A Troubled Soul
Loving Father, You are the strength of my life and the origin of my hope. I affirm my trust in You.
Read Daniel 2:1-23
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
In this incident, Nebuchadnezzar had the political power but Daniel had the moral authority. In this case moral authority won, but it doesn’t always happen.
All power has limits. This is a fact often denied by tyrants and yet is self-evident. A person may control the world outside but not their inner world. By day they may be all-powerful, but who is king over their dreams? To add to Nebuchadnezzar’s frustration at this chink in his armor, what happens if the nightmare of the night before remains elusively out of reach, creating vague terrors but not distinct recollection? Bluster and threat are the weapons at hand and Nebuchadnezzar is well-used to wielding them. Moreover, he knows how easy it is to use misleading words. He does not want to be taken in by his wise men’s flattering talk; he pays for results. He calls their bluff and demands the impossible. They try to reason but they have chosen the wrong man. There is no way out and they seemed doomed by their own publicity.
Except that there is one person whose skill does not lie in smooth words and clever talk. Daniel is God’s person and God is Lord of both the conscious and the unconscious mind. Daniel knows where the answer is found, though he does not presume he has a right to it. He knows God and, with his friends, casts himself on his mercy, pleading with him in prayer. What was given to the king first in a dream comes now to Daniel in a vision, together with its interpretation.
What fits Daniel to be entrusted with this knowledge is his response. Far from being filled with pride at being able to understand when no one else does, his reaction is unqualified gratitude to God and an outpouring of worship. His concern was never primarily his own skin but rather God’s glory. Thus equipped he went forth to meet the king.
How might your prayer life reflect Daniel’s prayer and praise (20–23) and his friends’ powerful intercession (17,18)?
Lord, there is so much to learn from Daniel and his friends. They had firmness of conviction, exhibited faithfulness in prayer and were fearless in courage. May I learn from their example.
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