..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Bible Study:Book of Daniel 2: Nebuchadnezzar's Dream & Hearing God

Daniel 2: Nebuchadnezzar's Dream & Hearing God

Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that shook him
to the bone. Daniel 2:1 said, "his spirit
was troubled and his sleep brake from him."
This was no ordinary dream, this was a sit
bolt upright, heart beating, sweat
pouring off your body, kind of dream.

Nebuchadnezzar, for all his great position
in life, did not have the wisdom to
know what the dream meant. The text suggests
that he could not even remember the
dream, much less interpret it. Twice
he says of the dream, "the thing is
gone from me" (vs 5 & 8). Although
Nebuchadnezzar was surrounded with
dream interpreters, the only one
who knew the Living God was Daniel.

Dream interpretation was commonly
accepted, just as it is today.
God speaks to man through dreams.
He even speaks to people who
do not have a relationship with
Him through dreams. At night, part
of our rational faculties are at
rest. These rational faculties can
sometimes block us from hearing
from God, so when they are "asleep"
God is able to reach us.

Consider the modern day accounts
of Jesus appearing to Muslims
in dreams. Their mindset would
not allow Him entrance during
their waking moments but when
God sees that a heart will
respond to Him, He jumps over
the barriers that keep us from

Are your loved ones mindy thinkers
or do they have heavily set thought
patterns that might block God out?

Pray that He will begin to speak
to them in dreams. God so worked
with Nebuchadnezzar, He can also
work with your loved ones!

Nebuchadnezzar is so disturbed
by this dream and so sure that
it is important that he not only
demands that the interpreters
give him the meaning of the dream,
but tell him what it was he dreamed
since he could not completely recall it.

This sets up a problem for all
but Daniel. The dream interpreters
tell the king, "there is no one who
can show it before the king,
except the gods whose dwelling
is not with flesh"
(vs 11).

The pagan dream interpreters
do not know the Living God who
speaks to His people, they
feel that the gods speak mysteriously
through dreams, signs and portents,
and that at best, we can only hope
to guess at their meaning. They
can only grasp in the dark.

Daniel knows otherwise. He knows that
God is not a mysterious force, or
a smoky mist, or an unknowable entity,
but Someone who can and will give
guidance and Someone who wants relationship
with His people. Daniel alone has the boldness
to go and pray and EXPECT God to answer.

He enlists the help of his friends to pray,
for the situation is dire: He and all the
dream interpreters in the kingdom will be
killed if the correct dream and its
interpretation is not forthcoming.

Daniel prays and the secret of the dream
is revealed to Daniel in a night
vision (vs. 19) (see a further study
on Daniel 2 on dreams and interpretation).
There are moments when we have to hear
God clearly or we will perish. Perhaps
not as drastically as in this story,
but there are times when we MUST hear
from God.

What was it about Daniel that put him
in a position to hear from God in his
hour of need?

First, he belonged to God. He was under
God's authority. For those of us who are
Christians, we must be born of the Spirit.
John 4:21 tells us that we must worship the
Father in Spirit and in truth. Our spirits
must be made alive unto God, our faith cannot
be a matter of mental assent or mere
doctrinal correctness--we must be born of
God (John 3:16). God is Spirit and those
who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit.
Nothing of our human selves has the capacity
to fellowship with Him but only a spirit made
alive through regeneration.

We must make sure that we are truly
born of the Spirit. Do not take this
for granted. You may think that you
are a Christian, but you must KNOW
that you are a Christian and your
spirit must bear witness to this

2) Daniel had clean hands and a pure
heart (Ps. 24:4). Daniel was set apart
to God, he continually tried to walk
in the ways of God. Throughout the
book of Daniel we never see Daniel
being inconsistent to his relationship
with God. He took special precautions
that he would not defile himself.
He walked in integrity. To hear God
clearly, so must we.

3)Daniel was uncompromising (Daniel 1:8).
He purposed in his heart that he
would always remain true to God.
When called upon to worship the
king, he worshipped God, even when
it put his life in peril. He lived in
Babylon, but Babylon did not live in
him. He was able to hear God because
there were not two conflicting
streams in him. He was one-tracked
for God alone! May we be, likewise.
one-tracked for God alone!
All of Babylon was routed out of Daniel,
he was set apart unto God.

4) Daniel made use of spiritual disciplines
to prepare himself in advance. He
fasted and prayed. He sought God
continually. If we think that we
will stand the hour of testing without
laying lots of spiritual groundwork
we are sadly mistaken. We will fold
like a pack of cards unless we
put in the hour-to-hour, day-to-day,
month-to-month, year-to-year work
of being with God, giving God our
attention, our time, our focus,
continual first place in our hearts.
We don't just suddenly decide for God in the
heat of battle. Our decision for God
must be made way before that.

Consider the parable of the ten
virgins (Matthew 25). Ten virgins
are waiting for the bridegroom, they
know it is an important event, even
their wedding, and yet, some go
down to the wire unprepared. They
think they can borrow off those
they wait with. But some things cannot
be borrowed. One of those things
is the time we put in with God.
No one can give you that, you must
do it yourself or suffer the
consequences. Make sure that you
take this seriously or you will
fail in the hour of testing.
When the dark hour comes, those things
of God which are stored deep within
you will come up and aid you, even
save your life. If they are not
there inside of you, you will

5) Daniel continually did that
which was right. He served, he
looked out for others, he walked
in integrity, he had fellowship with
those that shared his faith in
God. He not only fasted food, he
fasted the Lord's fast: loosing
the bonds of wickedness,
undoing the heavy burdens,
letting the oppressed go free,
and breaking the yoke, dealing
bread to the hungry, covering the
naked. This is the fast of God
(Isaiah 58:6-9). God promises
to answer when from this heart
and life we call unto Him.
God will be near to and answer
those whose heart is set toward
Him in holiness. There was no
iniquity that stood in the way
of God answering Daniel when he
called upon His God. Oh, for the
freedom to know that God will
hear us because our hearts
are pure! That is a priceless
gift and the strength of our

May God make us like Daniel:
set apart to Him in every way
so that we may be instruments
of blessing unto the saving
of many lives. Hear God and

(this bible study is a continuation
of a Bible Study on the book of Daniel,
further installments are archived in
this blog under "Daniel Bible Study"
and "Bible"

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