Daniel Interprets the King's Dream - Part One

Last week we talked about Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’s education in Nebuchadnezzar’s palace. The Babylonians were famous for their wisdom, but their truth was mixed with wild superstitions. For example, they knew a lot about the heavens but thought the stars and planets showed what would happen in people’s lives. They experimented with herbs for medicine (and even operated on people) yet chanted mysterious sounds over sick people to drive out evil spirits. They knew a lot about animals, at the same time claiming to “read” organs such as pigs’ livers to learn the will of the gods. They also offered weird sacrifices to their idols and tried to interpret dreams. Imagine these foolish pagans trying to brainwash the fine teenagers from Judah with their nonsense!

Of course, Daniel and his three friends never lost their faith in the true God. Nebuchadnezzar thought they were becoming “wise men” like his Chaldeans, magicians, sorcerers, and astrologers, but he later learned he was wrong.

One night Nebuchadnezzar had an alarming dream, a dream that troubled him so much he woke up and could not go back to sleep. Calling his wise men to him, he threatened to kill them if they did not tell him his dream and what it meant. Of course the wise men did not know what the king had dreamed! “O king, live forever!” they said. “Tell your servants the dream and we will give you the interpretation!” But the king did not tell them the dream.

Instead he said, “If you do not make known the dream to me, and its interpretation, then you shall be cut in pieces and your houses made an ash heap. However, if you tell the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts, rewards and great honor.”

The wise men begged the king to first tell them his dream, then let them interpret it. But Nebuchadnezzar would not, accusing them of stalling for more time. (We do not know whether he had forgotten the dream or not. He may have forgotten it and was depending on their so called “wisdom” to recall it for him. On the other hand, perhaps he had NOT forgotten it and was testing their claims to know secret things. If they could tell his dream correctly, then he probably thought he could depend on their interpretation to be true.)

The frantic wise men protested the king was asking for something impossible, saying, “There is not a man on earth who can tell the king’s matter. Therefore, no king, lord, or ruler has ever asked such a thing of any magician…” This made the king furious and he gave orders to have them all destroyed. So Arioch, captain of the guard, instructed his soldiers to begin killing the wise men.

Soon they were looking for Daniel and his friends to kill them, too. But Daniel had trusted God in this strange land and God would help him now. After asking the king for more time, he went home to pray with his three friends for the Lord’s help.

God showed Daniel the secret of the dream in a night vision. How thankful Daniel was! Gratefully, the brave young man blessed the Lord for His wonderful wisdom and power. “I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers; You have given me wisdom and might and now have made known to me what was asked of you, for You have made known to us the king’s demand,” he prayed.

Then he went to Arioch and said, “Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon. Take me before the king, and I will tell the king the interpretation.”

X-tra Information - - Archaeologists have found a Babylonian astrologer’s tablet with the following written on it:  “Last night Saturn drew near to the moon.  Saturn is the star of the sun.  This is the interpretation: it is lucky for the king.  The sun is the king’s star.”

Talking it Over:

1. Knowing about the false religion of the Babylonians shows us how far people get away from God when they do not trust in His word. Talk about people who use horoscopes today and those who claim to drive out evil spirits. You can probably see a horoscope in your newspaper.
2. Talk about how so called “wise” scientists today try to brainwash people with their ideas about our world.
3. Talk about Daniel taking his problems to the Lord. What can we learn from that?

Memory Verse:
“He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with Him.” Dan 2:22
What do we mean when we say only God is Omni-scient?

Credits
Text by Betty Belue Haynes, originally published in Bible Talk Times. Used here with the kind permission of the author. Users are free to reproduce for use, but not for publication.