Summary: What do you do when you are faced with a difficult or impossible situation? Daniel found the answer in faith, friendships, and favour from God.
HEROES #6: DANIEL’S FAITH, FRIENDSHIPS AND FAVOUR
KEY TEXT: Daniel 11:32b.
“But the people who know their God will be strong and carry out great exploits.”
THE BIG IDEA: What do you do when you are faced with a difficult or impossible situation? Daniel found the answer in faith, friendships, and favour from God.
BACKGROUND TO THE STORY:
“Now in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; and his spirit was so troubled that his sleep left him. Then the king gave the command to call the magicians, the astrologers, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. And the king said to them, "I have had a dream, and my spirit is anxious to know the dream.” (Daniel 2:1-3).
· Remember, this is the King who brought Daniel and his friends to Babylon.
· The King had a problem, and went to a ‘worldly’ source to find help.
THE STORY: (Daniel 2:4-6,10-11).
“Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic, "O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will give the interpretation." The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, "My decision is firm: if you do not make known the dream to me, and its interpretation, you shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made an ash heap. However, if you tell the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts, rewards, and great honor. Therefore tell me the dream and its interpretation…”
· v.4 – The king seemed to be having his doubts about these so-called magicians.
· v.5 – Two options: If you can’t tell the dream: Cut to pieces, homes burned.
· v.6 – If you can tell me the dream, gifts, rewards and great honor.
· He put them to the test – if you’re real, tell me my dream, AND the interpretation!
“The Chaldeans answered the king, and said, "There is not a man on earth who can tell the king’s matter; therefore no king, lord, or ruler has ever asked such things of any magician, astrologer, or Chaldean. It is a difficult thing that the king requests, and there is no other who can tell it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.”
· v.10 – The Chaldeans whined, “It’s not fair! It’s impossible!”
· v.11 – important observation: “No human can tell the king – only ‘the gods’.”
SETTING THE STAGE:
“For this reason the king was angry and very furious, and gave a command to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. So the decree went out, and they began killing the wise men; and they sought Daniel and his companions, to kill them.” (Daniel 2:12-13).
· Daniel and his friends were in trouble! WHAT DID DANIEL DO?
DRAMATIZE: First of all, what COULD have happened?
1. Daniel could have heard about the decree and went home to be with his friends, to play one last round of Rock Band on the X-Box before they died.
2. He could have had a pity party and said, “Woe is me! Nothing we can do!”
3. He could have ran away. “Run away, run away!”
4. BUT – Daniel didn’t do any one of those things.
“Then with counsel and wisdom Daniel answered Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon; he answered and said to Arioch the king’s captain, "Why is the decree from the king so urgent?" Then Arioch made the decision known to Daniel. So Daniel went in and asked the king to give him time, that he might tell the king the interpretation. Then Daniel went to his house, and made the decision known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, that they might seek mercies from the God of heaven concerning this secret, so that Daniel and his companions might not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.” (Daniel 2:14-18).
There are three things we want to consider from this story:
1. Daniel’s FAITH: He sought mercies from the God of Heaven.
2. Daniel’s FRIENDS: He had good friends he could go to for prayer support.
3. Daniel’s FAVOUR: God gave him counsel and wisdom.
I. DANIEL’S FAITH: What do we know about Daniel’s faith?
1. Man of Integrity: “Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him.” (Daniel 6:3).
2. Man of Prayer: “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.” (Daniel 6:10).