Daniel 2:1-23 (Part 2) – Are We Like My Cat, Flash, With Me When It Comes To God?

Posted: May 23, 2016 in Book of Daniel

Daniel 2:1-23 (Part 2)

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

Many times in life, we pray to God to get us out of a jam. We bargain with God that if He does x, we will be forever grateful. We also promise better behavior if God will get us out of a jam. God, if you do x, I will quit doing y. Have you ever had one of these times in your life? Before my salvation, I recognized God’s existence. I believed that He existed. After all I had grown up in a preacher’s home. However, I did not have a relationship with Him until I accepted Christ at age 39. Prior to that, God was someone I negotiated with as a last resort. When situations seemed impossible, I would cry out to Him and negotiate with Him. However, when the crisis was averted, I left God behind and went on about my business. It is kind of like when you do something for your kids that really helps them out but there is no thank you. You just have to take solace in the fact that you did something good for your child and that one day they will appreciate it even if they cannot see it now. You know that feeling as a parent. You fix their bike. They hope on and ride away to catch up with their friends and not even a thank you. You rescue them from a bad situation, and not even a thank you. It’s also like when you free an animal from a trap, you would think the animal would look up at you for a second in gratitude but most of the time they just run away and you just have to be satisfied that you did a good thing. It is like my cat, Flash. I love the little booger to death. We have been through a lot together over the past 11 years. But, cats are not the most appreciative animals in the world. With Flash, it is like I am his servant-human and he simply loves me to get what he wants and then he withdraws into his aloof cat personality. The only way that I really know that he loves me is that whenever I am outside working in the yard, he follows me from place to place at a distance. He has to be where I am at, but he won’t sit in my lap and just be a lap cat. He hates that. Today, when reading this passage again, these opposite reactions to a parent’s love, these opposite reactions to God’s reactions to our cries, and the opposite actions of my cat are what came to mind as I read of Daniel’s prayer of thanksgiving. Let’s re-read this passage that we started yesterday and focus on vv. 19-23:

 

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.

21

He changes times and seasons;

    he deposes kings and raises up others.

He gives wisdom to the wise

    and knowledge to the discerning.

22

He reveals deep and hidden things;

    he knows what lies in darkness,

    and light dwells with him.

23

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.”

 

 

After Daniel asked God to reveal Nebuchadnezzar’s dream to him, he saw a vision of the emperor’s dream. Daniel’s prayer was answered. Before rushing to Arioch with the news, Daniel took time to thank God and give Him credit for all wisdom and power. He thanked God for answering his request. These words are beautiful. He gives God praise for being God. He gives praise for the fact that God is the source of all wisdom and power. He praised God for being the Creator of all things down to the details of making the seasons change. He sees God as the ultimate authority of who reigns as kings of the earth and those who are dethroned. He sees God as the source of our intelligence and wisdom. He sees as the revealer of all things that are hidden from us (just think of this one – the reason that we know so much more about the origins of the universe now at this point in time is that God has been revealing it to us as we can handle it not because we are uncovering these things ourselves and that this is true in other areas of human endeavor as well). Then, after praising God on a broad scale, at the universal level, he then thanks this mighty God of ours on a personal level. He thanks Him for the favor that God has shown him by revealing the emperor’s dream to him. The God who is the source of the universe, who controls all things, is personable enough to grant one of his many children, Daniel, the answer to a petition in prayer. Daniel is thankful that the God who created the universe grants him his request, this one tiny man in comparison to His mighty God. Daniel is overwhelmed by the favor shown Him by God. He pours out his soul his thanksgiving to God before He does anything else. He could have just run off like a rabbit out of a trap or Flash after I have fed him. But, no, Daniel before He goes off to accomplish a great thing, he thanks God.

 

How do you and I react when God answers our prayers? Are we excited? Are we surprised? Are we relieved? When we seek God in prayer and He answers our petitions, we often dash off in our excitement and forget to give God credit for the answer. We so often do this. God answers our prayers and then we never thank Him. Let Daniel be an example to us. Let us offer praises of thanksgiving to our Lord. He is a personable and loving God who does truly care about you and me. Even though He is great and mighty and does not have to grant us our prayers and petitions. Even though He is the Creator of all things and we are miniscule in comparison to him, He is not some remote god whom we cannot know personally. He is mighty and all knowing but He hears us and He loves us each individually and cares about what we cry out to Him about. Let us offer praises of thanksgiving to a mighty God when He answers our prayers. Let us match how fervently and persistently we pray for an answer with praise and thanksgiving when the answer to the prayers come. Let us give honor and glory to the Maker of all Things. Let us give honor and glory to Granter of all Wisdom and Knowledge. Let us give honor and Glory to installer and deposer of kings. Let us give honor and glory to the Creator. Let us give honor and glory to God! Glory to God! Glory to God in the highest mountains and the lowest valleys! Glory to God forever! Glory to God! Thank you for hearing our prayers. Thank you for your answers. Thank you for though you are mighty you love me, little ol’ me and you hear my cries. Thank you, Lord. Thank you!

 

Amen and Amen.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s