Monday, October 21, 2013

Daniel 2: "I Have a Dream!"

Dan 2:14-19, 24-30 When Arioch, the commander of the king's guard, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact. He asked the king's officer, "Why did the king issue such a harsh decree?" Arioch then explained the matter to Daniel. At this, Daniel went in to the king and asked for time, so that he might interpret the dream for him. Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. He urged them to 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. During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision...

Dan. 2:24-30 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 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."

For Daniel, this incident was probably one of the most challenging moments of his entire life. King Nebuchadnezzar announced one  morning, "I have a dream!" But unlike Martin Luther King, he could not remember what his dream was all about. So he asked the "wise men" of Babylon to tell him what his dream was about. The wise men unwisely told the king that what he was asking was an impossible task. They could interpret his dream only after he told them what he dreamed the night before. The wise men's reply infuriated the king and he gave order for all wise men (including Daniel and his three friends) to be executed!

What Daniel did in this crisis moment is an example for us to follow, who may face similar unreasonable demands from our bosses in the workplace.

  • Act in Wisdom (v.14 "Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact): Daniel stayed in control of the situation by finding out the facts. But he spoke to the Arioch with wisdom and tact. Unlike the other "wise men" who were tactless and spoke without wisdom, Daniel demonstrated a calm and measured response. His calmness perhaps grew out of his confidence in the almigty God he served.
  • Buy Time (v.16, "At this, Daniel went in to the king and asked for time, so that he might interpret the dream for him): Instead of saying it's impossible, Daniel asked for more time so he could seek the Lord for revelation, not only wisdom. Wisdom can only get us so far, but in some situations, we need revelation. Here is clearly a situation where we need the word of knowledge from God. 
  • Pray for Revelation (v.18, "He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery"): He sought God to make the impossible task possible. It would take more than just positive thinking to turn things around. No matter how positive our thinking, we cannot know what someone has dreamed the night before. So Daniel told the king, "No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries." (2:27). 
That is why Paul prays that Ephesian believers may be filled with the Spirit of wisdom and revelation: "I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better" (Eph 1:17). The word of wisdom and knowledge (revelation) are two of the nine gifts of the Spirit. When we walk by the Holy Spirit, we will receive wisdom and revelation for every crisis moment.

Father, thank You that You have given us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. Teach us to walk by Your Holy Spirit so that we may manifest His wisdom and revelation to handle crisis moments daily in our workplaces. Amen.

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