July 4, 2011

Could Daniel have missed out on his?

I just read Daniel chapters 1-3 this morning and began to see this story in a new light. Let me give you a little recap first. Earlier Daniel purposed in his heart not to defile himself with the king’s portions of food and wine which went against his convictions. He was allowed to do this and shown favor. The important thing here is that he purposed in his heart to give God 100% regardless of the surrounding circumstances and he had to say something to the guards in order to be given permission to do this. 

Later on King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream and had the crazy idea that a wise person needed to not only tell him the interpretation of his dream, but also the dream itself. No one was able to do this so he began to murder all the wise men. Daniel was one of these wise men who would eventually be targeted. He asked why the king was killing the wise men off so urgently and then he got the low down.

Daniel requested time from the king over this matter so that he could come back and interpret the dream. Daniel was confident and basically told the king that he would provide an interpretation but that he just needed some more time. He called on his buddies Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego to pray with him concerning the matter, that God would reveal to him the king’s dream. 

Daniel believed that God was more than capable of providing the answer, although up to that point Daniel had heard absolutely nothing. At that point the only thing Daniel had was faith that God would come through and friendship with others to pray for the same. He believed that if he put himself out on a line, took a huge risk for God, that God just had to come through.

After Daniel had asked the king for time, believed God would come through, mobilized his prayer warriors, and then called upon God for the answer, “the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision (2:19).” It was when Daniel was sleeping that God gave him the answer. He presented it to the king, making sure to clarify that it was God that revealed these things to him. The king very pleased with the answer and did 2 things: “The king answered Daniel, and said, ‘Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal the secret.’ Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts; and he made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief administrator over all the wise men of Babylon. (2:47-48).

Through Daniel taking a risk to go before the king with an answer that He believed God would provide in time, he saved many wise men (himself and his friends included), brought a fresh revelation of God’s glory to the reigning king at that time, and was honored by God and the king with promotion.

I wonder how differently this story might have turned out if Daniel had never responded to the stirrings within his heart or if he hesitated. What if he never asked the king for time? What if he looked at the reality that he did not have the interpretation and let the king go on with his killing? What if Daniel showed up before the king and God had not yet spoken? What if he didn’t believe that God would come through? If he decided not respond immediately to the Lord’s leading or his own convictions, could Daniel have missed out engaging in this part of his destiny?

Let us be a people that take risks towards the things we believe God is putting in our hearts, even if those things are not yet tangible or fully revealed. Let us live and breathe and walk in our full inheritance within the heavenly kingdom He has already given us.

“And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall crush in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” 2:44