Summary: Dainiel gave God the credit when he interpreted the king’s dream and as a result the king glorified God. The second in a series on integrity.
Integrity - Credit Where Credit Is Due
West Glendale Baptist Church
Pastor Don Jones
Last week we looked at Chapter 1 of Daniel and found that we were dealing with a person of integrity. Daniel, in a most stressful time, stuck to his beliefs and did what God’s Word said. He persevered in the face of adversity. The result was that Daniel remained in the service of the king.
Today we are going to look at the amazing account of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and the young man who, by God’s power, not only saved others but gave testimony to Almighty God.
Cue slide - The Predicament - v. 1-13
Daniel once again found himself in a difficult spot. He was in the king’s court, one of the "wise men" serving with integrity, faithful to the Lord and faithful to king Nebuchadnezzar. Difficulty came to Daniel, a faithful servant, just as difficulty comes to us today.
Some this morning might be under the misconception that when you accept and follow Jesus, obey Him in your life, you will coast through life. God removes all the obstacles. Life becomes easy. I do not find that in Scripture nor in my personal experience. Our Lord died on the cross. Many of His followers were martyred. Old Testament prophets killed. Even Daniel went from the frying pan into the fire. He obeyed God and again, through no fault of his own, he was facing death.
The gist of the problem confronting Daniel and his friends was the following. Essentially, the wise men had not given the king what he wanted. They failed in meeting the request of the king to interpret his dream, impossible as it was. As Daniel explains, there was no man woman or child on earth who could have given the king what he wanted. They were doomed to failure from the beginning. Daniel and his friends, being a part of the wise men, were to face the punishment of the king like all the rest. They were to be executed. Verse 12-13 says,
"This made the king so angry and furious that he ordered the execution of all the wise men of Babylon. So the decree was issued to put the wise men to death, and men were sent to look for Daniel and his friends to put them to death."
Cue slide - The Plan - v. 14-16
Daniel dealt with the situation in a godly manner. He did not get angry and take it out on the official. He did not over react. He took specific steps to resolve the situation.
The first thing he did was to ask the questions that needed to be answered. He found out from a reliable source what the problem was. Put simply, he gathered information.
Secondly, he asked for time. Daniel knew he needed time to go before God in prayer. He was confident that he would get not only the time he needed from the king but also the answer he needed from his Lord.
Too often our first reaction is our worst reaction. We react out of self pity; certainly Daniel could have done this. He was being unfairly blamed and hadn’t even been given the opportunity to defend himself. He had every "right" to act that way. Instead of reacting with anger, Daniel reacted, or rather, acted in a calm methodical manner.
We need to cultivate that calm approach to problems like Daniel. It takes time. I do not believe that Daniel was suddenly able to deal with these life threatening emergencies. I believe it was due to the lifetime of dedication to God that enabled him to deal with the current crisis in such a calm methodical way.
Cue slide - The Prayer - v. 17-23
Finally, Daniel sought God’s wisdom in solving the problem. Daniel did a most common, yet unusual thing when he heard the news of doom. Verses 17-18 says,
"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."
Look at the simple truths revealed that are common throughout God’s word.
Cue slide - Prayer over panic - v. 19
First, Daniel went to his cadre of friends and asked for their prayer support. They had been with him from the beginning, a team of prayer warriors who would stand with him no matter what was coming. Question, do you have friends like these? If not, begin to cultivate relationships of trust and caring for your prayer team.
Daniel spent the evening in a state of prayer, not panic. Most of us would have been worrying ourselves sick, perhaps even trying to escape the king. We might have been so upset about the situation that we might not have had the concentration to pray. Daniel and his friends went before the Lord in prayer and petition. As a result, the vision of God revealed the answer that Daniel needed.