, fulfilling the purpose for which he created us.

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5)

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8)

This wisdom, like the wisdom God gave to Daniel in learning the king’s dream, comes directly from God’s Spirit and not from any books – not even the Bible. Daniel was most certainly well-schooled in the Scriptures of his day, primarily the writings of Moses. But they did not contain the answer to the king’s dream interpretation. That kind of wisdom had to come through direct revelation.

The Bible contains wisdom, but only the Spirit of God can reveal it. Someone in the kingdom of darkness could memorize the entire Bible, for example, but it will not impart this kind of wisdom because it is only revealed by God’s Spirit. As a result, there are many bad interpretations of the Bible that have been made over human history that have caused great harm and suffering. This is not the fault of the Bible, but it is the fault of those who are lacking the true wisdom from God because they did not receive it through a relationship with the Spirit of God.

So if you need direction for your life today, seek out the wisdom of God! Once he reveals his personal plan for your life, act upon it. You might end up changing the world, just like Daniel did.

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. (Ephesians 1:17-19)

See Also:

Defilement: Are You Shaping the Culture, or is the Culture Shaping You?

 

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