Friday, March 18, 2011

Praise the Name of God Forever and Ever

Dan. 2:19-28 NLT

19 That night the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven. 20 He said, “Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he has all wisdom and power. 21 He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars. 22 He reveals deep and mysterious things and knows what lies hidden in darkness, though he is surrounded by light. 23 I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors, for you have given me wisdom and strength. You have told me what we asked of you and revealed to us what the king demanded.”

24 Then Daniel went in to see Arioch, whom the king had ordered to execute the wise men of Babylon. Daniel said to him, “Don’t kill the wise men. Take me to the king, and I will tell him the meaning of his dream.”
25 Arioch quickly took Daniel to the king and said, “I have found one of the captives from Judah who will tell the king the meaning of his dream!”
26 The king said to Daniel (also known as Belteshazzar), “Is this true? Can you tell me what my dream was and what it means?”
27 Daniel replied, “There are no wise men, enchanters, magicians, or fortune-tellers who can reveal the king’s secret. 28 But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the future. Now I will tell you your dream and the visions you saw as you lay on your bed.

This story from the Book of Daniel is widely known but little understood among the societies of the world where it is told. The focus seems always to be on the King's dream. And, true, the dream was an important one for it tells the coming history of the world up through the Roman Empire. But that was not the intent. The vision was to establish the world order to the time when the God of the Universe would send the Redeemer and initiate the forgiveness of sin. Daniel understood and tells so in his praise psalm from verses 20-23. God, indeed "has all wisdom and power."  In spite of what the leaders of the world think, God controls the nations and the events making up our history. The players on the world stage move in relation to one another, not knowing that they are heading toward the ends planned by God. They try to write their own scripts for the events of days but the Author of Days simply smiles as they move toward His planned ends.

God reveals mysteries to His servants who live in obedience and trust Him. He reveals these when He wants His servants to use the information to bless others. It has nothing to do with the servant who provides the prophesy and everything to do with Him who gives the knowledge. God had a plan to reveal to Nebuchadnezzar so that the King would play his part on the world stage and not harm others unnecessarily. In fact it took several more years and more prophesy for the King to get it, but he eventually did. We face more catastrophes around the world these days and wonder how to 'fix it' all. We should rather wonder WHO can fix it and what we are to learn from the circumstances He is permitting. There is an outcome and those who trust in God through faith in Christ know it.

Your servant in HIM

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