Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

OT Tuesday: Dreams and Visions

In the second year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign he had a dream that was most puzzling and very upsetting to Nebuchadnezzar. In the middle east/southwest Asia dreams were highly regarded and the interpretation of dreams was big business for magicians and astrologers. However with Nebuchadnezzar they had a big problem - Nebuchadnezzar couldn't remember a single detail of this very puzzling and disturbing dream. He told his servants "Tell me my dream" to which they replied "Tell us your dream and we'll interpret it for you." Nebuchadnezzar wasn't buying any of that
The king replied to the Chaldeans, “The command from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you will be torn limb from limb and your houses will be made a rubbish heap. But if you declare the dream and its interpretation, you will receive from me gifts and a reward and great honor; therefore declare to me the dream and its interpretation.” (Daniel 2:5-6)
The magicians were stalling for time, probably looking for a graceful exit that would allow them to keep their heads attached but the argument went back and forth, the king demanding 'tell me my dream and interpret it for me' and the magicians saying 'sure, just tell us your dream first, then we'll interpret it for you' The king and the magicians went back and forth for some time until Nebuchadnezzar settled the argument with the Royal Compromise: "Off with their heads"

Unfortunately the "their" he was referring to meant all wise men in his court which included Daniel, Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego. The order went out and the king had all the wise men in Babylon rounded up and slapped in prison. By now Daniel was known to be a wise man but he was not publicly known as a servant of God at this time. When Arioch, the commander of the kings bodyguard, caught up with Daniel and informed Daniel he'd soon be a lot shorter Daniel asked him "What's the rush? Why is this so urgent?" and Arioch told him about the dispute over the dream between Nebuchadnezzar and his wise men. So Daniel sent a message to Nebuchadnezzar requesting an appointment so he could explain the dream to the king.

Daniel then went home and told Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego about the appointment he set up with Nebuchadnezzar and that they should pray and request compassion from God concerning this mystery so that the four of them wouldn't be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. That night God revealed the entire mystery to Daniel in a vision and Daniel praised the Lord in prayer:
“To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, For You have given me wisdom and power; Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You, For You have made known to us the king’s matter.” (Daniel 2:23)
And Daniel then went out and located Arioch and said "Don't start lopping off heads! Take me to the king and I'll interpret his dream." Notice if you will that Daniel made an appointment with Nebuchadnezzar to interpret his dream before he prayed to God to beg God to send him the meaning of the dream. That's faith! Daniel bet his life on God revealing the dream to him and God rewarded Daniel's faith with the revelation.

Daniel went to King Nebuchadnezzar and explained to the king that although none of the wise men could interpret the dream, neither could Daniel. It was God is the one who sent the dream to Nebuchadnezzar  and in the end it was God who revealed it to Daniel, and God's only reason for revealing it to Daniel was so that Daniel could interpret it to the king. Daniel began, "You dreamed of a huge, glorious, awesome statue..."
32 The head of that statue was made of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34 You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. (Daniel 2:32-35)
Daniel went on to explain that different metals were different empires. The gold head was Nebuchadnezzar  and the Babylonian empire, and moving down the statue the different parts made of different metals. The silver breast and arms we now understand to be the Persian empire, the bronze belly and thighs we understand to be Greece, and the iron legs we understand to be Rome, smashing and shattering all before it like iron smashes, but iron itself shatters. The feet of iron mixed with clay are an empire yet to come, an empire that will be partially strong and partially fragile, a weak copy of what we understand to be Rome.

Then Daniel explained that in the end God will set up an empire on earth made of all people of all kingdoms that will never be destroyed, it is the rock cut from the mountain and it will strike the false Roman empire and topple everything man built. It will crush all other kingdoms as the rock cut from a mountain without hands crushed the iron/clay, iron, bronze, silver, and gold elements of the statue.

Overwhelmed by Daniel's revelation, Nebuchadnezzar  fell to the ground and bowed to Daniel and gave orders to have an offering given to Daniel.
“Surely your God is a God of gods and a Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, since you have been able to reveal this mystery.” (Daniel 2:47)
The king then showered Daniel with gifts and promoted  him to ruler of the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wisemen of Babylon. And at Daniel's request, Nebuchadnezzar appointed Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego over the administration of Babylon while Daniel was attending Nebuchadnezzar at court.

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