Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Nebuchadnezzar's Dream - Daniel 2

Daniel 2:1 "And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him." See the last chapter of II Chronicles for a time prospective.

The problem with this dream is that the king does not remember it, only that it was very troubling. The king wants someone to tell him the dream and what it means. Of course, it is an impossible task for mere humans. Yet, the king demanded that his wise men tell him the dream and the meaning or he is going to put them all to death. That would have included Daniel.

v2 Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to show the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king."

I suppose these people had it pretty good so long as they could make up a convincing meaning for the king's dreams. But they are on the spot now, they have no way to fake this one. So they tell the king that he is asking something that no other king would ask of anyone. Well, Nebuchadnezzar is not just another king. He is the big boss and tells them that they will not have time to make up something.

v9 "But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you; for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed, therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can show me the interpretation thereof."

We find that they failed the test that the king put forth and so the decree went out to kill the lot of them. Daniel heard the news and asked to see the king.

v16 "Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would show the king the interpretation."

It would appear that Daniel has put himself on the spot but we must remember that Daniel is a man of faith and the first thing he did was gather his praying friends together to help him seek the Lord's help.

v18 "That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon."

We now know that Daniel did get help and that the dream was revealed to him. He did not go immediately off to tell the king but rather stayed long enough to give the Lord thanks.

v20 "Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God forever and ever; for wisdom and might are his;"

Daniel did not take credit for the wisdom he received but rather remembered where his help came from.

Daniel told the king that the wise men could not reveal the dream but

v28 "But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these:

Friday, October 22, 2010

King's Meat Daniel 1

Daniel 1:8 "But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself."

I don't think it was that they could not have had better food from the market but rather that the meat and drink from the king's table was eaten in the name of their false gods and that is what Daniel objected to. He did not want to eat in the name of the false gods.

The key to this verse in that Daniel "purposed in his heart" . He had his mind made up before he had to confront the decision. But, he still had an attitude of humility with his keepers.

We should note strongly that the Lord had prepared the way for Daniel.

v9 "Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs."

Still the prince of the eunuchs was reluctant to agree with Daniel's request. Upon reading closely we discover that there was another eunuch put over Daniel by the name of Melzar. He did give Daniel and his three friends three days to prove themselves.

v12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days, and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink."

(pulse is vegetable type food, in some cases it talks of peas and such but here probably vegetables in general)

So after ten days Daniel and his friends were examined and found to look better than those who ate the king's meat.

v15 "And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat."

Again the Lord prepared their way and gave them the wisdom they would need to give meaning to the dreams of the king later.

v17 "As for these four children God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom, and Daniel and understanding in all visions and dreams."

It was finally time for the children to appear before the king where he talked with them. These four passed with flying colors. It says that Daniel continued until the first year of King Cyrus. It is now the second year of Nebuchadnezzar."