Given a high of ten and a low of one, when it comes to diplomacy I’ll probably find myself in the lower region. As you listen to presidents and other important international figures, mostly their speeches are written for them. The reason being … “diplomacy”. When it comes to international dialogue between countries it is necessary to be “word perfect” when engaging each other. I knew a man who used to write the speeches for one of our presidents. The greatest care was needed when writing for an international audience. This is why some cabinet ministers get into trouble when speaking off the cuff. They say things that are not part of the party’s ideology or international protocol. Yes, Daniel is driven by the Holy Spirit, but we need to credit him in his humanness for speaking the truth when interpreting the king’s dream. His use of diplomacy is something I and possibly many of us need when engaging with others, especially when it comes to our leaders. For all the right reasons Daniel was fearful:
Da 4:19 Then Daniel (also called Belteshazzar) was greatly perplexed for a time, and his thoughts terrified him.
The king saw this and saw the respect Daniel would give him and says
Da 4:19 “Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its meaning alarm you.”
This gave Daniel the courage to say … “My lord, if only the dream applied to your enemies and its meaning to your adversaries! As we said yesterday, Daniel did not want any harm to come to the king. He respected his position, yet he was God’s man to do God’s bidding for the purpose of God’s people … and for the king’s spiritual condition before God. Here again we see where our theme comes from (Dare to be a Daniel), for he tells the king that he is the “tree”, high and mighty, providing for all kingdom needs
Da 4:22 you, O king, are that tree!
3) You, O king, saw a messenger. The dream as said before was vivid, graphic and dramatic.
Da 4:23 “You, O king, saw a messenger, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump, bound with iron and bronze, in the grass of the field, while its roots remain in the ground. Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven; let him live like the wild animals, until seven times pass by for him.’”
One of the holy agents of God stood declaring the will of God … the destruction of Nebuchadnezzar’s rule. Surely only God’s man could say this … even though he could follow his friends experience into the furnace. The king would experience this dream come true literally. He would see his maniacism reign translate into being nothing but a beast of the fields … a grass eating animal. Once again we are confronted with the term “seven times” … the meaning would mean a long time.
4) The Most High has decreed against you, O king. Daniel repeats the interpretation so that the king will not misunderstand what will happen
Da 4:24 “This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree the Most High has issued against my lord the king: 25 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven.
Seven times will pass by for you …
(a) Daniel is still reverent and respectful … “my lord the king”.
(b) Daniel reminds the king that this interpretation is from Almighty God … “the decree the Most High”.
(c) Daniel says that God will deal severely with the king … “will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals”. How the mighty have fallen! From the supreme ruler of the known and inhabited world to a “beastly existence”, drenched in morning dew and eating grass for survival. This is another reminder that God does not play games with people who refuse Him … neither does He use diplomacy. He uses Truth into a sinful world. Man might reject, refuse and spurn God’s offer through Jesus … he may … but in doing so man choses punishment and damnation.
5) The purpose of the dream is to show you, O king, Heaven rules and God Almighty is the true King over all the world and all creation.
Da 4:25 until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes. 26 The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules.
God requires man bow the knee to His Lordship. Refuse and be damned … but there is grace … Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes. See those words … until you acknowledge … there is redemption but it will only come when there is an acknowledgement as to who the True King is. There is one sovereign … the King of Glory. He created and sustains and reigns. The king needed to know his reign was because of God who is the true King. Until he acknowledged this he would remain nothing more than a beast of the field. Do you know what the difference is between a human and a beast? The human has a soul and the beast (animal) does not. Perhaps this is shocking to many animal lovers because in the human race the body dies but the soul lives on … where as in the animal kingdom the body dies and the animal is no more. Naturally it is always good to have a Biblical reference … and we do
Ge 2:7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
In Genesis 1 we have God telling us how He created man in His image and likeness … here we see an aspect of what this likeness is … it is a spiritual dimension. That is what makes man a living being. He lives spiritually in the sight of God … but then we have the fall in Genesis 3 … and this spiritual … this living dimension was seriously marred by sin. Man still has a soul but this soul, through sin is at war with God … and peace is only possible when man acknowledges God as God, Lord and King. This is what Nebuchadnezzar needed to do … and the way we do it today is through faith in Jesus’ shed blood. More of this tomorrow.
Father, thank You that You give us opportunities upon opportunities to agree with You that You alone are the only and true King. Thank You that many do. Help unbelievers. Amen.