YOUTH IS FAVORED WITH WISDOM SAVING FROM PERILOUS DECREE.
(Portrait of 90 year old Daniel writing memories of when he was 16. From H.W. Armstrong, Plain Truth, 1973)
Have you ever been given an impossible assignment where the deadline meant you must get this done or it will cost you your job or sacrifice team members or your very life? What can you do to find the solution? When you know only God knows the answer, the prophet Daniel tells us the solution. At 16, he had been prepared as a Jewish youth by Torah study.
SADDLEBACK PASTOR RICK WARREN PREACHES SITUATION NOT UNCOMMON TODAY
When given a choice Sunday morning, to go to church in Alabama or California, I was shown the latter, and the online service timing went directly to live message, that is a good indication that God is leading. This made me sit up, grab my notebook, and get ready to hear from God. Even today, Humpday, I am filled up with personal help-thoughts he shared.
Generally we are familiar with the prophetic content of the book. However, I have learned the unique part is twofold. Written in two languages, Hebrew and Aramaic (Chaldean), the names are peculiar for the foreign country; but the level of sovereign royalty is something not fully appreciated — the king of Babylon was ruler of the entire known world.
The lives of all royal advisors — magicians, diviners, sorcerers, astrologers, and conjurers — were threatened if they were unable to tell the king what he dreamed. Of course they could not. The text emphasizes that a sovereign king can call for their lives on the line. They can be replaced by a more gifted and capable court — so their death as Gentiles was justified.
BUT DANIEL AND HIS COMPANIONS (NOT GENTILES) WERE INCLUDED
Somehow Daniel (‘God is judge’) got wind of their pending execution as they were being prepared to join the King’s service. (Dan. 1:19) “So they looked for Daniel and his friends to kill them.” (2:13b)
Pastor Rick said Daniel knew to do eight (8) things to learn the solution to the king’s demand. In the telling of these insightful points, he said three things that spoke to my heart. [ If God is in this pastor’s anointing, I have to share this for my weekly post. Our conscience can catch God’s personal message, so when thinking about it, our heart knows to obey willingly.]
First, 1) he didn’t panic. The next verse says Daniel was ‘cool’ when replying with ‘discretion and discernment’ to Arioch (‘Lion face’) who was captain of the executioners . . .(verse 14)
Then 2) he asked why:
“Please tell us sir, what is the reason behind this decree being so urgent? And Lion-face told him. (verse 15)
Then, without hesitation, Daniel went to see the king,
“Please, your highness, 3) appoint some time for us to research your dream and then declare the interpretation?” (verse 16)
[Helpful Note: This is the point when pastor asked, “What’s wrong in your marriage that you have been putting up with?“] (Now, this is close to meddling! But a realistic prayer concern. Thanks Lord, we need to address this.)
So Daniel went home and told his associates, Hananiah (‘God’s been gracious’); Mishael (‘Who’s like God’); and Azariah (‘God has helped’) the fix they are in. (verse 17) This is his plan: That all four of them should pray (beg) God’s compassion; for revelation of the mystery (secret) dream to prevent their execution and all the court; 4) let’s pray for mercy! (verse 18)
[Helpful Note: This is where pastor asked, “Who is on your prayer list, who is in close agreement in your faith? You need 4 or 5 trustworthy people whom you can call — or they can call you for prayer.“] (Thank’s Father, I can do this.)
5) PRAY EXPECTING
“God is able to give wisdom (supernatural help) when we ask for it, and we ask in faith:
“Any of you who lacks wisdom, must ask God, who gives to all generously and without scolding . . . But the prayer must be made with faith, and no trace of doubt . . .” (James 1:5,6a NJB) “You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (James 4:2c,3 NASV)
“Also Jeremiah (‘God establishes’) a contemporary with Daniel, [who’s not a bull frog] (laughter) tells us if you need to know something you are ignorant of, to ‘Call to me, and I will answer you and tell you great (and mighty) secrets of which you know nothing.’ (Jer.33:3 NJB)
6) WORSHIP GOD
“Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven: (verse 20-23) [biblegateway.com]
A. Praise God for who he is . . . for his Name . . . for his Character! [The name of God IS his character.]
B. Honor God for what he does. “God is light and in him is no darkness at all.” (1John 1:5)
C. Thank God for helping me, today and tomorrow. (verse 23)
7) USE WHAT GOD GIVES TO SAVE OTHERS
“God has never made a person he didn’t love.” Pastor Rick said.
“So Daniel rushed to Lion-face, ‘STOP! Take me to the king! I can tell the king his true answer!’ (verse 24)
[Future Note: Pastor Rick shared about Saddleback growth called the church peace plan to begin a witness in San Diego this week, and then witness by Christmas in San Francisco . . . to save others.] (verse 25,26)
8) POINT TO GOD (TAKE NO CREDIT)
So Daniel went in to the king. He answered first that this information is not accessible to your average wise men, conjurers, magicians, nor diviners — they miss the mark here and cannot declare this to the king. (verse 27)
Pastor said, “My most favored verse in the bible, ‘There is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries.’ (verse 28)
“And God has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar (‘Nebo’s border’) what will take place in the latter days. This was your dream and visions in your mind while on your bed.” Daniel said to explain what God showed him . . . “Your thoughts were about what would happen in the future, and He who reveals mysteries, has made known to you what will happen.” (vs 29)
“But this is for our understanding, It’s not about me — it’s about God! . . . Evangelism means Good news!
[Key to success here: The more you point people to God, the more he will increase your platform.]
The pastor summarized Daniel’s telling the dream and interpretation to the king, conversationally. It was gratifying to hear every detail that Daniel was shown, and to hear the king confirm every word. The interpretation details explained future world empires to follow: The Medo-Persian, the Greek, the Roman, and the Everlasting Kingdom. (verse 31-45)
Pastor Rick emphasized that Daniel claimed not to be a special person, as any godly man can do this, given the place he was placed into. (verse 30). But knowing the story is true, it begs the question, when were you ever in such dire straits that you had to pray all night long, to just ask God to show you how to fix some threatening situation?
(Okay, this was the bottom line for me. I can honestly confess there was only one time in my life that made me feel so threatened, but happened quickly, when I learned a medical claim was disapproved, and that really upset me. Alone, at home, I screamed, What can I do now!? And immediately I heard, What do you want to do? And that got me thinking.
That experience showed me, God is ever-present and all knowing to help us in times of need. But that didn’t take all night. This message was less teaching and more preaching. I need to be sharing this and requesting friends to be available for prayer. And, personally, my part in our marriage can use some tweaking. (Thank you Father, for your help here.)
May God bless and keep you,