Daniel chapter 2 is a riveting story, even more so because it actually happened. The king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, was having vivid dreams that were troubling him because he did not know what they meant. The king summoned all the wise men, the enchanters, and the astrologers in Babylon so that they could interpret the dream to him. But Nebuchadnezzar was so desperate to know what his dreams meant that he did not want to leave anything to chance, so he asked them the impossible: to first tell Nebuchadnezzar the dream he had and then interpret it. Obviously they could not do this, saying “no one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among humans,” (Dan. 2:11) so Nebuchadnezzar ordered all the wise men be put to death. Now Daniel was unaware of this ordeal until the guards that were going to execute him arrived to arrest him. Daniel asked the king for more time and asked his friends to pray for God to do something that only He could do, to give Daniel the dream and the interpretation. In His goodness God did just that and Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar his dream and the interpretation which resulted in glory to Daniel’s God and the saving of their lives.
Although God is always working, the vast majority of His work we will never see. But sometimes God thrusts us into the center of what He is doing and we must be ready for those times, not relying on our own strength, wisdom, and insight but wholly ready to cast ourselves upon the mercy and the grace that God provides.
The Apostle Paul tells the Ephesians to have their feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace, (Eph. 6:15) and also to “be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Col. 4:5-6) We must always be ready to give an answer to whoever asks us about the hope that we have in us through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The readiness is not only the ability to speak the truth, but also a constant dependence on the Holy Spirit that fills our words and guides our steps. Our call to be salt and light in the world is not a hat that we put on when we see opportunities, but it is who we are and thus we are always ready to be salty and illuminating whether we are expecting the opportunity or not. Not only that, we should seek out opportunities to be salt and light, relying on the power of the Holy Spirit and God’s promises that He would give us what we should say and do at the time we need it. (Luke 12:11-12) Salt is always ready to season and preserve and light is always ready to illuminate the darkness because it can do nothing but that, it is what it was created to do. So it is with us, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Eph. 2:10)
Scripture for Further Study
1 Peter 3:15 – “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…”
Titus 3:1 “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good…”
Colossians 4:2-3 “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us too that God may open a door for our message…”
- Daniel 2:18 says “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.” What did Daniel turn to in impossible circumstances and what do you naturally turn to in times of crisis?
- Sometimes God puts us in circumstances where we need to be a witness for Him when we least expect it. How does Luke 12:11-12 encourage you?
- Read Colossians 4:5-6. What does this passage say to do in order to be always ready?
Study Guide Article and Questions by Patrick O’Rourke, Groups Minister at Redeemer Church