I want you to think of two people engaging each other through the legal system. It might be that they are married and divorcing, it might be theft or direct fraud, it might be manipulating the company books … the reasons are many. Both have legal representation who speak to their client’s contesters through written documentation. As you read such documents you quickly see the parts that are truthful and the parts that are made up, fabricated or twisted to achieve the intent of the one trying to prove their innocence. (1 Corinthians 6 & 7 has some thought-provoking instructions for Christians, be it with lawsuits or marital problems). It is not only amazing to read what the lawyer’s client says, but what the lawyer changes those words to mean. And sadly Christians and Christian lawyers are doing this too. Often we hear the question: “What is Truth?” When Jesus stood trial before Pilate He said:
Jn 18:36 “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.” 37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” 38 “What is truth?” Pilate asked.
Do you know the answer to Pilate’s question? It is the Gospel. The Gospel is Truth and it is found in the Body of Truth called the Bible. Does it no stagger you to find how many believers as individuals or in their capacity as a lawyer do not know the answer to the question … “What is Truth?” How does this relate to our theme “Dare to be a Daniel”? We will return to verses 16-18 soon, but see
(1) Daniel requests more time as he was just approached.
(2) Daniel returns to his friends.
(3) Daniel asks them to pray. Right here lies the answer to obtaining Truth!
Da 2:16 At this, Daniel went in to the king and asked for time, so that he might interpret the dream for him. 17 Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 18 He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
1) The Daring Daniel.
Da 2:14 When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact.
The commander of the king’s guard went to find all the “wise men” in the city to execute them. He also collected Daniel who daringly speaks to the official. Remember God gave Daniel and his friends’ spiritual gift mixes.
Da 1:17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning.
And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds. So it is not surprising that chapter two verse 14 informs us of Daniel exercising wisdom and tact. Wisdom, as said before is a gifting found in believers that comes from a knowledge of God and His Word. A godly man uses tact because this tact in this dangerous situation has a spiritual denominator. I don’t know about you, but I’m not the smoothest when it comes to fancy words. I struggle … I need to ask God for help … shooting prayer missiles for immediate assistance. The more we know the Bible and how to apply the Bible to our lives, the more wisdom and tact we will have when in difficult relational environments.
2) Just look at how daring Daniel is.
Da 2:15 He asked the king’s officer, “Why did the king issue such a harsh decree?”
As some commentators say … we don’t have the full conversation … but we do have exposure to how daring Daniel was. Remember he is fighting for his life and that of his three friends. His expression and approach must have been cautious and gentle because this man “Arioch” had the delegated power of putting Daniel and his friends to death! The term “harsh” is an interesting one as it includes severe and cruel. Lovingly and gently Daniel is asking Arioch why the king’s actions are so extreme … so harsh and severe that it is cruel. If we want to be as daring as Daniel in dangerous circumstances, you need to be cautious, loving and gentle, yet you need to touch the truth. You cannot skate around the edges. Understand this … Daniel is actually pointing his finger at the supreme leader of the known world. Thin ice … but then we know God is behind Daniel and his ability to use godly wisdom and godly tact. The man filled with the Spirit keeps in step with the Spirit. See
Eph 5:18 be filled with the Spirit.
Gal 5:25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
3) Daniel’s approach received the desired result. Arioch then explained the matter to Daniel. There was truth and respect on both sides, unlike lawyers’ clients telling them lies! Arioch detailed the interaction between the king and the “wise men” … and most likely explained the historical activities of magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers in general amongst the people (pagan) and the king in specific. Having the true facts he could take the matter further. Remember he was fighting for his life and that of his friends.
4) Daring Daniel armed with knowledge as to the king’s instruction to execute the “wise men” which included himself and his friends, seeks an audience with the king.
Da 2:16 At this, Daniel went in to the king and asked for time, so that he might interpret the dream for him.
This is both brave and wise. He needs time to consult God because God knows the heart of man!
Jer 17:10 “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind.
We know no more than the verse states, but that is sufficient because again we see God at work. Time is given.
5) Daniel explains their situation to his friends, calling them to do the best activity available to believing man … pray!
Da 2:17 Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 18 He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
It seems as though the other wise men were executed … but to prevent this from happening to the four men of God the following was required …
(1) Have the facts … true information.
(2) Pray (plead) to the God of Heaven (the true God).
(3) Their prayer needed to be specific …
(a) The revelation of the mystery … what the king’s dream is and what it means.
(b) That he could inform the king and prevent their deaths.
Father guide me into intelligent, informed prayer for You use True facts in the answer. Amen.