Speaker: Dr Danny Wong – On Daniel

3/August/2014

 

Daniel 2:1-13 It was a time of crisis for Daniel.

Crisis can affect individuals, business, nations and the world. Churches too experience crisis.

Presently if a person is not in a crisis it is either because they have just come out of one, or there is one lurking just around the next corner or they are too young.

Some crises are more significant than others. We experience crisis with our finances and with our relationships, also spiritual crises of our spiritual identities.

And so it was in the life of Daniel. In chapter 2 we learn that his life was hanging in the balance.

Ask: What kind of a man does God use in a time of crisis?

Or in a more personal way – How can I … or what characteristics should I exemplify in a time of crisis?

We learn of Daniel’s character in chapter one – He had purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself while he was taken as a captive to Babylon – not with the kings food nor in the worship of pagan gods as we read later chapters.

Due to Israel’s failure to obey God, Judah ended up as slaves to the Babylonian king. And Daniel was among them.

However in God’s plan and purpose, He chose king Nebuchadnezzar to impart important prophetic truths on world ruling empires that would precede the coming of our Lord Jesus to rule the earth as King of kings.

So one night God gave Nebuchadnezzar a dream … but as it happened, he completely forgot the dream on waking up.

The king found this very very disturbing as back then dreams were given much importance. So great was the importance attached to dreams and their interpretations that the Babylonians had a record of ‘Dream Manuals’ in their libraries. These recorded dreams were verified and scrutinized by court magicians, sorcerers and astrologers. In short they dabbled in the occult.

Now all these court sorcerers, magicians and astrologers were summoned before the king and it was demanded of them by the king that they should not only reveal to the king his dream but also the interpretation of the dream – And failing to do so they would ALL be killed. The killing however would not stop there, their wives and children too would be killed and their houses made into dunghills!

Naturally, they protested telling the king that never before had such a command ever been issued by any king, ruler or lord!

The king was so vexed by their response and knowing well that they were all fakes anyway, ordered the immediate slaughter of all of them – inclusive of all the wise men.

Daniel and his 3 friends found themselves included in this slaughter.

To fully appreciate Daniel’s response to his death sentence, it would help if we would go back in time to hear the loud pounding on Daniel’s door accompanied by the gruff voice of the captain of the guard to open up immediately as he had orders from the king that he was to be killed (Dan 2:12-13)

: 14-15 The first thing we see is Daniel’s calm composure in the midst of absolute chaos in the nation of Babylon. In this ONE house – in that entire empire there was PEACE.

Daniel must have known something about John 14:27 and Philippians 4:6-7

Joh 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Phi 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Phi 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Arioch, the captain of the guard was on the king’s orders to kill on sight. But what he saw in Daniel as he opened the door, held him back from killing him instantly, to instead listen to him!

Daniel acting on a clean conscience before God knew in confidence that he was in the will of God whatever happened.

Had he any unconfessed sin, the first thing that would pop into his mind would be that this must be the judgment of God upon his life and he would hesitate as to what to do next … robbing him of the confidence that was to follow, that issued from a clear conscience.

And so it is with confidence in the counsel and wisdom from God that Daniel enquires from Arioch as to why did the king pass this decree to kill in such a hurry? :15

Arioch must have surprised himself that instead of killing Daniel, he was taking his time to explain to Daniel what occurred between the king and his occult counselors.

An important principle to remember here: “The man of God, living in the will of God is immortal till his work on earth is done”

On learning from Arioch the reason for this death sentence on all the wise men …

:16 Daniel heads straight to the palace to seek an audience with the king himself!

Daniel’s courage illustrates 2 Timothy 2:15, 21.

2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2Ti 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

It is this kind of courage that God can use in a time of crisis.

While thousands of others were begging for their lives to be spared … Daniel was making his way to see the king. And see the king he did – with the audacity that the king gives him time to to tell him his dream and its interpretation! :16

Next – having accomplished his mission, Daniel returned to his own home and told his 3 friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah that they should desire God’s mercy regarding the secret of the king’s dream and that they not perish along with the rest of the wise men. :17

Note:

Daniel goes to his friends first! How important it is to have the right friends in a time of crisis.

And they prayed together… They communed with God and with each other.

: 19 God answered their prayer and revealed the secret to Daniel in a dream and Daniel blessed God.

God had the right man for the job and Daniel had his prayer answered.

On this occasion because of the urgency of the situation the prayer was answered almost immediately.

Had the answer to pray been delayed, Daniel and his 3 friends would have continued in prayer.

We see in chapter 6 Daniel’s consistency in prayer.

So consistent was he in his prayer life that his enemies were confident that the only way to be rid of him was by getting the king to pass a decree forbidding prayer, knowing full well that Daniel would still pray even on the threat of being thrown into the lions’ den.

On receiving his answer to prayer:

:19-23 The first thing that Daniel did was to thank God.

Dan 2:19 Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

Dan 2:20 Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:

Dan 2:21 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:

Dan 2:22 He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what [is] in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.

Dan 2:23 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.

A lesser man would have first rushed to the king with his revelation.

But not Daniel

The Apostle Paul was of a similar nature who followed the same principle as Daniel of bearing the Lord’s Testimony.

2Co 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency [is] of God;

2Co 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

Only after thanking God does:

:24 Daniel go to Arioch to tell him not to destroy the wise men and to bring him before the king as he would show the king his dream and its interpretation.

To be noted – is Daniel’s compassion on these men who were emissaries of Satan.

In :30 is Daniel’s humility:

Dan 2:30 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.

Many a time when we find ourselves in a crisis our cry goes out – Why me? I don’t deserve this …

Pride makes up so much of our human frame that we don’t realize just how proud we are

In crisis Daniel had a calm composure to which was added humility.

 

 

 

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