Daniel - part 2
In the book of Daniel chapter 1, Daniel and his friends sanctified themselves before the Lord which made the Lord bless them with wisdom and skill. We are going to chapter 2, to see how the gifts of God began to manifest in Daniel.
When we talk about faith, we have to know that sometime faith is simply rewarded. When you walk with the Lord God, he will reward you. "Without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (Heb.11: 6)
In Walking with God, believe that he is, and that Jesus is God, and he will reward you. Trust in him.
Nebuchadnezzar had a dream, which troubled him, and he forgot the dream. In the morning Nebuchadnezzar called the astrologers and wise men to come and show him the dream.
He wanted them to tell him the dream that he had forgotten and to tell the interpretation. Of course no one was able to do it.
v.7: "They answered and said, let the king tell us the dream and we will tell the interpretation of it".
v.8-9: "The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because the thing is gone from me. But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can shew me the interpretation thereof."
The wise men replied the king:
v.11 "it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh".
v.12: "For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon."
That was the story. Daniel was classified as one of the wise men.
v.13: "And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain."
v.16: "Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation".
Let's stop right there. Remember the astrologers and the diviners couldn't tell the dream nor the interpretation. One thing about faith in God is that we are to confess our faith. Confess positive about what you want, before you receive it. Here is what Daniel first did. Daniel went in and desired for time that he would show the dream and the interpretation. How did he know that God would answer him? How did Daniel know that God would show him the dream, which Nebuchadnezzar saw? Because he believed in his God. He was a man of faith.
So, faith first of all, must believe that God is able to do all things. Secondly, faith must have confidence in the Lord, that when he calls, God will answer. Thirdly, faith must begin to confess that he has the answer before he receives it.
Daniel said "give me time and I will get the interpretation". He was certain God would give him.
The Lord Jesus gave us similar exhortation when he said, "whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that what he saith shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith." That is, believe that what you say shall come to pass and it shall come to pass.
Daniel demonstrated this to us in this story. He said he would get the interpretation. Have confidence in your God. Confess what you believe.
v.17 :"Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: that they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon."
v.18: Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision.
The second point Daniel showed to us from this story is that he called his prayer group together to pray about this. Therefore, you must be a man of prayer to get things happen. Faith demands prayer, interceding with God. Being able to talk to God and get answer. Daniel was a man of prayer as we see in other chapters. He said he prayed three times a day when there was not any major request. He faced Jerusalem three times a day, giving thanks to God. You need also to be a man of prayer. How often do you pray my friend? Maybe when you wake up in the morning, or perhaps when you are about to sleep. Let's do more than that. Daniel prayed three times a day, for which he was thrown into the lions' den.
In the book of psalms, king David said "seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgment." (Psa.119: 164). How often do you pray my friend? How often do you praise the Lord? This is one of the things the men of old did that gave them great reward from God.
In the book of Acts, the apostles went to the temple to pray at the hours of prayer. What they call "the hour of prayer" was the third hour, the sixth hour, or the ninth hour; that is every three hours. When Paul's team was evangelizing, it was said that they went aside to pray at the "hour of prayer". They were used to praying every three hours. (9AM,12noon,3PM etc). They also prayed consistently. We believers should take time to pray regularly, fellowshipping with the Lord.
Because Daniel and his friends prayed and believed God, God revealed the secret to Daniel.
Now after you have believed, confessed, and prayed, the answer will come. Let's now see how Daniel reacted when he received the answer.
v.20: "Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever; for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding. He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter."
Faith must thank God for what you get. It is very important that you thank God; this prepares you for the next time you come with a request.
Next Daniel went before the king to relate the dream. Let's see again some characters of Daniel we need to emulate.
Daniel went to the captain of the guard and said "bring me before the king, I have the interpretation". They brought him before the king in haste, and said to the king, we have found someone who will show the king the interpretation.
v.26: The king answered and said to the Daniel,… art thou able to make known unto me the dream, which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof?
Now I want you to listen closely to how Daniel humbled himself. Because as we talk about faith, these are all the attributes God wants you to have, to get you what you desired. God wants you to have humility before him. "Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and he shall lift you up." (James 4:10).
Daniel humbled himself to make the people and the king know that he was not somebody special, but that it was only God to be praised in the whole episode. It was the God of heaven that needed to be praised in this story here.
v.27: 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 in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed are these:
v.29: "As for thee O, king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter; and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass."
i.e what caused this dream to come to the king is that he was thinking about what will come in the future and the God of heaven made it known to him in a dream what will come in the future.
Now Daniel was going to take himself out of the equation right now.
v.30: "But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart."
i.e. God did not want those wise men to be destroyed, God also wanted Nebuchadnezzar to know the thoughts of his heart. God searcheth the hearts of men.
You can see the humility that Daniel showed in interpreting the dream. So when we have faith, our faith is to glorify God. Just like Daniel glorified God in this story, that it is the God of heaven that must be praised and not him. He pointed out that God searches the hearts and the thoughts of men. Even upon your bed, God searches your thoughts. And God can reveal what you are thinking to you, as He did to Nebuchadnezzar. God will also will judge the thoughts and the intents of the heart, therefore we must let our thoughts be pure.
In summary, confess what you want to get from God, believe that you receive it. Have confidence in your God. Christ said, "ye believe in God, believe also in me." Have confidence in the word of the Lord.
He said, "if ye abide in me and my word abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you." Have confidence in the Lord that it shall be done unto you as ye have walked in him.
Believing that you have received it and you shall have it. Also humble yourself. Confess that it is God that is doing this, and not because of your special holiness, God is good. And if God is good to you, he can be good to those people you are telling also. "The Lord is good to all and his tender mercies are over all his work". If you believe this, when you are confessing God, take yourself out of the equation. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (Jn.3:16).
When we give testimony we must remember that God is good and he wants to show his goodness to all.
From this story of Daniel, we can see how Daniel spoke so that Nebuchadnezzar would see God revealing the secret and not Daniel.
Now, let's see how Nebuchadnezzar reacted.
Even though the king fell before Daniel and asked for oblation to be offered to him, but he confessed:
v.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."
See what I mean? Like Daniel, Our life and our gifts and our testimonies must be to glorify our God. Anything short of that is not good enough. Give glory to God, after you have received your answer, and when you are testifying before men.
The heathen king, Nebuchadnezzar, confessed 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.
This is the God we worship and we are showing to you. If you are not a Christian, accept the Lord Jesus as your Lord and savior today. He is the revealer of secrets, the soon coming king of the heaven and earth.
Jesus is this God of Daniel who manifested in the flesh, and gave himself to die for you, rose again by himself and went back to heaven, and he said "wherever two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."
"God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." (1Tim.3:16).
He is everywhere now omnipresent. Accept him into your heart today and be born again.
I pray that the Lord will touch you and make you believe, and be saved. God bless you.
Bro. Julius Adewumi
Gospel Distribution Ministry