Daniel 2:1-23 (Part 1) – Similarities of Babylonian Magicians to Today’s Age of Tolerance

Posted: May 22, 2016 in 27-Daniel

Daniel 2:1-23 (Part 1)

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

It is common today to hear all kinds of twisted beliefs about God in today’s world. It is as if we have fashioned our own gods. People today have fashioned only a god who is all loving and all forgiving. The god that we have created for ourselves today is one who is tolerant of all behavior. He is a god who accepts all things as good. There is not judgment is this god. It is a god that ignores anything that he has said about judgement in the past. He accepts the things that he has called sin in the past and considers it OK now. He wants us to be happy and self-actualized. He does not want us to have sadness or suffering of any kind. He wants us to pursue what we think is best for ourselves. This god wants us to pursue what makes us happy and that our happiness trumps any statements about sin he may have said in the past. If you are not happy, it trumps marriage. If you are not happy, it trumps integrity. If you are not happy, it trumps moral absolutes. If you are not happy, it trumps your gender. If you are not happy, it trumps all that this god may have said before. He just wants us to be happy. In the process, we become our own gods and we determine what is right and wrong and we call it god. Today’s conception of a wishy washy and wimpy god who allows his kids to do whatever they want and call it good is not too unlike the sometimes opposite world in which we have lived through the centuries where man has used the name of God to do many dastardly deeds of oppression, slavery, mass murder, and so on. Today’s tolerance of all behaviors in the name of an all-tolerant god is no better than using the name of God to gain power over people to meet our own political desires. In the end, though, we will find that we have believed in a false religion. It will be exposed by God, the real God. The one who is righteous, pure, and perfect. False religions of our own making will be exposed in comparison to one true God, the Creator, the Maker of All Things, and the Judge of all Things.


When you think of the age of tolerance in which we live and the values of anything goes that is prevalent today, it has taken on the level of a man-made religion. There are tenets of this religion that you cannot violate. You cannot speak up about anything that is favored by the age of tolerance. If you stand against anything goes, do what you feel, you are vilified and crucified in the court of public opinion. Those who stand against the opinion that our feelings of who are from a gender standpoint are more important than the biological facts are castigated publicly. Those who stand against any of tenets of the age of tolerance religion are homophobes, are backwards, are religious bigots, and are simply out of touch with this new age and the religion of tolerance. It is amazing how intolerant the age of tolerance can be. That is what has made it a religion. The age of tolerance is a religion that does not tolerate those who do not believe that anything goes and that there is a God who defines sin and that His Word is ageless and timeless and never changes.


The idea of today’s age of tolerance where we have become our own gods and where we define that which is right and which is wrong and not God is what came to mind when you think of the false religion of the Babylonian wise men and magicians and how the falseness of their religion was exposed through Nebuchadnezzar’s impossible demand. Let’s read what happens here:


2 In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his mind was troubled and he could not sleep. 2 So the king summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers[a] to tell him what he had dreamed. When they came in and stood before the king, 3 he said to them, “I have had a dream that troubles me and I want to know what it means.[b]”


4 Then the astrologers answered the king,[c] “May the king live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will interpret it.”


5 The king replied to the astrologers, “This is what I have firmly decided: If you do not tell me what my dream was and interpret it, I will have you cut into pieces and your houses turned into piles of rubble. 6 But if you tell me the dream and explain it, you will receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. So tell me the dream and interpret it for me.”


7 Once more they replied, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will interpret it.”


8 Then the king answered, “I am certain that you are trying to gain time, because you realize that this is what I have firmly decided: 9 If you do not tell me the dream, there is only one penalty for you. You have conspired to tell me misleading and wicked things, hoping the situation will change. So then, tell me the dream, and I will know that you can interpret it for me.”


10 The astrologers answered the king, “There is no one on earth who can do what the king asks! No king, however great and mighty, has ever asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or astrologer. 11 What the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among humans.”


12 This made the king so angry and furious that he ordered the execution of all the wise men of Babylon. 13 So the decree was issued to put the wise men to death, and men were sent to look for Daniel and his friends to put them to death.


14 When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact. 15 He asked the king’s officer, “Why did the king issue such a harsh decree?” Arioch then explained the matter to Daniel. 16 At this, Daniel went in to the king and asked for time, so that he might interpret the dream for him.


17 Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 18 He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven 20 and said:


“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;

    wisdom and power are his.


He changes times and seasons;

    he deposes kings and raises up others.

He gives wisdom to the wise

    and knowledge to the discerning.


He reveals deep and hidden things;

    he knows what lies in darkness,

    and light dwells with him.


I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors:

    You have given me wisdom and power,

you have made known to me what we asked of you,

    you have made known to us the dream of the king.”



By answering that “the gods do not live here among the people”, they admitted that could not tell Nebuchadnezzar what he had dreamed. They admitted the limitations of their so-called “powers”. It was not unusual for these type of courtiers in any king’s palace to use the respect given them as holy men to gain political power and to use their position to influence the king to their advantage. By answering the way they did, they admitted that theirs was a false religion. Theirs was a hollow, self-serving religion. It was a religion of convenience. They believed in their gods, but that belief resulted in no difference in how they lived. They simply used their god system to further the way that they wanted to live and to gain the power that they desired.


Isn’t that not the world in which we find ourselves today? Many people profess to believe in some conception of God, but it is a hollow belief. In essence, they are practical atheists because they do not listen to Him or do what His word says. We fashion God into what we want Him to be. We leave out the parts of the Bible that are not in agreement with our lifestyle, but we still believe in God. We believe that God will tolerate our behaviors because He wants us to be happy above all else. He no longer holds us to the moral absolutes that He set forth in His Word. He looks the other way while we continue to unrepentantly practice our pet sins. God, you used to be against this but now in the 21st century, you are OK with it, right? Cause this makes me happy! Is that the God you and I believe in? If that is the God that you believe in, then, you have eliminated the need for Jesus Christ to die for our sins. No wonder Jesus is seen as just another philosopher now and that now all roads lead to heaven. It is because we have made God into this vacillating, anything goes as long as I am happy god. If there is never anything wrong, if there is nothing that is truly sinful on a permanent basis, if there is no judgment, then there is no need for Jesus Christ to be our Savior. He is just another guy. We don’t need Him for anything other than philosophical advice whenever we need it.


This belief system will be exposed at our judgment day. We will learn that that we believe in a false brand of God. We believed in a god of our own making and not the one true God who gave us guidelines for living in His Word. We will find that it is not about doing more good than bad and that we were permanently tainted by our first sin and we were further condemned by the lifetime of sins that we commit. We will find out that there are moral absolutes. We will find out that we needed intervention from the perfect and sinless Jesus Christ. All that we had to do was be humble enough to believe that we are sinful and that Jesus died in our place so that we might have eternal life. We will learn that it when we are saved that we find that His Word and our obedience to it comes not from being a robot but rather out of the outpouring of thanksgiving for our salvation.


Our judgment day is coming when all our sins are exposed, all our false beliefs are exposed, where will you stand? Do not follow the blind religions of man but have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Alternative – believe in your false gods of tolerance and make me happy religions and spend eternity separated from the pure, holy and perfect God. Amen and Amen.

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