Daniel 1:2 ESV
Daniel 1:3-5 ESV
Daniel 1:9 (Daniel found favor with chief eunuch)
Daniel 1:17b ESV
Daniel 2:12-13 (the King didn’t understand his dreams)
Daniel 2:16 ESV
Daniel 2:44 ESV
I love reading Daniel’s story!
I think one of the things about Daniel that is fascinating is that he wasn’t actually considered to be a prophet.
He was a regular guy who was a great administrator…but he had a heart for praying and listening to God.
Because he was an ardent seeker of God and God’s ways and plans, God blessed him with great wisdom, and with dreams and visions.
In the first chapter of the book of Daniel we get a good background look at what happened in Jerusalem and how Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came to live in Babylon and work for King Nebuchadnezzer.
In Daniel 1:2 we are told that when King Nebuchadnezzer’s men came to Jerusalem in Judah, “the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God.“
We know from the history of the Hebrew people following King Saul, King David, and King Solomon that there were no really good kings in the ten tribes in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. I recently read a list of the kings in the north and the descriptions were: bad, wicked, evil, sinful, extra bad, worse, disobedient, rotten…the list went on but you get the idea.
The list of kings in the two tribes (Southern Kingdom of Israel) in Judah showed a mixture of good and bad kings. Jehoiakim King of Judah that the Lord gave into King Nebuchadnezzer’s hand in Daniel 1:2 ruled from 609 B.C. until 597 B.C. He was described as being a degenerate. He was not on the good king list.
Looking at the big picture of the book of Daniel it seems like King Nebuchadnezzer turned out to be the kind of king who listened and tried to do the right thing. Of course, that’s just my opinion on the matter.
We also learn in the first chapter of Daniel that he was a faithful man of honor. We learn from Daniel 1:3-5 when King Nebuchadnezzer chose specific men of Judah to work in the palace he ordered his men “to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family and of the nobility, youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king's palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans.
The king assigned them a daily portion of the food that the king ate, and of the wine that he drank.”
Daniel was one of those chaps who fit the description, BUT Daniel was also wise and he didn’t want to eat the rich food they were offered. He are told in Daniel 1:9 that Daniel had found favor with the chief eunuch and he asked if the four Hebrew chaps (Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) could eat only veggies and drink water instead. I think the chief eunuch thought that was crazy, but he agreed to let them try it for ten days. At the end of the testing period it turned out that Daniel and crew actually looked healthier so they were allowed to keep eating veggies and drinking only water!
It turned out that God blessed them and the four Hebrew veggie eating fellows grew in wisdom and skill and Daniel “had understanding in all visions and dreams” (Daniel 1:17b).
As it turned out, God gave that specific skill to Daniel for a very good reason.
As Daniel 2 opens King Nebuchadnezzer was having very troubling dreams. Because he didn’t understand what they meant he was losing sleep so he called in sorcerers, magicians, and pretty much anybody who claimed to know something about interpreting dreams. But the King was super smart about it…he didn’t tell them about the dream. He only asked them to tell him what the dream he had meant.
They tried really hard to get the King to tell him something about the dream but the King stood his ground. He refused to tell them anything about the dream. When they didn’t have a clue about the dream the King lost it and he was ready to get rid of the whole lot of the dream interpreters (Daniel 2:12-13).
In the meantime Daniel and his three Hebrew buddies had been praying to God (THE Jehovah God), “And Daniel went in and requested the king to appoint him a time, that he might show the interpretation to the king” (Daniel 2:16).
Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego continued to pray and then “the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night” (Daniel 2:19).
Well…Daniel did get an audience with King Nebuchadnezzer. He DID tell the King about the dream he had because God revealed the dream to Daniel. Daniel was also able to tell King Nebuchadnezzer what the dream meant (Daniel 2:36-45).
In Daniel 2:44 God revealed to Daniel, “And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever.”
King Nebuchadnezzer had a remarkable dream that really did reveal God’s ultimate plan!
As a result of Daniel’s word from God to the King a very very remarkable thing happened.
In Daniel 2:46-47 we learn, “Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and paid homage to Daniel, and commanded that an offering and incense be offered up to him. The King answered and said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.”
King Nebuchadnezzer came to know about God (THE God) that Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego served!
Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego prayed and Daniel was given the true interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. God revealed to Daniel that after all the great empires fall, there is ONE who will come who will establish a kingdom that will stand forever and ever!
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Meditate
Spend time meditating on Daniel 2:44. Write down what you experienced.
In God, Deborah