The following devotional is the first in a short series focusing on Daniel 2: Nebuchadnezzar’s vision of the great statue of gold, silver, bronze, iron, and clay.
“So the decree was issue
d to put the wise men to death, and men were sent to look for Daniel and his friends to put them to death.” (Dan. 2:13) Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Babylonian empire, has just had a troubling dream. Not knowing what it means, he calls in the wise men of his empire. However, because he suspects that his wire men are not always giving him accurate information, he decides to put them to the test. He adamantly refuses to tell them his dream, insisting instead that along with telling him the dream’s interpretation, they must also tell him what he dreamed!
Naturally, the wise men could not do what the king asked of them, and when they failed, Nebuchadnezzar “ordered the execution of all the wise men of Babylon” (Dan 2:12)! Because Daniel and his three friends were counted amongst the wise men of Babylon, “men were sent to look for Daniel and his friends to put them to death.” (Dan. 2:13). Now, Daniel is faced with a huge problem!
Before we go on, I’d like for you to take a moment to reflect on how you would respond to a similar situation. Hopefully you’ve never been handed a death sentence because of the actions of someone else, but many of you have probably been charged for something that you have no control over, maybe even been punished for something that is not at all your fault. If you have, then you have a bit of an idea what Daniel was up against. I don’t know about you, but my human tendency in similar situations is to get angry at the ones causing the problem, and to complain about and cause problems for the one who is responsible for the unjust punishment. But not Daniel. He doesn’t give into any of these so-human responses. Let’s take a close look at what he does instead: First, Daniel puts a special request in asking the king to allow him time to solve the problem.
Now, would you feel comfortable doing that? Would you feel confident enough in your own abilities to be able to tell the one giving out the punishment that with a little time you could solve the problem that no one else has been able to solve? I probably wouldn’t have done it. But Daniel did. Why? Because he had faith that God would provide the answers! After his visit to the king, Daniel came home and told his three special friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah about the problem to ask for their support in prayer. Then, he turned the entire matter over into the hands of the Lord. The Bible tells us that he and his friends “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” (Dan 2:18).
And the results? God came through, of course! “During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision.” (Dan 2:19) My friends, wouldn’t it be better if we handled our own problems in a similar way? God has not changed (Heb. 13:8). He still honors the prayers asked in faith! So the next time something as big as Daniel’s problem comes our way, let’s follow his example! Let’s calmly and in all faith hand the problem over to God! Remember: “if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matt 17:20)
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Moderator, The Nugget, Scriptural Nuggets ( www.scripturalnuggets.org ), Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org
(To access the entire “The Image” mini-series, please click here.)