When Daniel heard about the sudden decree from Nebuchadnezzar concerning the planned execution of the king’s ‘wise men’ for their failure to interpret his dream, his reaction was swift and decisive and provides a great example for us all. Daniel’s request of Nebuchadnezzar to give him time to provide the interpretation (Daniel 2:16) is not to be seen as a stalling tactic, but an expression of the confidence Daniel had in how he would get the interpretation: through prayer to God.
But Daniel wasn’t by himself; he enlisted the help and support of friends who shared his faith in God and in his willingness to answer prayer. It’s a great encouragement for us to also make a close group of friends with whom we can pray together. This has value not just in times of crisis, but also as an ongoing exercise of fellowship and accountability. Prayer should also always be our first resort, not the last!
Whatever insight, advice or wisdom we may be able to bring to bear on circumstances in our own lives or the lives of those around us, it’s important for us to appreciate that God is the source of that insight and to give him the glory accordingly
Even though Daniel clearly had confidence in receiving the answer they needed from God, he was still amazed and delighted at it, as his prayer of thanks in Daniel 2:20-23 demonstrates. We may often be quick to go to the Lord in prayer about various issues that arise (rightly so)! But are we as quick to delight in giving God praise and thanks when the answer comes – even if it actually might not be the one we were looking for?
Although Daniel was considered a wise man among his peers, he knew that whatever discernment and intellect he had came from God, the source of all true wisdom. Whatever insight, advice or wisdom we may be able to bring to bear on circumstances in our own lives or the lives of those around us, it’s important for us to appreciate that God is the source of that insight and to give him the glory accordingly. And let’s be open about that to others as well, when they may comment on the helpfulness of our advice, to make the point to them that we believe the Lord influences and guides our consideration of such things, through our prayers.
Daniel could easily have taken the credit before the king for the interpretation of his dream and just enjoyed all the rewards that went with it. Instead, he honoured God and gave him glory. Let us also make sure that the credit is given to whom the credit is due!
Read Daniel 2:20-23, 27-30
Craig Jones, The Church of God in Toronto