“When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, came to kill them, Daniel handled the situation with wisdom and discretion. He asked Arioch, “Why has the king issued such a harsh decree?” So Arioch told him all that had happened. Daniel went at once to see the king and requested more time to tell the king what the dream meant.” – Daniel 2: 14-16.
The book of Daniel is designed to help the people of God living in a world that’s in opposition to them. The book of Daniel talks about perseverance. It gives us an example of living in a culture that is different from our own, a culture that holds values radically different from our own. Daniel is also a book about dreams.
In chapter 2 Nebuchadnezzar had puzzling dreams that awakened him from his sleep (Daniel 2:1). At least one of them was so disturbing that the king called for his advisers to tell him his dream and to interpret it. If they didn’t do so, the king told them that they would be killed (verses 2-5). The king’s wise men—his magicians, astrologers and sorcerers—simply had no idea of the dream or its meaning. They told the king, “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” (verse 11). In anger, the king gave the command to begin killing his wise men—including Daniel and his three friends, known by the Babylonian names Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego.
Nebuchadnezzar is a man who is restless and has no peace, Daniel is a man who is confident because he has found peace. Daniel is not self-confident. Daniel is confident in God. For in verses 14 through 30, we see the example of a grace-transformed life in the person of Daniel. It is amazing the calm with which he receives the news of his death sentence. The king has ordered that all the wise men be killed. What is the urgency with this command? Daniel seems in complete control throughout and he manifests the confidence of a heart that knows the peace of God.
Notice also the contrast between Daniel and the wise men. Daniel has a place to go for solutions to what seems an impossible problem. The wise men and the magicians of Nebuchadnezzarhave no place to go for their answer. They could not find their answer within. But Daniel has the Lord God of heaven and so do we.
Daniel demonstrates the confidence of a heart that knows the peace of God. In facing the impossible, even the improbable, do you have that kind of confidence? Do you have that kind of peace with God?
- How would you have dealt with Nebuchadnezzar’s unreasonable demand? What can we learn from Daniel’s approach?
- What important message can we take away from this story?