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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 16 No. 19    Rewarded To Serve???

 

We left off last week with Daniel receiving the answer to the prayers of he and his three friends.  We have seen the integrity, character and faithfulness to God of these four young men who exemplify the response of a godly servant of God!  We are all called to faithfulness; and the example that we find in Daniel ought to encourage each of us to righteous living and the courage to pursue godliness, and character that reflect God The Father, Jesus The Son, and The Holy Spirit before a world in desperate need of a Savior and Redeemer!  Daniel was certainly in the minority!

Let’s review not only Daniel’s prayer and his praise to The God who hears and answers prayer, but compare these, as we go. to the things that Daniel shared before the King!

Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:

18 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

19 Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel

in a night vision.

Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

20 Daniel answered and said,

Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever:

for wisdom and might

are his:

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:

22 He revealeth the deep

and secret things:

he knoweth

what is in the darkness,

and the light

dwelleth with him.

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.”   Daniel 2:18-23

Daniel and his friends made a habit of prayer, and so should we; as we said last week, prayer should be our first line of defense, not our last resort.  How’s your prayer life?  Are you developing a true and intimate relationship with The Almighty God of the universe and His Son, Jesus, or are you running your own ‘show’?  Are we willing to pursue real intimacy with God and learn to trust to His care and direction in all our ways?  Not just for ‘results’, but for the glory of our God and the increase of HIS kingdom!  Let’s consider Daniel’s behavior after he receives the answers that he and his friends asked of God.  Remember the decorum with which Daniel inspired the king to grant him the time to pray and give him the answer to his ‘dream dilemma’.  He went through the “powers” that be, and even when he received the answer he still behaved with godly decorum.

Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch,

whom the king had ordained

to destroy the wise men of Babylon:

he went and said thus unto him;

Destroy not the wise men of Babylon:

bring me in before the king,

and I will shew unto the king

the interpretation.

25 Then Arioch brought in Daniel

before the king in haste,

and said thus unto him,

I have found a man

of the captives of Judah,

that will make known

unto the king

the interpretation.

26 The king answered and said to Daniel,

whose name was Belteshazzar,

Art thou able to make known

unto me

the dream which I have seen,

and the interpretation thereof?”   Daniel 2:24-26

Here we see that Daniel honors those who have the authority over him and the decree to kill all the ‘wise’ men; instead of storming the castle with the answer, he goes through Arioch, the captain of the guard, and allows him to take some credit for finding the answer for the king.  It never hurts us to share kindness and opportunities of glory with others.  So, Daniel is brought in before the king, and is asked if he can help.  Let’s continue to look at Daniel’s response to the king (considering that he has the opportunity to take all the credit unto himself); while remembering that Daniel is a captive and openly acknowledging his GOD could be dangerous.

Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said,

The secret which the king hath demanded

cannot the wise men,

the astrologers,

the magicians,

the soothsayers,

shew unto the king;

28 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;

29 As for thee, O king,

thy thoughts came into thy mind

upon thy bed,

what should come to pass hereafter:

and he that revealeth secrets

maketh known to thee

what shall come to pass.

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.”   Daniel 2:27-30

I encourage you to rehearse Daniel’s prayer, his praise to God for the answer, and then his response to the king; consider all that you learn about this young man (and remember he is probably barely 20, if that) and his character, as well as his confidence in his God.  What is your ‘confidence quotient’ toward God?  Are you walking in the flesh or the spirit?  Paul reminded us that we are to walk in the power of The Spirit who lives within every true believer in and follower of Jesus Christ our Lord!

16 This I say then,

Walk in the Spirit,

and ye shall not fulfil

the lust of the flesh…

…. 25 If we live in the Spirit,

let us also walk in the Spirit.

26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory,

provoking one another,

envying one another.”  Galatians 5:16 & 25-26

Daniel’s character is such an encouraging standard for me, oh, that I could attain to such integrity, and dependence upon our Lord!  Let’s consider Daniel’s choices before this pagan king; he still held to and uplifted his GOD above all.  He desired no credit for himself, only that God would be glorified.  Even as Paul told us in his letter to the Galatian believers.

I am crucified with Christ:

nevertheless I live;

yet not I,

but Christ liveth in me:

and the life which I now live

in the flesh

I live by the faith of the Son of God,

who loved me,

and gave himself for me.”  Galatians 2:20

Consider Daniel’s actions:

He stated clearly

that the ‘wise men’ couldn’t do it—

(which the king already knew)

that there is a GOD in heaven who could—

who reveals secrets—

and that is revealing future things—

to Nebuchadnezzar—

and is revealing secrets to the king—

about what shall come to pass—

that the secrets weren’t revealed due to Daniel—

not for his deliverance alone, but

for the deliverance of the faithful.

 So, God could make it known to Nebuchadnezzar!

Do you see the connection between what Daniel knew as he proclaimed the character of God in his praise to God for the answered prayer, and what he shares with Nebuchadnezzar?  We can only share what we know and have come to trust in our God by experience!  The more you know HIM, the more you will come to trust HIM, and the more you trust HIM the more you will have to share.

But thanks be to God,

which giveth us the victory

through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved brethren,

be ye stedfast,

unmoveable,

always abounding

in the work of the Lord,

forasmuch as ye know

that your labour is not in vain

in the Lord.”  1 Corinthians 15:57-58

Daniel knew HIS God and that nothing done for Him, in Him or through HIM would be in vain.  While we won’t be going into the prophetic import of the dream at this time, we do want to look at the results at the end of the revelation.

Then the king Nebuchadnezzar

fell upon his face,

and worshipped Daniel,

and commanded that they should

offer an oblation

and sweet odours

unto him.

47 The king answered unto Daniel, and said,

Of a truth it is,

that your God

is a God of gods,

and a Lord of kings,

and a revealer of secrets,

seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.

48 Then the king made Daniel

a great man,

and gave him

many great gifts,

and made him ruler

over the whole province of Babylon,

and chief of the governors

over all the wise men of Babylon.

49 Then Daniel requested of the king,

 and he set

Shadrach,

Meshach,

and Abednego,

over the affairs of the province of Babylon:

but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.”   Daniel 2:46-49

What is amazing, is that this encounter between Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar brought glory to God, promotion for a faithful servant, and his friends.  And hopefully we’ll get into chapter 3 next week and focus on a different “four” friends.  May God bless you and encourage your heart and draw you near to Him and grow you in grace, faithfulness, godly character and integrity!  It is important, and it could be the difference between heaven and hell for those around you!

Amen and Amen!!!