August 01, 2023 | Letters from the Lead Pastor by Brandon Lenhart
27 Daniel replied, “There are no wise men, enchanters, magicians, or fortune-tellers who can reveal the king’s secret. 28 But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the future. Now I will tell you your dream and the visions you saw as you lay on your bed. Daniel 2:27-28 (NLT)
The book of Daniel in the Old Testament is written by Daniel, a Jewish male, who lived during the exile of the Jewish people under the rule and authority of the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel rose to prominence in the Babylonian Empire because of his ability to be able to interpret the disturbing dreams that Nebuchadnezzar had. On his first encounter with the king of Babylon, all of the king’s wise men, enchanters, magicians, and fortune-tellers had been unable to tell Nebuchadnezzar about a specific dream he had and what it meant. The king was so enraged with their lack of knowledge, that he ordered all of the wise men of Babylon to be put to death. Upon hearing this, Daniel appeals to the king to delay this order until he has had an opportunity to pray to his GOD (Yahweh). Nebuchadnezzar agrees and Daniel seeks not only the meaning of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream but also the very content of the dream itself.
After some time alone in prayer, GOD reveals Nebuchadnezzar’s dream to Daniel and its meaning. Upon hearing the dream and its meaning, the king celebrates Daniel, placing him in a high-ranking position among his officials, and giving him many valuable gifts. In addition, all of the lives of the wise men of the land are spared.
What is interesting about Daniel’s first encounter with Nebuchadnezzar is how Daniel promotes GOD and not himself. Daniel could have come before the king of Babylon knowing that GOD (Yahweh) could answer the meaning and significance of the king's dream, while also promoting himself as the interpreter of dreams. Daniel could have “shown off” a bit and made dream interpreting all about him, but he didn’t. Instead, Daniel makes a request to go and pray to his GOD – the Interpreter of dreams. Daniel wanted to make it very clear that he was just a man, but that GOD was the one who had the knowledge, power, and authority to speak to the meaning of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.
We live in a world and culture that is very proficient in promoting “self.” All marketing efforts and promotions focus on the individual getting what they want or desire. However, as believers in Christ, it must be different for us. We are not called to promote ourselves, our churches, or our accomplishments, but rather Jesus, salvation, and His promises. Like Daniel, we need to make more of an effort to seek GOD in prayer before we act, and we need to have faith and confidence that He will answer those prayers in His time and in His way.
Rather than allowing the things of this world to hold sway over the decisions we make, our reliance should be rooted in the purposes of GOD as understood in His Word.
Like Daniel, we too live in a world where there are many “wise men, enchanters, magicians, and fortune-tellers,” but there is only one GOD who sees all and knows all and has the answers to the questions that plague us. Our willingness to submit to Him, rather than to the whims of popular culture, is how we gain true wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Our willingness to wait upon the LORD and His answer is how we grow strong and learn to trust Him.