In this second chapter of Daniel, we’ll see Daniel and his friends scheduled to be executed for the first of two death sentences in the book of Daniel. (The other two occasions being by a fiery furnace in ch. 3 for Daniel’s friends and by lions in their den for Daniel in ch. 6.) Over and over again in the Bible, we see God show how much He cares for His people when they are persecuted or going through trials.
We see God pull Joseph out of jail and elevate him to rule all of Egypt in Genesis. We see God care for and rescue the Hebrews that were persecuted in Exodus. We also see the Lord Jesus being born on earth at a time when the Hebrews had been looking for a Savior from the Roman government, we see Him heal the sick, and we see Him executed for our sins.
Time after time in the Bible God shows that His heart is to care for us, to love us, to rescue us, and to bring us into fellowship with Him.
Remember that in Chapter 1 of Daniel, Daniel and his friends were taken back to Babylon when Jerusalem was captured by King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel and his friends were given new names, a new diet, and a new education as part of their incorporation and indoctrination in Babylonian culture. But they refused to accept Babylonian ways that would violate the law given to them by God – particularly in the area of their diet. God rewards them by making them healthier and smarter than the other kids.
As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. ~ Daniel 1:17
God is so amazing in his care for us, but what happens next in Daniel 2 is even more incredible.
In the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his spirit was troubled, and his sleep left him.
Then the king commanded that the magicians, the enchanters, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans be summoned to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king.
And the king said to them, “I had a dream, and my spirit is troubled to know the dream.”
Then the Chaldeans said to the king in Aramaic, “O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.”
The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, “The word from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you shall be torn limb from limb, and your houses shall be laid in ruins.
But if you show the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. Therefore show me the dream and its interpretation.”
They answered a second time and said, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show its interpretation.”
The king answered and said, “I know with certainty that you are trying to gain time, because you see that the word from me is firm – if you do not make the dream known to me, there is but one sentence for you. You have agreed to speak lying and corrupt words before me till the times change. Therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can show me its interpretation.”
The Chaldeans answered the king and said, “There is not a man on earth who can meet the king’s demand, for no great and powerful king has asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or Chaldean.
The thing that the king asks is difficult, and no one can show it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.” ~ Daniel 2:1-11
King Nebuchadnezzar has a dream that is incredibly vivid and seems so meaningful that he wakes up and remembers it clearly. He seems to know that it has incredible and profound meaning. He’s aching to hear what it means but he has no one to tell him. Have you ever had a dream that seemed to be filled with meaning for you and you woke up knowing you had to take action or do something? It sure has to me.
I still remember one particular dream from about 15 or 20 years ago. In my dream I was watching this young wayward lady as she was stealing from a convenience store. I was filled with pain as I begged her not to do this life-changing thing. I told her all about how much Jesus loves her and wants to help her with her problems, and that stealing wasn’t going to bring any solutions. I don’t remember any sense that she listened to what I was saying, but I do remember waking up and knowing in my heart that I needed to tell more people about Jesus. I have the solution – Jesus – that I can offer to others. And I don’t offer it enough.
I’ve heard it compared to seeing a friend that has fallen down into a deep well with no means of escape. I am at the top and have a long rope. I have the solution in my hands – why wouldn’t I offer to drop them the rope? Then again, sometimes we do offer the rope (the solution that is Jesus Christ to save their life) to the person in the well and they refuse to take it! The answer is right there, all they need to do is receive Jesus. God leaves it up to each individual to make the choice.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. ~ John 3:16-17
The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.
~ Mark 1:15
The King’s Demands and Commands
Because of this the king was angry and very furious, and commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be destroyed.
So the decree went out, and the wise men were about to be killed; and they sought Daniel and his companions, to kill them.
Then Daniel replied with prudence and discretion to Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon.
He declared to Arioch, the king’s captain, “Why is the decree of the king so urgent?” Then Arioch made the matter known to Daniel.
And Daniel went in and requested the king to appoint him a time, that he might show the interpretation to the king.
Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions,
and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
~ Daniel 2:12-18
Daniel has such a strong faith! Of course, we don’t know what Daniel’s faith was like before Daniel 1, but we do know that God answered their prayers in Chapter 1 and provided a miraculous solution. God uses each miracle in our lives to produce and strengthen our faith.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. ~ James 1:3
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. ~ Romans 5:1-4
God showed Himself faithful in Daniel’s previous trial on the issue of his diet. As God provided for Daniel and his friends, God strengthened their faith. He does the same thing in us! I have seen God provide for me in so many ways, and every time it happens my faith grows stronger.
Have you been working on a problem or issue where the solution simply seems to elude you? We’ve all done it. King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream and no man could tell him the interpretation. He was ready to kill every one of his advisors in Babylon unless they could find a solution. It was almighty God, who sits on the throne above, who revealed it’s truths. I love Daniel’s prayer of thanks!
Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might.
He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding;
he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.
To you, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of you, for you have made known to us the king’s matter.”
~ Daniel 2:19-23
What a beautiful prayer and so true! Now Daniel approaches the king and the king asks Daniel a loaded question: “Can you do it?”
Therefore Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He went and said thus to him: “Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon; bring me in before the king, and I will show the king the interpretation.”
Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste and said thus to him: “I have found among the exiles from Judah a man who will make known to the king the interpretation.”
The king declared to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream that I have seen and its interpretation?”
~ Daniel 2:24-26
In preparation for his reply to the king, Daniel offers this preface:
Daniel answered the king and said, “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed are these:
To you, O king, as you lay in bed came thoughts of what would be after this, and he who reveals mysteries made known to you what is to be.
But as for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because of any wisdom that I have more than all the living, but in order that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your mind.”
~ Daniel 2:27-30
Could it be any more clear to us that we don’t have the answers? It is God, and God alone, who provides the wisdom and understanding in all things. That problem you have? Seek God’s heart and look to Him, He will show you what to do in His time. God didn’t provide the solution to Daniel until he and all the other counselors were appointed to be killed.
And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. ~ Jeremiah 29:13
Yes, I know it sounds simpler than it is. But we serve a great God who cares and has absolutely perfect timing.
Daniel now relates to the king the entire dream and it’s interpretation. In doing so, Daniel is showing the king just how awesome our God is! The other ‘wise men’ were right on when they said “there is not a man on earth who can meet the king’s demand”. It’s impossible for a man to read another man’s mind! But with God, all things are possible!
But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” ~ Matthew 19:26
For nothing will be impossible with God. ~ Luke 1:37
Did you hear that? Nothing is impossible for God. Nothing. Does that mean God will do everything you ask? No. It means He can. His will is not our will. He has a plan for each of us and He will continue to work His plan in my life and in your life.
The Dream and The Interpretation
“You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening.
The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze,
its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.
As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.
Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
This was the dream. Now we will tell the king its interpretation.
You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory,
and into whose hand he has given, wherever they dwell, the children of man, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the heavens, making you rule over them all—you are the head of gold.
Another kingdom inferior to you shall arise after you, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth.
And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things. And like iron that crushes, it shall break and crush all these.
And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the soft clay.
And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle.
As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay.
And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever,
just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.”
~ Daniel 2:31-45
Daniel shows the king just how awesome and powerful God is, and Daniel gives God all the glory. In Daniel we see an example for us: we should also be pointing to God and giving Him glory for anything and everything good in our lives. He does it all, He has given us everything we have, He has put each of us in the place where He wants us, and He wants us to honor Him with what we do and what we say.
Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and paid homage to Daniel, and commanded that an offering and incense be offered up to him.
The king answered and said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.”
Then the king gave Daniel high honors and many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon.
Daniel made a request of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego over the affairs of the province of Babylon. But Daniel remained at the king’s court.
~ Daniel 2:46-49
God has called each of us to accept the free gift of Jesus Christ and salvation in Him and to live for Him and give Him glory. Its so easy! It’s just like grabbing onto that rope.
How to Know Jesus
The Billy Graham Library</em>
In four brief steps, you can come to an understanding of how to find eternal life.